Tena began her riding career in high school on a horse that she bought with money earned from milking cows on the family’s dairy farm. After high school, Tena graduated from Michigan State University’s Horse Management program, and from there began a career as a riding instructor and trainer at a local training farm. In 1998, her family opened their facility on a portion of their dairy farm, and Tena began training horses and riders at Centennial Acres Equestrian Center.
In 2002, Tena qualified for 4th Level Championships, but was unable to compete due to the untimely death of her mount, Dr. Doolittle, a month before the competition. After losing Dr. Doolittle she imported a beautiful Hanoverian mare named Weltliebchen from Germany who she showed and qualified to third level before selling her to a student. In 2009, she ventured into young horses, purchasing a 3 year old gelding out of Royal Prince, named Royal Heir. In 2013, she and Royal Heir were USDF Region 2 Reserve Champions at First Level. And in 2014, Tena competed with Royal Heir at 2nd Level and ended the year as Reserve National Champion at the USDF Finals in Kentucky. Royal Heir was recently sold to a young rider student and Tena has a new project, a 4 year old she recently imported from the Netherlands.
Tena has trained and ridden in clinics under riders such as Catherine Haddad Staller, Vincent Carovillano, Albert Gesierich, Alexa Schulten-Baumer, Patrick Tigchelaar, and Dr. Rob VanWessum. Early in her career, Tena spent time in Germany working under Catherine Haddad Staller and more recently spent two weeks training with her at the USET headquarters in New Jersey.
Riders under Tena’s instruction have competed thru fourth level at both USDF and ADA shows. Some students have goals of making it to regional and national competition, and others have goals of increasing their knowledge of dressage and working on their relationship with their horse at home. Tena strives each year to coach each of her CAEC students to do their best at their level of riding. She regularly attends clinics and symposiums and takes other educational opportunities to advance her own education.
Amy is no stranger to CAEC. Amy almost grew up on the farm, attending pony camps and taking lessons. Amy showed during her junior years with CAEC, competing successfully on her horse, Adora, and on several horses owned by the farm. After high school she decided to venture into the horse world. She was a working student at KYB Dressage in the Chicago area. While at KYB, Amy competed on the USDF Region 2 Young Riders’ team in Lexington, KY and then ended the show season as USDF Region 2 Jr/Yr Training Level Champion with a young mare. After some time there she returned to CAEC until she went to work with Caroline Roffman and Endel Ots at Lionshare Dressage in Wellington, FL for a year. This was a valuable learning experience and gave Amy tremendous exposure to the Florida dressage world. She was able to groom and ride several excellent horses during that time. In 2012, Amy returned to Michigan to attend Michigan State University where she pursued a degree in Animal Science. Since graduating in the spring of 2016, she has returned to CAEC as an assistant trainer and instructor. Amy is a beautiful rider with a great feel for a horse. She is eager to learn, to grow as a rider and trainer, and demands excellence from her horses and students. We are excited about Amy’s future and all she has to offer CAEC!