Kassandra “Kassie” Kuz Barteau
A lifelong horse lover and an accomplished dressage trainer and rider, Kassie Kuz Barteau is the most winning Young Rider in United States history. Three-time USEF National Champion and multiple NAJYRC Gold medalist, Kassie has been ranked first in the Nation at levels from Training through Grand Prix over thirty times! She also has 36 Regional titles and earned the scores for her USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold medals by her 18th birthday!
Kassie and GP Raymeister represented the United States at the Young Rider World Cup in Frankfort Germany in December 2009. In her first year out of the Young Rider Division, Kassie was invited to the Open USEF Festival of Champions with the Dutch gelding Toscano. The pair ended up Reserve National Champions!
With her HWH alumni rescue horse Falling Skies, aka “Sky,” Kassie won both First and Second Level National Championship titles for 2021, as well as the USDF Horse of the Year for First Level. In addition to those impressive honors, Kassie and Sky won three Regional Championships. This incredible feat has never been accomplished by a rescue team. In fact, multiple National Championship titles combined with the Horse of the Year title has only been achieved by a few select horses.
These amazing accomplishments were all because Kassie took a chance on a horse that was once considered unsellable and gave that horse a second chance! Every horse can have a new story and Sky is proof that a new beginning is always possible. “When you spend a lot of time with a horse, you develop a special relationship with them. You learn together, you trust your horse, and your horse trusts you. When you have that partnership, your life is enriched and you can do some incredible things,” Kassie says.
Now the head trainer at KYB Dressage in Bell, Kassie enjoys working with young horses and teaching their riders the skills needed to reach their highest potential. Kassie is readily available to help with HWH rescue horses. “Splitting my time between competition dressage, coaching fellow dressage enthusiasts, and working with the rescue horses makes me a very well-rounded horsewoman. I have to thank each of the horses here that have taught me. You truly can learn something new every day and that is an energizing feeling to wake up to every morning.”
Jan is a lifelong horsewoman who splits her time between her home in Michigan and the HWH Rescue here in Florida. Jan rides dressage and trains with HWH Director Yvonne Barteau. She is currently riding her mare Emmy at the Prix St George level. Jan has been with HWH from the very beginning and works year-round to help things run smoothly. In addition to wearing many hats for the organization, her primary roles are as administrator for the HWH Facebook page and Facebook groups. She writes much of the material that you read there and in our newsletter.
In addition to jumping in wherever help is needed, Jan is also the costume designer for Spirit of the Horse, the annual live Holiday event and fundraiser held to benefit Horses Without Humans. When he is in Florida, Jan’s husband Jim also joins in helping by completing various construction tasks, including much of the work on the new HWH obstacle course.
Janet Herzberg, Office Manager
“My love for horses extends back to my childhood. As a teenager, I was involved with a 4-H horse club and showed in western pleasure, western horsemanship, and western trail classes both locally and at the state fair level. While volunteering for a horse club in New York, I assisted with shows and rode in gymkhanas. My husband still remembers the time we went to a play day. I cantered up to him, then he had to jump up behind me and ride double back to the finish line! I don’t think he’s been on a horse since then!
Over the years I have owned nine horses and worked with four others. One of my biggest thrills was to train a colt born on our farm from groundwork through riding. Every horse has taught me many new things. Each horse is a unique individual, and they all have different personalities and unique needs, just like us.
Although I haven’t owned a horse for many years, I am enjoying getting to know the HWH horses, learning from the HWH staff and working with the dedicated HWH volunteers. It is a pleasure using my fundraising, program development and volunteer development skills to work for a cause that I heartily believe in.
Being at HWH is more fun than it is work. What could be better than being in beautiful surroundings, having horses all around you, having ongoing opportunities to learn horsemanship skills, and helping horses find wonderful new homes.
People say you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl. I believe the same applies to horses. You can take the girl away from the horse, but you can’t take the love of horses away from the girl! It lasts a lifetime!”
Barry is a graduate of Trine University in Indiana with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was in sales for a heavy equipment company for 16 years, spent 20 years as on-site resident engineer for the construction of environmental projects and 9 years as an environmental engineer with the state of North Carolina. Barry will tell you up front that while he loves horses, he’s not an accomplished rider like his wife. He works with HWH as handyman and webmaster.