Two Hearts

#TwoHearts. Horse and rider are a team unlike any other. The International Equestrian Federation came up with #TwoHearts to highlight the unique relationship between horse and rider to connect with a larger audience during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

#TwoHearts. Equestrian is a team sport in more way than one. You and your horse are team, and then you and your teammates are a team as well. Teamwork is something that can only be achieved when there is respect and understanding, which comes with patience and hard work.

In New Jersey at Knightsbridge I had the opportunity to ride a lot of different types of horses from hot headed mares to dead in their side geldings who literally did not want to move no matter what you did. I’ve been on horses that bucked me off, spun me off and just took off with me, so basically what I’m saying is I’ve had a very diverse set of experiences with horses. However, I had this one horse that I recently spent the majority of my time riding, the one that I fell in love with a bit more than the others, her name is Darla. I spent the last 6 months with Darla forming a bond.

I know there’s a lot of people out there who are wondering how it’s possible to get an animal that weighs like 1200 pounds to do what we want. Well the truth is the bond that we form with the horses is the key. Darla knew my footsteps coming down the barn aisle and she would stick her head out to say hi, I knew that when she cocked her head to the right side it meant she was itchy and wanted a scratch behind her ears. The relationship that I formed with Darla is like the one that a dog and their owner form. Both form out of trust and love. Horses and their riders are like those best friends that can finish each other’s sentences. That’s how well we get to know our horses and that’s how we get 1200 pound animals to jump over poles and logs and over water because of the trust that we have.

For the PSU riding team we don’t have just one horse to form a bond with instead we have to be able to read the language of the horse that we are riding for that day, since every week we ride a different horse which presents a different and new challenge. We do this because as part of the IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) we draw horses at horse shows and show them without any prior experience on them. Since with this we don’t have the time to create a long lasting bond, we have feel what he needs so that we can work together,  like if she or he doesn’t like to much pressure on their mouth or if they are lazy and need a strong leg.

Rider and Horse are a team just like any other team in sports and they have to work together to achieve their goals the only difference is that your teammate happens to be a 1200 pound horse with a mind of their own. The key just like other it is with other teams is trust.   



Ride, Eat, Sleep, Repeat

Hey, guys! What’s going on hope your first couple weeks of college have been amazing! Welcome to my blog PSU Equestrian, where you’ll get to see why us crazy horse girls choose to spend the majority of our time not shopping or studying for school but with our four legged best friends in and outside the ring, riding and taking care of them! Horseback riding has been a passion of mine since I was 7 years old and it’s one I want everyone else around me to understand as well which is why I’m writing this blog. I want to give you guys a glimpse into the horse world, what it means to me and the impact it’s had.

So for my first blog post, I thought it’d be appropriate to start at the beginning of where my passion began. I want to bring you all to the place that got me through high school, the place where I met the people who I know are going to be in my life forever. This place is Knightsbridge Farm. I spent more time at the barn than in my own house during high school, I saw my trainer and barn friends more than I saw my parents or school friends. Now most people would probably think this is crazy but for us barn girls it’s just the way life is and I for one couldn’t be more grateful.

It was a cold and gross winter when I really learned the value of hard work. I started riding a new horse Luna and man was it hard, in the beginning, we couldn’t seem to find a connection. I spent every day that winter just figuring out how to get along with this horse, some days she would take off with me, other days she would spin and buck me off depending on the mood she was in and how I had pissed her off. Eventually, we learned to work together and created a symbiotic relationship, one where both of us were happy we could do anything my trainer asked flawlessly. It may have taken a while and lot of hard work but I  finally built a healthy and strong relationship with Luna.

Practice makes perfect

As cliche as it sounds, it’s true. I would not be the person or the rider I am today without the hard work, dedication, and perseverance that Luna taught me.

Horses always have something to teach you, and the ability to help you grow if you are willing to listen. I think that’s part of the reason I love being around horses and why I choose to dedicate so much of my time to the equine world, it’s because they make me a better person not just in the ring but outside of it as well. I can’t wait to continue my journey with horses on the Penn State Equestrian Team and see where it leads me! Ride on State!