Horse(s): Jacoba

Discipline: Dressage

Profile: My parents had horses before I was born so they had me up with them before I could walk. I learned to ride matching father and son buckskin quarter horses Western. Most of my weekends were spent trail riding with Dad and his friends through the Dundas conservation area. Dad put me in English lessons when I was 5 so I could get a better seat. I started jumping very quickly and rode at Westover until I was 11. Due to divorce, did not ride in lessons again until I was 16 but, I still rode my Dad’s 2 horses regularly through that time. I have ridden, Western, Hunter, Jumper, working cow horse (this was practical use at a feedlot. I had to train the new horses how to properly herd and separate cows), 5 gaited Tennessee walking horse for a few months to get him back into the show ring, and finally dressage.

Favourite thing about riding: this is kind of two fold. The first is the immense bond you have with your horse and the horses you work with. They know the sound of your voice and how you always know where the itchy spot is. They make you feel better when you are sad, and frustrate you to no end when you need to get knocked down the humble tree a few limbs. The second answer is the people. Horse people are very intense when it comes to their sport. We speak in a language that may as well not be English, and non horse people have a short attention span about hearing it. We all bond over our joint love for the sport and our animals in a way that is not able to be done in many other sports. We have to trust not only our four legged partner with our life but the friends around us. We all take care of each other and look out for each other.

Goals: be able to competently ride through a Grand Prix dressage test at some point in my lifetime. Right now, I would really like to get the tepis and the pirouettes down enough to get through a confident Fourth Level test within the next year. If my mare will let us go further, then yay. Plus get my Hunter Jumper seat back. My knees do not like short stirrups so this will take time. But hoping to show a big grey that belongs to a friend in the coming seasons both over fences and in the dressage ring.