Kinna's passion for animals pretty much began at birth. According to her parents, Kinna's first spoken word was “dog.” By the time she was six years old, Kinna's parents had taken on a family dog and allowed her to start horseback riding lessons. Her passions for animals continued through childhood, and included time with hamsters, goldfish, two ducks, as well as daily time in the local forests observing wild animals. When Kinna was twelve, her parents gave her the full responsibility of caring for her own horse. These early, personal experiences with animals and animal care led Kinna to cultivate a deep understanding and awe of her animal friends.
As an adult, Kinna continued her search for ways to understand and work with animals. For a few decades, she focused on dogs. Kinna helped rehabilitate “end of the line” dogs at a kill shelter and worked to find homes for them. She also spent five years learning about border collies and their passion for sheep. Kinna trained one of her own dogs for wilderness search and rescue, as well as for avalanche work. Her dogs have always been equal family members—taking raft trips in the Rocky Mountains, spending summers camping and hiking in the mountains, and learning that travelling is so much fun!
Kinna returned to a life with horses after meeting her husband Gene in 2011. While she had trained dogs successfully for more than twenty years with mostly positive methods, she realized quickly that she needed a much deeper understanding of training to reach and help the rescue horses under Gene's care. Both Kinna and Gene began an in-depth study of the philosophies and science of clicker training in late 2012. The horses responded to the positive, force-free methods and principles with true enthusiasm. Gene and Kinna were convinced! They decided that Kinna should be the first to continue on with the training. In July 2015, Kinna became a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP) under the guidance of faculty member Emma Parsons. Gene graduated as a KPA CTP in May 2016.
Kinna lives in the Adirondacks with her husband Gene, two border collies (Laddie and Britta), and two rescue horses (Benny and Flicka).