Horses and saddles are in Kyrena’s bones. She began her lifetime adventure with horses while in the second grade in the up-downer ranks and summer camp. As a young teenager Kyrena competed in the local shows and AQHA circuit in all aspects ranging from Showmanship to Western Pleasure to English Equitation. As her interests and skills grew she became interested in the challenges of eventing and had a fantastic time competing before becoming completely focused on the challenges of the dressage arena. As with everything Kyrena has chosen to do, she engaged with the highest caliber of riders to mentor her: Lendon Gray, Pam Goodrich, Michael Poulin, and Nancy Later-Lavoie to name a few.
In 1989 she founded the Connecticut tack shop, The Paddock Inc., and eventually passed the shop to her parents Keith and Karen Parkinson. During this time Kyrena developed a keen interest in saddles and saddle fitting, having come up against many issues and concerns with horses, owners, trainers and veterinarians regarding achieving high quality performance and pleasure from their equine partners. Again, searching for the highest bar, Kyrena embarked to train with the best and became a Qualified Saddle Fitter certified by the Society of Master Saddlers, UK.
Kyrena is one of a handful of Americans certified by the UK’s Society of Master Saddlers, the only internationally recognized professional qualification in saddle fitting.
As an adjucnt career, Kyrena Parkinson, PhD is a Nutrition Strategist. She is Board Certified Holistic Nutrition by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals, a graduate of the eCornell University T. Colin Campbell Foundation Plant Based Nutrition Program and a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Kyrena maintains the credentials of Professional Project Manager, and Nationally Certified ServSafe Instructor and Exam Proctor. She often says that the connect from nutrition imbalances to fitting saddles is not as random as it might seem, as the tasks are essentially the same: first identify the fundamental nature of the problem, then work out how the problem might be solved to everyone’s satisfaction. In her spare time Kyrena enjoys reading, yoga, exploring new experiences, hanging out with animals and of course…FOOD!
Kyrena has been in the tack and saddlery industry almost 30 years and been SMS Qualified for over a decade.
She knows the ins & outs, pros & cons, of just about every brand.
If your existing saddle needs some love or tweaking...she’s your gal.
If you’re in a disfunctional relationship with your saddle and ready to move on...she’s your gal!
Kyrena proudly represents Custom Saddlery as the premier dressage and jump saddle source.