Kristin Praly, Owner Operator of Horse Sense Education and Advocacy and Executive Director of Horse Sense Education and Advocacy Nonprofit, has over 40 years of experience with horses in nearly all the capacities horses find themselves working within human life.
Growing up in Saratoga, California, she was fortunate enough to spend all her free time at the many local stables. By the age of 12 Kristin mucked many a stall to raise enough money to pay for half her first horse. A Morgan Quarter horse mare was the first horse the family looked at. “We drove to a horse trader in Morgan Hill. It was winter and she was the prettiest in the line-up. I remember hoping she was the one for sale. Turns out the first thing that pretty horse did was bite me."
Lesson #1: "Do not judge a horse by its color!”
Kristin didn’t say a word about being bitten, hopped on and went for a fun ride. You guessed it. Her dad bought the horse. Kristin named the nameless horse Pepper for her personality. As it turns out, this mare wouldn't allow anyone else to touch her without Kristin present.
"I find that I like to listen to what's being presented to me by the horse. I have since learned that many people cannot connect with horses on the same level that I have always just assumed was natural. "
Katelyn is 24 years old and has had the joy of being around horses her whole life.
She has competed in Vaulting, Pony Club, Gymkhanas, 4-H, Carriage Driving for Ag History Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, parades, and participated in many equine related community service events.
She started teaching at 15 and strongly feels that greatest reward for an instructor is when the student loves working with horses as much as the horse enjoys working with them-- when it ALL just clicks and becomes natural.
She gets most of her joy when her students can ride better than her.
She is all about building people up to their fullest potential with confidence and skill.
Katelyn is currently Studying Criminal Justice in hopes of being a greater service to the communities around her.
Rachel is 24 years old and has a lifetime of horse experience. After growing up in our program, Rachel began teaching with Horse Sense Education and Advocacy at the age of 15.
Rachel loves working with children and seeing when they "get" something.
She loves spending time with the horses as much as she can and has competed in Gymkhanas, Play Days, Obstacle Challenges, Equine community service events.
Above all, Rachel enjoys trail riding and learning equine therapy.
Rachel is attending San Jose State University studying to be an elementary teacher.
Michelle is 30 years old and has grown up at Covered Bridge Equestrian Center.
She has competed in Eventing, Gymkhana, Jumping, Dressage, Western Pleasure, Obstacle Challenges, Parades and many Equine community service events.
Michelle loves working with horses and humans that need confidence building and heartfelt horsemanship. She has been a Horse Sense Education and Advocacy educator for over 7 years
Her most joyous moment with horses is that moment when a horse figures out, they are safe and ok, and they trust a human again.
Kristin and her BLM Mustang Twilight
Horse sense is a development of intuition when someone is willing to listen.
" I was always willing to listen to what my horse was trying to convey. This means that the horse has a say on how they feel about what is taking place between us in any given moment. I never thought riding was about controlling an animal, but with an animal. Riding for me was always about figuring out how to communicate so the horse understood what I was asking. When my horse eagerly or willing complied with my asking, that's when I’d have a GREAT riding day."
Since then Kristin has always looked for better ways to communicate with animals. She is driven to understand what facilitates that communication.
She taught horseback riding and Managed Stallions while attending U.C. Davis and is currently lucky enough to pass on her knowledge to her equally horse crazy teenage daughter Katelyn.
Kristin has been in the horse industry throughout all the changes of theory and styles. She endeavers to stay informed with current industry theories. Her style of working with the animals has the decided focus of understanding the animal and working with the basic concept of ‘walk a mile in the other’s shoe.’
"In order to work with an animal you have to apply yourself and not make the animal do all the work. You have to really want to communicate in a way they understand; otherwise the relationship is very one-sided, frustrating, and not very fun.”
Today Kristin helps people with the many problems they encounter with their equine pals. She helps people realize that horses are more than willing to work with people if the people communicate clearly. Her work isn’t easy. The first step is the hardest. People have to be willing to start on a clean slate and open mind. They have to be willing to live a different way with their ponies and horses. Sometimes, they have to be willing to undo many layers of bad experiences in order to lay the building blocks for a new trust with their animal. “The hardest part for any human is to openly admit they are at the heart of their relationship issue. But I promise everyone this: When you do, you open the door to a world seen through new eyes.”
Kristin’s job is to help the person understand what it means to be equine and help people and their companions find that joyful feeling of being together.