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- ABOUT US
My name is Missy Miller and I am 21 years old, and yes, I am completely distraught over my young rider years coming to a close. This will be my fourth time competing at NAJYRC. I participated in the 1* team competition with my late partner, Leprechauns Rowdy Boy, in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The star of my show is of course, my horse, TSF Amazing Grace. The type of Trakehner mare that gives them their reputation, completely opinionated and a stubbornness that can only be rivaled by her rider.
I thank the powers that be every day that she isn't chestnut, although at times she may as well be. We can make quite the team in the worst and best possible way depending on the moment. Anyone that saw us two years ago probably would not have bet a quarter on us to make it to the two star level, especially qualifying for NAJYRC, and smartly so. Seeing as her preferred "outline" was to be looking her rider in the eye, hollow back, while snorting at all things real and imaginary. Charming...
(Above Left: Missy and Gracie competing at The Fork Horse Trials in April. Leslie Mintz Photo.)
After an unsuccessful attempt at breeding my fire breathing dragon she was given a summer out to pasture before I brought her back out at novice that fall. From there we did a season of training in Florida and continued to work our way back up the levels.
It would be nice to be able to say that it has all been smooth sailing since then but with Gracie it is rarely that way. To be fair, everything was going great after our first three successful intermediates together. But then the day after Thanksgiving she gave me an early Christmas present when she decided she no longer wanted her left front leg and attempted to chop it off at the knee. Luckily she somehow managed to avoid any real, long term injuries and just required some time for her battle wound to heal before she was back in action. I will never accuse her of not being tough!
(Above Right: Gracie’s attempt at chopping her leg off last November. Photo courtesy of Missy Miller.)
When I started Gracie back in work after her summer in the field I had no clue exactly how far she would go or how much she would put up with. Gracie has shown me that she most definitely enjoys being in work over not having a job. There has never been a jump I've galloped up to on her that I haven't felt 100% confident about. Even though water jumps are not her favorite (I.E Amazing save on Amazing Grace) she still tries for me and that is all I can ask for. I can still hardly believe how far she has come in her strength and overall trust of people. Ask any vet that has ever tried to even pull coggins on her, Gracie's hit list is ever growing. I feel so fortunate to have been able to work through all of Gracie's special issues and have the partnership formed with her that I do. It is all thanks to amazing coaches and kind vets that possess the patience of saints and of course quite a bit of luck.
(Below Left: Missy’s amazing save aboard Gracie at the water complex at the Fork Horse Trials. Leslie Mintz Photo.)
Currently we are back in Ocala, Florida after qualifying for the Area 3 two-star team at the Bromont CCI2*. We are lucky enough to be staying at Sharon Will's lovely farm, "Relatively Stable" Gracie finally got to jump for the first time since Bromont the other day and I am very happy that I opted to jump in our cross country bit opposed to the regular snaffle. She is still feeling very fit from Bromont which makes me feel good and we are looking forward to a dressage school tomorrow and another gallop later in the week. I will be holding my breath every second of the way, but my excitement will be hard to contain. I, just like everyone else lucky enough to be heading to Kentucky in a couple weeks am looking forward to the opportunity to gallop across the same field that will be hosting the World Equestrian Games later this year! I promise to include more in my next blog but at the moment it is a lot of hacking, suppling and twenty meter circles.
Missy and Gracie