Don’t tell young dressage rider/HN’s newest columnist Mary Coleman that she can’t do something, unless you want to see her contrary side.
I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me that I can’t do something, it tends to make me pretty determined to prove them wrong.
Missy has always kind of been my “lets-prove-them-wrong” horse. Her originals owners bought her from an auctions with a draft horse mare when she was two. The woman that I was working for at the time bought her when she was five to use for trail rides. She was skinny and COVERED in rainrot (seriously, I’ve never seen such a bad case in my entire life).
By the time we got her healthy, we figured out that she didn’t really have any training…but she was quiet and liked to follow other horses so she immediately went into the program as a trail horse. I was 12 at the time and eventually I had the chance to ride her and quickly fell in love.
Pretty soon I was riding her all the time…and let’s just say we were a hot mess! There are definitely some pretty scary pictures of us existing out there, but neither of us knew any better and neither of us scared what the rest of the world thought.
The suddenly, Missy was my horse and I decided that I loved dressage. Seriously though, what 15 year old loves dressage? But I decided that it didn’t matter if it took me the next ten years, I would ride Missy in an actual dressage test.
It didn’t take me ten years…just 2.5, but finally we’re accomplishing our goal. It hasn’t exactly been a smooth ride, and 90% of the time I didn’t have a trainer (actually, until recently I didn’t have a trainer. People, get a trainer, it makes things sooooooo much easier), but we’ve had a lot of fun getting to this point. And we are far from done. The great thing about dressage (and even just horses in general) is that there is ALWAYS something to learn.
In a sport full of bay warmbloods, you’ll be able to pick us out from a mile way (if not by my clumsy riding, then definitely her pinto coat). And maybe we won’t make it past Training Level (though I secretly hope we’ll get a little farther), but we will have had a lot of fun getting to that point! A lot of people said that Missy and I would never get anywhere…to each and every single one of them: Watch. Us. Fly.
About the Author: Mary Coleman is a young equestrian with a passion for for dressage. Her partner in crime is a 9-year-old Paint mare named “Missy.” She writes her own blog about the triumphs and trials of being young, horse-crazy, and having to balance both high school and working to pay for her passion at www.simplyhorse-crazy.