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Changing Careers By Lee Fiore

People rode all disciplines at my barn – hunters, jumpers, dressage and occasionally western. For 30 years I ran a boarding and training facility with 20 stalls, and I witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly. It goes with the territory. Looking back, it was hard work, but I made some great friends and I’ll always cherish those years at the farm.

Over the years I observed several unhappy horses in unsuitable disciplines or with unsuitable owners. Knowing when to consid- er changing the division or even the entire discipline that we have chosen for our equine partner can be difficult. I know this first hand, since my last two sport horses landed in careers not initially intended.

In 1992 I found my “horse of a lifetime,” a huge American Warmblood mare, standing 17.2, a big-boned Percheron cross. Her name was Glorious, and she wasn’t going to win a beauty contest, but in every other way, her name was befit- ting. I fell in love with this energetic yet gentle giant the minute I sat on her. She was the most for- ward, light off the leg, easy to sit, willing to

I was soon faced with a decision I had never consid- ered. Should I continue in dressage or stick with my original plan of heading into the jumper ring with Glorious? This was a difficult crossroad, since I had been riding, training and teaching in hunter/jumpers for 20 years, and this was the sport I knew which gave me the bulk of my income. Then I learned that jumping Glorious was like the proverbial ele- phant when faced by a mouse! So the decision became obvious; we were both hooked on dressage and I would have to leave jumping to a different horse.

Lee performs a shoulder-in with her mare Glorious.

please, and workaholic horse that I ever rode. I bought her to compete in jumpers, or so I thought at the time. I soon learned at age four that her knees were not yet closed so I temporarily delayed any jumping work, and I focused on flatwork. She did not look or move like a hunter, so for the first time I dabbled in dressage with a local trainer, not knowing how well we would do. Surprisingly we scored very high at local dressage shows.


Glorious had all of the tal- ent and attitude to march right up the levels to FEI, but sadly as we continued our journey, Glorious developed DJD in her hocks. This meant that at some point, Glorious would not get to culmi- nate her career as an FEI horse. In the event that her hocks were no longer serviceably sound, I could always breed her. Dress- age for Glorious and I was a journey I’ll never forget; it turned out to be the perfect career for her as well as for me! She and I won numerous awards, and I earned my USDF Bronze medal. I knew that

eventually she would need to retire from dressage and that deep down every day was a blessing.

I was certain that Glorious would produce a wonderful dressage prospect when crossed with the right stal- lion. So I chose West Coast, a handsome Hanoverian stallion, and together they produced a pretty gray filly with a very laid back temperament. I named her Flirtatious, and I set my sights on cruising up the levels Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76
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