Kathryn Cecere-Owner, Trainer, Instructor & Coach
Kathryn Cecere is the guiding force behind the success of Harmony Horse Stables. She grew up on a breeding farm/riding school and has been teaching since she was 14 years old. Kathryn’s horse is Commadore a Hanoverian/Morgan Dressage horse with beautiful movement. Everybody loves to ride Commadore because he is such a joy to ride! It should be no surprise that one of Kathryn’s favorite breed of horses is the Morgan for their “I can do anything attitude.” Kathryn brings a “can do” attitude to her students and has brought many of her riders up thru the ranks to achieve their goals. Over the years Kathryn’s students have won many Area, Regional, and National Championships.
Along with teaching, and coaching Kathryn brings innovation and fun to her lessons. Many lessons are creative and interesting, and the students just love them.
Kathryn has studied with Michael Poulin, Paul Andrea, Lendon Gray, Jerry Schurink & Denny Emerson and has been teaching, training and managing for over 35 years. Her dreams of an award-winning stable have come to fruition at Harmony.
Favorite Dunks Run – Med Hot Coffee, Cream Only – Yes, even in 90 degree weather!
“I love that every day I drive to work I know I will spend my day with wonderful horses and wonderful people. We are a devoted group and enjoy working together to bring our best to the table. Some days this process is difficult and trying. Some days this process is exciting, humorous, rewarding, and gratifying. Wouldn’t change a thing!” ~ Kathryn
Dennis Cecere – Owner & CFO
Dennis Cecere is a full-time musician & full-time horse lover! His favorite horse was Pirate, a Hanoverian Warmblood and his favorite breed is the Morgan. He graduated from Berklee College of Music, where he is now a Professor of Ensembles. He is an independent producer in the pop & rock recording market, has performed in countless concerts for such groups as the Shangra-Las, the Platters, the Drifters, the Marvelettes, Johnny Preston & Lou Christie as well as Boston Big Band, Silver Bullet Swing Orchestra, Compaq Big Band & Mike Girard’s Big Swinging Thing (a great show – you should see it!). At Harmony, Dennis performs amazing feats of financial management that ensure that everyone at Harmony, from horses to students & staff, is having fun, well cared for and safe.
Favorite Dunks Run – Real Coffee, 3 creams & 2 sugars
“Music and horses create a unique harmony for me. Watching everyone grow in our organization – staff, students & horses – makes me smile. Many of our people have been with us for years upon years, starting in the program when they’re young – coming back after college, after getting married – they are all part of the Harmony family. What we’ve created here has helped so many families.” ~ Dennis
Don Pollard – Barn Manager
A Native Vermonter, Don Pollard has worked on horse/beef farms from the time he was 7 years old. Don owned his own dairy Farm for 32 years before joining the Harmony clan. He won numerous awards and competitions with the Future Farmer of America. He was the youngest member selected to the Litchfield Dairy Committee, testified on the 1980 U.S. Farm Bill in Congress, was voted into the New England Hall of Fame, & served on the New England Dairy & Food Council.
Don is passionate about Horse Care and makes sure that all of the horses are happy and healthy at Harmony. Don is in charge of the daily horse care, facility management, people management, and driving the horses wherever they need to go.
As you might suspect, Don has met a lot of interesting people over the years too including Clayton Moore (the Lone Ranger), Adam West (the original Batman), Jason Aldean, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Bing Crosby, Paul Newman and two Presidents (Carter & Nixon)! He has always had horses & joined the Harmony team in 2005. Along with his many other accomplishments, Don loves country music & has been known to bring down the house on karaoke night!
Favorite Dunks Run – Large Hot Coffee Regular
“I have hauled horses in every state East of the Mississippi River except for Michigan, as well as in Texas and Arkansas. I chose Harmony because I liked how they treated their horses and the direction they wanted to take with their program.” ~ Don
Lauren Donohue – Instructor & NVET Coach
Lauren Donohue, instructor and coach of Harmony’s IEA/AEL team, participated as an IHSA Team Rider from 2009 – 2013 (Open). Now she’s a motivating force for her students and instills the same teamwork skills in the NVET riders that she honed during her years with the IHSA team. In lessons and in her coaching, Lauren challenges her students to bring their best to every ride.
