The Worth The Trust Scholarship is important to me so that I can continue to follow my lifelong dream of becoming a good horseperson. Owning, training, and eventing has been my dream since I was a child. At that time, I saved every Christmas and birthday gift and all my babysitting money to take riding lessons at a local eventing barn in central New Jersey. I worked for lessons and tried to pick up any ride I could. I had a long hiatus from riding through college, graduate school, and my early career. Thirteen years ago, I was finally in a place in my life where I could include horses, so I launched in.
I have been an assistant research scientist at the University of Wyoming for 20 years. Since then I have seen the funding for biomedical research stagnate and my salary has actually decreased. I have recently been laid off due to a decrease in funding for the project on which I was working. I am searching for another job, in science as well as other areas, but I doubt my income will be equal to my last position. Due to my decreasing income, I have found eventing become more and more difficult for me.
On a limited budget, I have found that buying young or green horses and training them to be more financially feasible than purchasing trained horses. In addition, I think it is more rewarding to ride a horse that I have trained. I am currently eventing on a horse I have owned since he left his mother. I took lessons through each stage of his training, but he has never been trained by a professional.
We have competed successfully through Preliminary, but he is a bit small, under 15 hands high, and has found Training level to be a bit more comfortable for now.
In October 2012, I bought a five-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred and took him Beginner Novice in June with only one rail in jump penalties. His exuberant playing led to a tendon injury, and I am currently rehabilitating him. I also have a two-year-old Arabian/Oldenburg who received a 78 percent in a Future Event Horse competition last year and promises to be a star. I have been lunging him and just started ground driving and sitting on his back.
I feel like it is very important to take consistent lessons to develop my skills and those of each of my horses. I would like to use the scholarship funds to take lessons locally and to attend clinics on the Colorado front range. My local instructor is Christian Eagles who has competed through the three-star level on her own horse, The Gingerbread Man. I also have access to instructors on the Colorado front range who are ICP Certified Instructors. If time permits, I would also like to get some training in some aspects of event organizing, such as course design.
My ultimate goals include developing my horses while improving my horsemanship skills. My ultimate goal would be for each of my young horses to compete successfully at the upper levels.
I feel the Worth The Trust scholarship is valuable to help amateur riders get the help they need and in encouraging volunteers in our sport. I am the dressage steward and on the organizing committee of the Windy Wyoming Horse Trials. We hold a recognized horse trials each year as well as a pair pace and several winter jumping and dressage schooling shows. I help with all aspects of the horse trials from painting cross-country jumps, moving show jumps, assembling and disassembling the dressage arena, mowing, providing hospitality baskets for our judges, and running dressage. Last year we held a show jumping series that was well attended by both local and Colorado riders of all levels. I help organize the schooling shows by reserving the facility, helping move and set up courses, preparing registration materials, getting volunteers, timing, and cleaning up the facility that night. The schooling dressage shows find me performing similar tasks as the jumping show but with a dressage arena and score sheets.
I think it is important for at least some of the members of event organizing committees to be active eventers. We are tuned in to the challenges and joys of eventing and know how to enhance our area’s events. For example, the Windy Wyoming Horse Trials is the only Area IX event offering Future Event Horse and Young Event Horse divisions. This scholarship helps active eventers and volunteers continue growing in eventing and organizing.