Head trainer/owner of LAR
Tanya King is the assistant trainer for Little Apple Riders. Tanya was born in Connecticut in 1988 into the horse world. Her mother rode pregnant up until she couldn’t get on the horses anymore and brought Tanya to the farm a week after she was born. This farm was in Southbury, Connecticut and was a Thoroughbred Racing farm that became the base for Lauren and Tanya’s friendship.
Tanya was riding her mother’s Thoroughbred (who was blind in one eye) by herself since she was two years old. She grew up learning to ride with her mother and her Aunt Donna. When Tanya was 5 she got her first pony named Gray. Tanya was involved in the Connecticut Gymkhana Association since she was little. Throughout Tanya’s years in the CGA she won many awards, ribbons and paybacks on many different horses. When she was around 6 years old, she officially met Lauren, who also joined the club. At first they were typical 5 and 6 year olds in an adult’s world and didn’t want to be friends, but very soon they became inseparable.
Every summer was spent with Donna. Every Thursday they would go to the Horse Auction in Massachusetts. Sometimes they would bring horses home and sometimes they wouldn’t. She started to learn how to train horses at a very young age. Tanya learned how to read horses because there were many horses that she had just met and did not know their reason for being at the auction. Tanya learned how to look for a good horse and how to tell if an animal was lame. Any time the vet was out looking at horses, she would ask the vet questions and soak it up like a sponge.
As Tanya got older, her interests changed and she switched over to dressage in 2009 in an effort to help her Arabian and herself excel. She learned so much from her friend and mentor Pat. Tanya’s life changed when she started to understand the basics of classic dressage. Ever since Tanya was little she jumped and did hunter paces and small schooling shows but it wasn’t until reuniting with Lauren in Kansas that she decided to get serious about showing.
After falling in love with Kansas on a visit to Lauren in June of 2017, Tanya decided to move out to Kansas with Lauren in September of 2017. Tanya broke her back on October 31st 2017. Once fully recovered and allowed to ride again, Lauren helped her navigate the challenges of fear and losing confidence. Lauren helped Tanya immensely with her confidence and continues to help her bridge the gaps in her initial Dressage and jumping training.
Tanya’s training and teaching style revolves around the relationship of the horse and the rider. She has an extensive history of helping “problem” horses and non-confident riders. Tanya does not consider herself a “Natural Horsemanship” trainer because she does not have a cookie cutter approach to every horse. She takes what she has learned and continues to learn and applies it to the situation at hand. She has studied under multiple “Natural Horsemanship” trainers and has learned how to read horses and their behaviors. She believes in saddle fit and Chiropractic and that most “problems” stem from pain or fear. She has extensive experience with issues such as loading, barn sour, fear of water, dangerous ground manners, worming, bridling, and head shy horses. Her current horse, Paxton, was a very high dollar yearling that was destined to be a western pleasure horse. He did not appreciate the way his new owners were training him and he became dangerous. He was sold to Tanya cheap in hopes that she can help him. After some extensive saddle fitting and chiropractic work he was able to restart his training as an eventer and jumper. 4 years later, he is her eventing mount and also does western and English lessons for adults and kids as young as two years old.
When Lauren and Tanya were little, they would go on trail rides and dream about what it would be like to have their own farm one day. Tanya is so proud to be involved and helping Lauren follow her dreams and grow her equestrian skills more and more every day.
Katie Bohl is the working student at Little Apple Riders. She is from Norton, Kansas, 22 and a senior at Kansas State University, studying wildlife biology. She has two Quarter horses (a mare and a gelding) that she has had for about 5 years and has always ridden western. Katie is a self-trained equestrian, with years of experience. She is an integral part of Little Apple Riders, helping with exercising horses, both in the saddle and on the ground. She has switched her riding to English and dressage and is eagerly learning as much as she can with the plan to join trainers Lauren Schiller and Tanya King on the Eventing course soon!
Kaitlyn Cherry is Little Apple Rider’s web master. She is a nontraditional student in many senses of the word. She is 28 years old, and recently graduated Kansas State University with her B.S. in Family Studies and Human Services. Kaitlyn has ridden casually since her childhood, but began taking lessons with Lauren in May of 2017. She started in Western Pleasure, but later transferred to English, due to having short legs. This is something she and Lauren joke about frequently, as the stirrups have to be adjusted to their shortest length each time she rides. Adding additional humor, Kaitlyn now rides Irish. Irish is one of the tallest horses in LAR’s barn, so it’s quite humorous seeing Kaitlyn mount. Though her lessons have been sporadic, switching disciplines did nothing but benefit Kaitlyn. While riding Western, her posture and leg positions just were never quite correct. However, the first time she rode English, the improvements were immediate. Kaitlyn wants to learn Dressage, and in the future whatever Lauren will teach her.
Kaitlyn has been blind since childhood, and many question how she rides while not being able to see. What they don’t know is how many ways horses learn their riders. Irish has picked up on the fact that she sometimes needs a little extra time to give him feedback, and Kaitlyn is learning how to read his body language under the saddle. Kaitlyn feels that the English saddle gives her far more physical feedback than the Western ever did. She can’t wait to see what she and Irish can accomplish together.