Having begun riding at the age of 4, Erin Van Steenburgh has dedicated herself to her riding, competing and teaching. In her early years, Erin was an active member of 4-H and the Morgan Youth program, competing in horse shows, horse knowledge competitions, speech competitions and judging competitions.
As a teenager, Erin represented Massachusetts twice in national 4-H competition as well as competing nationally in the Grand National Morgan Youth of the Year competition, which she won in 1994. At this time she was competing her Morgans throughout the region in saddleseat and driving competitions, winning many championships along the way.
During her sophomore year at Bowdoin College, Erin decided to change the direction of her riding career and began studying dressage with her Morgan stallion, Syndicat Legaltender. After graduation, her passion for dressage led her to a working student position with Olympian Lendon Gray and ultimately her decision to make Morgans and dressage her career.
Furnace Brook Farm was born and Erin continued her own riding as well as beginning her career teaching children the joy of riding and caring for horses.
- American Morgan Horse Association's National Youth of the Year
- Won 4 phase competition (speech, exam, judging, riding)
- Awarded one month anywhere in the world to act as representative of Morgan breed
- Chose Australia and New Zealand
- Student of Susan Jaccoma, Grand Prix rider and student of Olympian Robert Dover.
- World Champion Training Level Dressage with Syndicat Legaltender
- Four Month Working Student Position with Olympian Lendon Gray
- Daily lessons with own horse
- Given 2 schoolmasters to ride
- Warmed up Lendon's competition horses
- Two Week Course at German National Riding School in Bremen, Germany
- Received daily dressage and jumping lessons from head trainer
- Student of Renate Lansburgh, a USDF Certified Instructor through 4th level and a licensed dressage judge.
- Student of Dee Loveless, a Grand Prix rider and licensed dressage judge.
After apprenticing under Erin to receive her Massachusetts Riding Instructors license, Kristi joined the staff of Furnace Brook Farm in September of 2005. Kristi has ridden and competed successfully throughout her life, winning many championships at both local and A rated shows. In 2006, Kristi and her Morgan gelding, Taproot Old Glory, were crowned the Reserve World Champion in First Level dressage at the Morgan Grand National in Oklahoma City. In 2007, Kristi and Taproot Old Glory continued their winning ways capturing the Morgan World Championship in Training Level as well as winning two National USEF Championships and two Regional USEF Championships. Having trained under both Erin and many time World Champion Morgan trainer, Judy Nason, Kristi brings a wealth of knowledge in both dressage and hunterseat divisions.
Kristi's main focus at Furnace Brook is our beginner riders. Embracing the theory she has learned through Erin and applies in her own riding, Kristi bases her teaching on the important concepts of balance, muscle development and the development of the rider's seat. She is successful in teaching these important concepts in fun and interactive ways for the beginner rider. Her upbeat positive personality gives the beginner rider a wonderful introduction into horseback riding, evident in their smiles and their adoration of Kristi.
Furnace Brook Farm is proud to have Kristi on their staff and looks forward to many years of her teaching young riders the joys of horses