Karen Knies, creator of Canter Down Farms, is a long time horse junkie since the age of 4. Since her family wasn't the wealthiest on the WEF scene, Karen made her way as a working student at show barns and racing stables. This gave her a great appreciation, respect, and some fantastic knowledge for horses. But what she learned the most was the amount of dedication it takes to succeed at your passions in life. No matter what it may be.
Karen then knew what she wanted to do for a living. So she started working with the younger students in Pony Club, 4-H, and F.F.A.. Those experiences created her love for teaching and mentoring young minds who are just as horse crazy as she was at that age.
Shadowing vets and trainers of all kinds of disciplines from the western side of barrel racing, pleasure, reining, cutting and some good ole fashion trail riding.
On to the English side. Wow! Talk about almost relearning a little riding again. She fell in love with the discipline and started training OTTB's for her equestrian endeavors. This brought her closer to the JR Jumpers and Combined Training areas where she learned the connections you develop in dressage and the trust and bravery it took to gallop a horse around a prelim course or a 4'6'' liver pool.
When she decided to start a family, she ventured more into the Hunter rings. In 1995, at the age of 23, CDF was born while raising her 3 boys. A place where the sport of Hunter Equitation riding could be offered to all. That it didn't have to be a "rich man's" game and from hard work, dedication and some meaningful life lessons we discover along our paths, she wanted to show her children and others that every child with a goal and passion for something; if you never quit, it can be achieved. And if riding competitively for high school or college is one of those dreams. CDF wants to offer that opportunity to help in any way possible.
Where there is perseverance, there is a way!