Erika Kurtz, Trainer / Owner
With nearly twenty years in the equine industry, Erika Kurtz is unique when it comes to instructors and trainers. Her extensive experience as a equestrian and trainer is backed up with a degree from one of America’s best private colleges, The University of Findlay in Ohio, where she studied English Equestrian Studies and Equine Business Management. Her equine experience, knowledge and horsemanship is extensive, serving in the capacities of Barn Manager, Riding Director and Trainer for various facilities throughout the region and as Head Coach of the Franklin and Marshall Equestrian Team. She received her trainer certification from the United States Hunter Jumper Association and instructor certification from Certified Horsemanship Association. She holds memberships in several prominent equine organizations including the United States Equine Federation, United States Hunter Jumper Association, Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, Arabian Horse Association, Pennsylvania Arabian Horse Association and the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. Erika also just recently received her 'r' judges license for hunters and equitation from the United States Equestion Federation and the United States Hunter Jumper Association.
Over the course of her career she has served in a leadership capacity in organizations such as the Pennsylvania Arabian Horse Association for South Central, Saddle Cinches 4-H Club, 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program and been on the 4-H Judges list. But perhaps, Erika's best talent is her innate connection with the horses themselves. This understanding fosters a unique synergy between horse and rider, enabling both to grow together to achieve realistic goals and expectations.
When not giving lessons, training horses or managing her business located at Serenity Farm, you can find Erika either participating in equine events or judging them.
Alexis Ballance Instructor
With over 10 years teaching experience, and 20+ years riding, Alexis has developed an immense passion for all aspects of the equine industry. Alexis gained her experience through riding under Tim Sweeney, Rich Scarlett, Jerry Zero, and her college coach Susan Casale, learning the skills and values of the hunters, jumpers, and equitation rings. Alexis competed successfully in the junior hunters before having to prematurely retire her show horse. He served his remaining years teaching young riders the ropes and providing a safe show experience for any level rider. While still teaching during her years at Kutztown University, upon graduation, Alexis furthered her passion for teaching by coaching the DeSales University Equestrian Team, as well as teaching equitation classes at Wilson College for over 3 years. She currently has her own horses and students at her family farm in Collegeville, PA, and enjoys providing a riding atmosphere that creates educated, well-rounded, and confident equestrians.
Jennifer Ott Instructor
I began riding horses as a young girl, thanks to my awesome parents! My love for horses flourished as I grew up and I became a member of a local 4-H group, rode and competed in Hunt seat through my teenage years.
I attended Delaware Valley College, where I received my B.S. in Equine Science. While there I competed on the IHSA team and had my first exposure to the art of Dressage riding. My passion for Dressage grew through the many horses that I had the privilege of riding, training and competing. I worked at various stables that increased my knowledge and helped me grow as a rider and horsewoman. I was able to work under and observe olympic level horse trainers in both Dressage and Eventing.
I believe in a solid, strong foundation of the basics to develop both horse and rider. I follow the German training scale and the belief that both riders and horses should never stop learning. I believe that the training process should be positive for both horse and rider at every level. I also believe that it’s important to work with riders on goal setting and overcoming any fears associated with riding. I am excited about sharing my passion and knowledge with you! I can’t wait to be a part of your amazing riding journey!