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Our Program

KL Keener Performance Horses strives to create well-rounded horses and riders.  I believe that it is important to understand not only how to do something, but also why we do it, so lessons cover a wide variety of topics from the anatomy/kinesiology/physiology of both horse and rider, to understanding the way that horses learn from and interact with their environment and their handlers.  I also feel that students need to learn about all aspects of caring for their horses, so lessons cover proper handling while on the ground in addition to under saddle, grooming, healthcare, and maintenance.  Horses in training have their program tailored specifically to their needs. I believe each horse is an individual and work hard to create horses that are relaxed, confident, and well-trained so that they can provide their owners with a lifetime of joy.

Our Story

At KL Keener Performance Horses we accept horses and riders of all levels for both western and English instruction.  The program was based in Mesa for over 12 years at a small and private family-owned facility, and just moved to a gorgeous new facility in Cave Creek in 2019. While many students do enjoy competing in all around events at local open and breed shows, I also have a lot of students who just enjoy the process of learning to ride and communicate with horses.

Meet the Trainer/Instructor

I, Kendra Keener, have had a lifelong love for horses and was fortunate enough to be able to start on my 30+ year long equestrian journey as a child.  I still remember fondly the two sweet gray mares that first opened my eyes to the joy and exhilaration of learning how to ride and forge a relationship with these amazing animals.  I took lessons for several years on those two mares...Deena, a wonderful Arabian, patiently taught me the beginning skills of a budding English rider...and tolerated many bareback romps through her back pasture as my confidence and abilities grew. I was then fortunate enough to move on to ride the graceful Thoroughbred Aspen, who allowed me the opportunity to learn dressage and jumping from an amazing national award winning instructor. Those years with her really inspired my love of classical training and dressage fundamentals for horses of all disciplines. The most important horse that has yet to grace my life was Zeffer, the first horse that I could officially call my own. He was a charismatic fireball, a blood bay Egyptian Arabian, and in hindsight probably not the best "first horse", but he opened my horizons and taught me so much more about what the human/equine partnership can be. In addition to continuing to pursue my education in dressage and huntseat riding, I also learned how to ride western on him, and we competed at local and statewide 4-H and open shows. It took a lot of hard work, but eventually we became a force to be recognized, both in and out of the show ring. During those high school years I started to develop a nice clientele of horses in training and a few students, as well as working at an Arabian breeding facility where I handled broodmares and trained the foals.  Being a Colorado native, I went on to college at Colorado State University and studied both Animal and Equine Science. During my time at CSU, I was fortunate enough to be a part of their equestrian team, and was honored to represent them on both the western and English teams at competitions across Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.  Throughout college I continued to have a small group of lesson students and remained heavily active as a volunteer and clinician for 4-H.  I then made the move to Arizona, where I initially spent some time as an assistant trainer and instructor for a local saddleseat Saddlebred/Arabian barn. I later met another local instructor who asked me if I wanted to help with her lessons and training, as her business was expanding, and a few years later KL Keener Performance Horses was officially born! I enjoy training and instructing horses and riders of all levels, and I like to give back whenever I can by coaching our local 4-H group. I believe that learning about horses is a lifelong journey, and every horse and rider I have met so far has been an unique individual that has taught me something new about training or instructing. My passion is in continuing to expand and refine my own skills as well as helping horses and their riders to develop a better relationship.

Kendra Keener

Owner/Instructor/Trainer

Molly & Daisy

Cuddle and Distraction Team

Molly and Daisy are frequent companions at the barn, and love saying "Hi" to students and chasing each other around the arena in between lessons.  They always look forward to their barn adventures!

Want to learn more?

Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information about getting started on your equestrian journey!