Each issue, MSEDA will highlight a member who is active in the organization to give other members a peek into their horse-loving lives. Interested in being featured? Email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Bluegrass native, Whitney Morris has grown up immersed in the equine world in Kentucky, having competed for years at some of the most-recognizable horse trials and events in the area. Training out of her family farm, Morris Farm Eventing, since 2008, she enjoys watching both horses and riders progress under her watchful eye. In addition to teaching her students the ins-and-outs of the competition world, she makes sure each student remembers why they ride—and how lucky they are to share their lives with the horses.
MSEDA: Where are you from?
Whitney Morris: Lexington, KY
MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
WM: When I was 5 years old.
MSEDA: What is your background in horses?
WM: When I was 5, I began riding at Windy Knoll with Jennifer Crossen
MSEDA: How long have you been competing?
WM: I competed in schooling shows when I was 6, did my first Antebellum Combined Test when I was 10 and my first horse trial when I was 12
MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?
WM: When I was 11
MSEDA: What horses do you own now?
WM: Right now I own five horses: Carry Me Home, the one I event; Bad Boy Rocket, my Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) Thoroughbred Makeover horse from this year; Believe In Me, my retired event horse; and Coffee Boy and Allan, both of which will hopefully both do the Makeover next year :)
MSEDA: How did you get your horses?
WM: They are all off-the-track Thoroughbreds.
MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
WM: Several years
MSEDA: What is your favorite event and why?
WM: I love Jumpstart and Team Challenge-- they are both always so fun and well run!
MSEDA: What level do you compete in?
WM: I currently compete in Novice with Carry Me Home
MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?
MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals?
WM: I don't actually have any rituals, but I do always take time to be alone with my horse and have a nice, relaxing walk around before we start each phase.
MSEDA: What do you do full-time?
WM: I run a boarding and training barn and love it!
MSEDA: How long have you owned your farm and been on your own?
WM: My parents bought our farm when I was 12 and I officially made it a business in 2008.
MSEDA: What do you most enjoy about training horses?
WM: Their different personalities and finding out what works for each individual horse.
MSEDA: What do you enjoy most of all the roles you play at your farm?
WM: I love riding and teaching, and seeing the progress that both the horses and riders make.
MSEDA: How did you get into this job?
WM: This is something I've wanted to do my whole life.
MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands?
WM: Excel Equine feed, Antares Tack and Halo HA Liquid keep our horses looking and going great!
MSEDA: What are your horse's quirks?
WM: Carry Me Home has too many to list, lol! He is sensitive to everything and the spookiest horse I've ever had, but loves to perform, thank goodness!
MSEDA: What is your goal this year?
WM: I'd love to get my Bronze medal in dressage. I’ve always wanted to, but have never really committed to doing it.
MSEDA: Who do you ride with?
WM: Susan Beebee and Linda Strine.
MSEDA: What is your favorite clinic you have taken part in?
WM: KDA was holding a Susan Beebee clinic and reached out to see if they could have it at my place--I had a blast. That clinic led to her coming up fairly regularly to teach for the last few years.
MSEDA: What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your horse?
WM: Carry Me Home was extremely challenging because of all of his quirks, so figuring out his diet so that he would hold weight and be able to focus was quite a challenge--but once we figured him out, he has been brilliant.
MSEDA: Describe your horse in 10 words.
WM: Athletic, graceful, anxious, spooky, entertaining, frustrating, willing and worth it all :)
MSEAD: What is your favorite memory?
WM: Winning the N3D with Carry Me Home
MSEDA: What other animals do you own?
WM: I have four dogs and three barn cats.
MSEDA: Is there anything unusual about your horses now?
WM: Nothing really unusual, they are all quite different and keep me on my toes!
MSEDA: What is one piece of advice you wish you had when you were younger?
WM: All too often I think we get caught up in the work and the journey. You have to remember to take a moment to breathe, reflect and enjoy it all, especially when you're lucky enough to have a life with horses!