I have been very lucky to have had some very special horses and inspirational people in my life. Although I only started competing competitively on the Trillium circuit a few years ago, all of the riding experiences I have had in my life have made me the rider and the person I am today.
Having been around horses since I was a young child, taking weekly lessons, and going to riding camps all summer, the horse that started my dedicated equestrian obsession was a little paint horse named Stryder.
Stryder was the first horse that I didn’t have to share with a barn of other lesson kids, and his knowledgeable owner drilled into me her experience in tack, grooming, riding, common sense, and overall horse care and safety. I competed in my first couple years of horse showing with this experienced little fella, and gained oodles of confidence in the show ring – he just knew his job and was a patient teacher (he was named Flying Colours after all!).
Then came along Tica, a western pleasure trained AQHA. Tica was owned by the sister of Stryder’s owner and moved to the same barn as us about a year into my time with Stryder. She was a typical chestnut mare who was a very sensitive ride due to an aggressive rider in her past, and so this was a new type of ride for me. I took lessons on her from a well known Western Pleasure trainer, and was introduced to an entirely different type of riding. Soon I was a western pleasure, show jumper, cow cutting, hunter princess!
When Stryder and Tica were moved to a private barn without an indoor arena I decided it was time to move on to the next step in my riding career. I wanted to show hunters on the Trillium Circuit!
By chance, I ended up part boarding another chestnut mare named Sunny at an Equestrian Facility that competed on the Central West Trillium Circuit. I soon discovered that this barn actually produced very competitive horse and rider combinations on the most competitive zone on the Trillium Circuit, who knew! Then the next realization was hey, I’m a million years behind most of these girls, but what ever, off to the horse show on my spastic eventer thoroughbred turned jumper turned.. hunter? Needless to say, our year was not full of ribbons and medals, but of sliding stops and steeple chases. To sum it all up, it was the summer of Sunny Daze of Romance.
Next came the best year of my life – I was leasing an Arabian x Thoroughbred named Simba. Finally, I had a horse ALL to myself again! Between the time of Septembers 2013 to 2014 I gained the most knowledge and experience in my riding career to date. He took me confidently into the 2’9 hunters, took home champion at our first show out, had a few lessons in riding through the spook and just FINISH THE COURSE, then mellowed out again for the remainder of our season together with competitive year end placings. I owe this horse so much and he will forever hold a huge space in my heart.