Coventry Equestrian Center

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Rainbow embracing Coventry, need I say more....


Kristin starting to stretch Magic. Stretching develops the horse's top line and is double points when showing in dressage! Now, open your fingers, Kristin, let her unravel and go down... To learn more about why stretch your horse see Kristin;s artilce Revitalizing the Effectts of Down and Out, published in Dressage & CT in 1991!

Kristin riding in the 80s. Sporting a crew cut!


This was taken at a Practical Horsemanship Clinic with Clayton Lee, ( at CEC in 2006.
 Below is a photo of Matty and Somerset - two ex-racehorses getting to know each other in a Coventry field.
Note both horse's fine musculature from training dressage! 

Matador and Somerset - "getting to know you"

Schooling new horse Bracchus at Grandhaven
Another gray! Love them...
Kristin showed in the eighties then spent about twenty years building up Coventry.  At a time when she was about to give up riding, she  was gifted this magnificent Spanish Norman horse. Here she is rebooting as an AARP member warming up for a USEF/USDF dressage show! Yes !

Kristin showing Pernod - circa 1989

This picture of Kristin and Pernod accompanied an article (below) which was written by Kim Manko and published in The Almanac. The article describes how Kristin became involved in dressage.

Horses are in her reins

Upper St. Clair native enjoys riding.

by Kim Manko

for The Almanac

     Horses have always been a big part of Kristin Hermann's life. Her fascination with these animals began when she was a small child growing up in New England. "I really understand and trust horses because we have our own way of communicating," the Upper St. Claire resident said.

     While taking an equine instructor training course, she discovered dressage (French for training), and decided to make it her life's work. It was this interest that brought her to Pittsburgh to study under a renowned trainer.

     "Dressage is training a horse to behave naturally, despite having a rider on its back who's commanding it to perform intricate steps," Ms. Hermann explained. "If you watch a horse run through a meadow, its tail will be up and its neck will be arched, and you can sense its excitement. That's what dressage is - recreating that innate movement."

     According to Ms. Hermann, dressage techniques were first used during wartime to help protect soldiers in battle. Horses were taught to leap up and kick out at the enemy with its hind legs.

     Dressage has the same effect on a horse as yoga does on a person, she said. "If trained properly, the horse will be relaxed and calm while executing a variety of elaborate movements."

     Riders who enter dressage competitions, progress through various skill levels. At each level, the horse is judged on its ability to perform certain compulsory movements. "A horse goes forward by nature, but through extensive training can learn to trot in place," Ms. Hermann said. To reach the fourth and highest level of dressage competition, The Grand Prix, can take up to seven years of instruction, she said.


Teacher and Trainer

     Ms. Hermann has competed successfully to the second level of competition and is currently a teacher and trainer at the Coventry Equestrian Center in the Meadowlands. More than 40 of her articles on dressage have been published in national equestrian magazines.

     She is also the Vice-President of the Western Pennsylvania Dressage Association, a local chapter of the United States Dressage Federation. Its members will staff a booth at the Southwestern Pennsylvania Equine Symposium on April 8 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. A videotape from a Grand Prix dressage competition will be shown. (Note from Kristin: this convention was held a few years ago.)

     For Ms. Hermann, dressage is a lifetime pursuit of continually developing a horse's skills, through patience and repetition, to achieve a higher level of intricacy. "That's what makes dressage so intriguing."


Kristin and Blythedale

... a happy customer!

One of our happy customers....Katie should become Coventry’s poster child!
At 7 years old this rider is learning how to saddle a horse -- and you can see how happy she is to do this. She never misses a lesson and she thought it would a good idea for us to give out riding report cards! (What a great idea!) Her smile alone gets an A plus... The stirrup irons should be up on this saddle, I must have missed her taking it off the horse before running up the irons.

Kristin showing Taurean
Halt Salute at First Level showing at Dressage at Hartwood Acres


Greg Kersten held two Ok Corral Series at CEC.
For more information on Greg, the founder of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, go to his web site,

This picture was taken in 2006
Kristin at Sewickely Hunter Pace

Midnight and Anita at the Halt - 2003.

Two of Kristin's students, 2002

This is a student of Kristin's schooling her horse during the Spring 2002.
Note the overstride from behind; the horse is nicely stretching its hind end under the rider, and stretching to the bit. The rider is allowing the horse to slowly stretch forward and down.
This horse has learned his dressage from Kristin. He is very well schooled and has a great foundation.

Take a good look, I think it is the only photo of me jumping. I think they just invented cameras! At the Grier Schooling Tyrone, Pa. showing my horse Kaiulani. Circa 1972

Kristin on "Wella Vella".
Bad Sooden Reiten Verband, 1985

While Kristin was in Germany in 1985, she had a chance to ride a German-trained dressage horse.


Kristin lived in Germany for several months in 1984/85.
She is still a member of the Bad Sooden - Allendorf riding club.
Here is a picture of her teaching a horse to stretch while in Germany.
(The horse has a nice over stride.)

Somerset, one of Kristin's current horses.
Walk-Trot class at Harlansburg, PA fall show, 2001

A student riding Kristin's Thoroughbred, Somerset, in a Walk-Trot class at the W.P.D.A.'s Harlansburg Fall Show, 2001.
Note the rider's nice leg position (see article, Fundamentals of Basic Position; go to the "Published Articles" page and click on the link).

Kristin schooling a black Holsteiner gelding.

Kristin and Proof at a show, preparing to mount.
During Kristin's early years of showing!
Nevada, a horse trained by Kristin

Ricocopper (right) is a Quarter Horse trained at Coventry to First Level and then sold. He used to do games!

Somerset, July 2005

Somerset is an ex-race horse trained by Coventry Equestrian Center, jumping at Hot to Trot series in South Park, PA, July 31, 2005
He was Champion at last show, jumping and in dressage. It looks like Somer really enjoys this new facet of dressage - Dressage over Fences!
Moving up the levels and over the fences...

Tracey and Flasher, Summer 2003

Tracy and Flasher have boarded at Coventry for over ten years. Note the happy expression on both of their faces....They have been a partnership for more than 20 years.
Sadly, Flasher passed away in June 2006. He left many friends behind, both human and equine. 


Valerie and Magic competing at a show.

The horse to the left is Nevada, a Mustang (from Nevada) who was trained in dressage by Kristin. Someone else trained him in jumping. Nevada was sold to a pony clubber and they successfully competed in local combined training events and hunter shows. This horse had quite a jump; he won a championship out of 36 other horses at a Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Hunter Series. Nevada is special because he is a Mustang.


Axel and Thor, July 2001

An enthusiastic Coventry rider at age 82 on the Friesian Stallion Thor.
Thor is well known for his exhibition work promoting Friesians at several horse expos. He came to Coventry for a fund raiser for the local Washington Area Animal Shelter.
To learn more about Thor go to his personal web site listed below...


Kristin is training Ava, a quarter horse mare, in 1984.
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Coventry Equestrian Center