Aug 01, 2020

USEA Horse of the Month: Have A Little Faith

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Arguably one of the cutest national leaderboards the USEA has to offer is the Smartpak USEA Pony of the Year leaderboard. Since it’s more than halfway through the year, this month the USEA selected the pony sitting on top of that leaderboard, Have A Little Faith, as the USEA Horse (Pony) of the Month! Standing at 14.1 hands, Have A Little Faith is an 18-year-old chestnut mare ridden by Diane Smith and owned by Sarah Lesser.

The small but mighty mare has earned 18 USEA points thus far in 2020. In the four events that Have A Little Faith has competed in this year, she has never finished outside of the top five. She has finished second in the Open Beginner Novice with rider Diane Smith in the last three events – the Poplar Place July Horse Trials, the Chattahoochee Hills June Horse Trials, and the Chattahoochee Hills February Horse Trials.

KTB Creative Group Photo.

Learn more about the peppermint loving, clever, cheeky pony from her longtime rider, Diane Smith.

  • Barn name?

“Have A Little Faith is owned by the Lesser family - Jan, Rob, and Sarah - who so graciously allow me to train and compete this mare for over the past five years. She goes by ‘Faith’ in the barn and has numerous ‘pet’ names on any given day.”

  • Favorite treat?

“Her favorite treat is definitely peppermints and she will smile with appreciation for them all day long.”

  • Favorite phase in eventing?

“Her favorite phase in eventing is probably cross-country, whereas mine is dressage!”

  • Personality traits?

“She is an extreme extrovert, clever, cheeky, and super sweet. She will flawlessly navigate all three phases in eventing for me one day and the next day [she will] be a perfect ‘adult’ allowing the babies we train to pony behind her. Such an amazing breed.”

  • Dislikes?

“The only thing that I know of that Faith does not like is to be dewormed. For such a 'small girl' she evades it like the plague!”

  • Anything else you’d like to add?

“She has been and continues to be such an amazing team member in our string. Always willing to try a little more and do a little more with me. We are heading to the AEC this August for the second year in a row and so looking forward to it!”

Have A Little Faith and Diane Smith. Beady Smith Photo.

Miss any of the previous 2020 horses of the month? Find out about the USEA January Horse of the Month, USEA February Horse of the Month, USEA March Horse of the Month, USEA April Horse of the Month, USEA May Horse of the Month, USEA June Horse of the Month, and USEA July Horse of the Month.

About the USEA Horse of the Month

The USEA is recognizing an event horse each month on the USEA website and social media. The USEA Horse of the Month is determined based on performance and event results and announced at the beginning of every month. The August Horse of the Month was determined by which pony was sitting on top of the Smartpak USEA Pony of the Year leaderboard.

The USEA would like to thank Smartpak, the Title Sponsor of the USEA Pony of the Year leaderboard.

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I’m not one for the spotlight. As the voice of the Association, you don’t need to know my personal views, political, eventing, or otherwise. So despite my byline appearing on thousands of articles on the USEA website and magazine, this is probably only the second time I’m writing about myself (the first was about my love for lessons, and reading it now makes me laugh as I am still 100% addicted). But as I am now just a USEA member I thought I would share a bit of my journey to add to our member spotlight series, Now on Course.

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