My Equine Life Partner
By: Maggie Carty
It is safe to say that every horse or pony in the world deserves to be loved by a little girl at least once in his or her life. If they are extremely lucky, the little girl gets to grow with them and be their life partner.
I caught the “horse bug” when I was about three or four years old, had some lessons with a few different instructors, but eventually ended up where I started first. I rode the lesson horses but decided that I wanted to be serious about riding, so my trainer brought me my four-year-old little paint horse. She knew we would have a great partnership much before I did. Paige and I could not have met at a more perfect time. I was 12 and I had enough riding experience to “finish” her with the help of my trainer, but we were both “green” enough that we still had some adventures to learn from down the road. From middle school through college I had a best friend to help me along the way.
Paige and I moved from 18-inch cross-rails to reserve champion in 3’ equitation and schooling comfortably 3’6 courses. I am so thankful that I am able to share my life with someone who has been able to teach me so much.
In addition to riding Paige for much of the last ten years, I also am fortunate enough to ride within the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. Riding horses other than Paige has taught me to appreciate what I have in front of me, but has also helped me improve when we head into the show ring. I love riding IHSA because it gives me the opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals while still getting to show on a higher level. I love that the IHSA has an individual and team riding aspect. We work together to encourage each other toward team points but when it comes down to it, we are accountable for our own success in the ring.
Looking back on the past few years, I am so appreciative to have had Paige by my side. Paige has traveled with me to college, across the state, and into the woods, waited for me to heal from surgery, and has supported me for ten years. It’s safe to say she will follow me throughout the rest of my life. I can only hope that as we both get older we can still go on adventures and that another little girl can help love her too.
About our guest blogger:
Maggie Carty is a Senior at Seton Hill University, studying Communications. She is a member of their IHSA team, competing in the Intermediate division. Maggie is the Social Media Intern for The Carousel Horse.
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