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I am a Hunter/Jumper. The freedom I feel going around a course is insurmountable. I enjoy the trust and partnership that exists between my mount and me and the thrill and satisfaction of making a winning round.

Consistency is the most important thing with any horse and when I give my all I get it right back. My trainer Sandrine and I got two off the track thoroughbreds: Max and Keeper. Keeper is a beautiful chestnut gelding and a half-brother to the champion Thoroughbred, California Chrome. Max is a gorgeous rose dapple grey. When we saw these two four-year olds on the track they were high and agitated but once we brought them to our barn they quieted immediately. I have never seen such level-headed, smart and willing horses. These boys are incredible. Originally, we were only going to get one OTTB, but they were so amazing we had to take them both. They have been coming along beautifully and are already doing small jumps. Sandrine was riding Keeper with both her arms out to her sides at the canter. She and Keeper seemed to be flying. I couldn't believe that with only three weeks off the track he could canter without Sandrine holding onto the reins. THAT is trust between a horse and a human. They trust us and look to us for security and strength. To them we are their alpha-mares. I love that! When Max is scared he literally looks at you for your reassurance that he will be okay.

My goal in life is to bring the Thoroughbred back to show jumping. These horses dominated the scene in the ‘70's and now you can't find one in that level of competition. These horses, once you win their trust, will do anything for you. That is what we people need to be to reminding of: that it doesn't have to be about the import or the warmblood. Not to say they aren't great horses. But OTTB's are going to slaughter every day if they under-perform at the race track and “prove use- less” to their owners. OTTB’s thrive in second careers and should not be overlooked as hunter/ jumpers, dressage horses or even trail horses. Ever. I would love to take a thoroughbred into the Grand Prix. Sandrine is on her way with her OTTB John Doe.

Then there are the issues surrounding the wild mustangs: helicopter rounds-up, herd separation, babies dying from exhaustion or breaking their legs trying to keep up with their mothers. And now, the inhumane, barbaric sterilization of the wild mares. I honestly can't begin to talk about this without becoming very upset. These majestic animals are being slaughtered by the people who promised to protect our land and natural resources. Its treason. I went to the Grand Canyon once, we got there too late to hike down so we decided to sleep in the car at the top of the mountain. When I woke up at dawn and looked out the car window I couldn't speak. About twenty wild hors- es were walking around grazing, checking out the car. The image of wild horses roaming the wild west as the sun came up was breathtaking: a vision of an American Icon. When I learned of the round ups my first thought was that is un-American. These horses are our history, our legacy and now they are being “managed” to extinction.. I think every equestrian, no matter the discipline, has a duty to act and join the good fight to protect our wild ones on the range.

I took a break from riding when I was about 16. I wanted to be a teenager. To date, it is my big- gest regret. After my mother passed away last year I had a new way of looking at our time here on earth and to what truly matters in a person’s life. In my life. I suddenly got the impulse to visit my old horse. It was a bittersweet reunion. I have been in the saddle ever since. Riding is what I love, what I do and what I want to do for the rest of my life. It makes me happy and that is more than I could ever ask for. I thank my mom for bringing me back to the horses, everyday.

"I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted." ~ Unknown.

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