Praising the Horsey Parents
This weekend my 12-year-old daughter, Sophia, will ride in her first hunter pace. Watching her prepare reminds me of when I was her age, getting ready for my first show. I was a bundle of nerves, but so excited to be doing what I loved. It also reminds me of how my parents—nonhorsepeople—were right there to support me through every phase of my horse-crazy childhood. Now I get to foster that love and passion in Sophia and play the role of the parent—only being a horseperson seems to make it that much more special.
This month we focus on the young riders in our sport and their pursuit to become better riders and horsepeople. We also honor the parents behind the kids who ride. DT’s managing editor, Lindsay Paulsen, offers a heartfelt thanks to her parents and grandparents (all nonhorsepeople) for their never-ending support of her pursuit of dressage. She shares with us her father’s surprising appreciation of the sport after she found him engrossed in watching an Introductory Level dressage test. She found her father’s appreciation of dressage—“in its most basic form, without any of the glamour and excitement of the advanced movements”—something very special. You can read “A Daughter’s Gratitude” on p. 20. We also highlight the trainers behind the kids in this issue. The first is FEI-level competitor and trainer Katie Poag who helps students earn their USDF medal scores while refining their skills in dressage. In this article (p. 30), we read about two of Poag’s students—17-year-old Juliette Cain and 15-year-old Lily Darwin—who both recently earned their bronze medals. We learn of the girls’ commitment and what each of them must do to reach the goals they set for themselves.
The other FEI trainer we hear from is Sarah Lockman, a “B” Pony Club graduate who is giving back to Pony Club in Southern California. Recently, Lockman taught a free dressage clinic to 16 young riders, in which she demonstrated the discipline’s broad applicability. “I was a total Pony Club nerd,” she said. “I remember studying for hours every night. I took it all to heart and I think that the things I learned are one of the reasons I’ve become successful.” Lockman talks about the different riders she worked with and what they focused on to help them be successful (p. 38).
There’s much more this month, including our “Tips” article that focuses on how to get your horse in front of your leg (p. 26) and a heartwarming story on p. 46 about the Square Peg Foundation, a nonprofit adaptive-riding facility and Thoroughbred rescue that works with autistic children and second-chance horses. Whether you’re a young rider pursuing your passion or a parent (horsey or not) supporting your young rider, we hope you find this issue inspiring.
Until next time,