Favorite Dunks Run – Lauren doesn’t like Dunks coffee (We all love her anyway!)
“I love the staff I get to work with – we always have such a blast together. But my favorite part is how rewarding it is to watch riders grow with us, as horsepersons and humans, with the experience we provide for our students.” ~ Lauren
Kara Kobernick – Assistant Manager
Kara (Comeau) Kobernick started as a working student at Harmony in October of 2000 and hasn’t looked back. In 2010, she became full-time assistant manager and loves working Harmony. Her favorite activity is the daily care of all the amazing horses at the farm. Kara is a Massachusetts-licensed riding instructor & enjoys teaching riders of all ages and skill levels. Most days you’ll find her doing a little bit of everything whether it’s mucking stalls and answering phone calls in the office or driving the trailer to shows and riding, she enjoys every aspect of her job.
Favorite Dunks Run – Blackberry ice tea
“I love coming to work at Harmony because it has just the right atmosphere of seriousness and fun. We’ve had so many great accomplishments but we are also able to create an atmosphere that is welcoming to everyone. Harmony has been a second home to me ever since I started coming here and I think that many people feel the same way that I do. The proof is in the pudding. I’ve been here for 17 years and counting!”
Sophie Ward – Instructor
Sophie Ward loves thoroughbreds, Irish sport horses and doing headstands on horses. She was a member of the University of Alabama Equestrian team and the University of Kentucky Equestrian & Dressage and Eventing teams. She’s trained with Kathryn Cecere, Jerry Schurink and Eric Dierks. Sophie’s sense of fun, combined with her solid riding skills, makes every lesson as enjoyable as it is educational.
Favorite Dunks Run – Depending on the day, a black coffee or a hot apple cider
“I like working at Harmony because we always put the horses first. No matter what, horse care is a number one priority. I have been a part of the Harmony team for so long, the barn is my second home and family.” ~ Sophie
Rachel Vaccaro – Assistant
Rachel Vaccaro originally majored in History & Education at William Woods University before switching to Equestrian Science. She then decided she was ready for a change and moved all the way from Missouri to join the Harmony Team! You can find Rachel welcoming our students into the barn and helping them get ready for their lessons. Whether she’s teaching a new student how to brush a horse or making sure our experienced riders have all they need to go into their lesson prepared, you are always sure to find her smile and enthusiasm infectious!
Favorite Dunks Run – Iced Tea w/ Liquid Sugar & Lemon
“I enjoy working at Harmony because it’s extremely client and horse based. It’s all about making sure that everyone is learning what they need to and taking them where they need to go while still insuring our horses are happy and healthy the entire time.” ~ Rachel
Bette Lacey – Office Manager
Bette Lacey brings considerable organizational skills along with a lot of southern hospitality & a dash of sass to Harmony where she has been the Office Manager since 2001. Prior to coming to Harmony, she worked in the Fairfax County Government & Fairfax County Public School system in Virginia where she started as the Office Manager and eventually became the Secretary to the Superintendent of Schools. She owned two Heavenly Ham stores in Richmond, VA as well. She loves to cook, knit, garden, read mysteries & novels and has been a fan of “The Young and the Restless” for more years than she can remember. She’s also a Red Sox & Patriots fan as well as a bruising rider. Just kidding about the riding part…Bette may be just a little bit intimidated by some of the horses at Harmony, but she loves them anyway! She also loves helping the students and their parents at Harmony!
Favorite Dunks Run – Small black coffee
“My granddaughter was riding at Harmony at the time I came to the area and Dennis was talking about needing to hire someone for the office manager position. My daughter heard him and called me about the position. I drove right over and talked with Dennis. He decided to hire me and asked, ‘When can you start?’ I said, ‘Right away.’ He said, ‘How about right now!?’ And I’ve been at Harmony ever since!” ~ Bette