Friday, June 01, 2007

Life Before College

Well where should I start? I have been riding for as long as I can remember. That's right I started in lead line and I actually did pretty well :-) Believe it or not I have been studying under the same trainer for my entire riding career. My back round is mostly in "balanced seat riding" so I have ridden many different disciplines but you would most likely see me in the hunter ring, especially when I was younger.

Unfortunately once I graduated from short stirrup I started to have a hard time in the show ring. As soon as I moved on from ponies I was riding and training green horses. So sadly to say my 18th birthday came a couple years too soon so I never made it to Maclay but I have to say that from training young horses and being a catch rider at all different levels I gained skills that will help me in the industry beyond Maclay, but it sure would have been fun to ride at that level. Now my future goal is to have one of my students ride at the Maclay level on a horse that I trained...that's a good alternative don't you think?

I was fortunate enough to find an extremely talented trainer that is confident enough to push me to ride with as many different instructors as possible. This allowed me to appreciate different outlooks and techniques and improve my riding. One of the ways I get the opportunity to ride with other trainers is riding in Equine expos. The first clinician I rode with was Don Stuart Jr. That was an amazing opportunity, I learned a lot in a very small amount of time. Ever since, I have ridden at Equine Affaire in Massachusetts, Horse World Expo in Maryland and Horse World Expo in Pennsylvania.

Looking back at my riding career I would have to say that I have been put into some fabulous situations. I have had the opportunity to ride a few very talented "made" horses but I have also had my share of horses that taught me how to ride a good buck. Even though it was very cool to ride the "made" horses I think I have learned the most from the horses that don't always do what they are told. If you are interested in riding at the intercollegiate level the best experience you can have is to ride as many different horses as you can get your hands on. I have always been told that the only way to learn how to train green horses is to experience it, the most important skill that I have gained is the beginning knowledge of training and showing young project horses.