Mid-South Eventing & Dressage Association

MSEDA Member Spotlight

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 redhorseenterprise@gmail.com.

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  • 01/27/2016 1:34 PM | Deleted user

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    MSEDA: Where are you from and what brought you to Kentucky?
    TS: I grew up in Delaware, but have lived in six different states. I moved to Louisville in 1990, when I was fortunate enough to be hired by UPS. I had been living in Nashville, flying for American Eagle. I was riding Hunter/Jumpers then, when I could. I rode with David Wright, and basically did any odd job to keep up with lessons, mainly weed eat and clip horses. David even let me buy a young horse, Kip, on a payment plan. I brought that horse with me to George and Leslie Governo's in Crestwood while in training to fly the DC 8 at UPS. I arrived with Kip, in a borrowed trailer, with my furniture!  

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding?

    TS: I started riding when I was 7 or 8. I was the typical horse-crazy kid. My parents did everything they could to support my addiction, including buying my first pony, Sage, when I was 10, and moving to a home within walking distance of the barn. I started competing at local shows and gymkhanas back then. I think the saddle cost more than the pony, but she was perfect to me!

    MSEDA: What does your horsey past include?
    TS: From 1990 to 2000, I rode jumpers. I had one special horse, Next Day Air (Scout), that gave me a bit of success after several years of not so much! We did the 4-foot Low Amateur jumpers for four or five years. It was fun because he was a Pinto and didn't look like the “typical” jumper at an A show, but he had a huge heart and great knees! And I was either foolish or fearless, so we made a great team.

    MSEDA: When did you begin to event? 
    TS: I switched to Eventing around 2001, after much friendly persuasion from Irene Lampton. Scout and I did our first event at the Training level with two golf carts of eventers following us to see if we survived. We didn't win much because he didn't care for water, and I didn't have a clue about dressage, but we did have fun. I must have joined MSEDA sometime around then. 

    MSEDA: What are your competition goals and with whom do you train? 
    TS: I always aspired to go Prelim, but I haven't made it yet, and I am starting over with a new, green horse again now. The highest level I have competed is Training, but most of my success has been at Novice, with another special horse, Night Flight (Bella). I got Bella in 2012, and after a couple of good shows, she got laminitis in the fall. She recovered completely, thanks to a great vet and farriers, and her patience standing in tubs of ice! In 2013, we had a year in the sun, culminating with a win at my favorite horse trial, Team Challenge. Bella was the MSEDA Eventing High Point Mare that year. Finally, I had a horse I could at least pretend I could do dressage on! Rachel Miles has helped a ton with that, and I train with her still.

    MSEDA: Who is your eventing partner and how did you get him? 
    TS: This year has been a tough one. I recently lost my eventing partner, Demply Town (D) to a joint infection. I had been riding D on and off for his owner, Shawna Dietrich, mostly fox hunting. When Bella retired, Shawna offered him to me. It was a match. We did our first recognized horse trial at May Daze going Beginner Novice, and somehow ended up with a win.

    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory of him? 
    TS: My favorite memory of him is the way he would nose my ponytail as I brought him in from the field.

    MSEDA: Who will you be competing this year and how did you get her? 
    TS: I am starting 2016 with a new horse, and new hopes--mostly centered on survival--as Ziva, my 6-year-old Connemara cross, acts like she is 3! I got her from Craig Markoff, after his wife and my friend passed away from cancer. Ziva has spent most of her life willfully enjoying her freedom in the field. We have somewhat mastered walk and trot! She has only dropped me once so far, and was kind enough not to squash me in the process.  

    MSEDA: What is your goal with her?
    TS: My goal is to have her ready to go Starter in the spring. Of course, we need to learn to jump, and trailer and go outside the ring.....My biggest obstacle will be taming her inner mare, and not injuring myself in the process!

    MSEDA: Describe Ziva in 10 words.

    TS: Green, mare, cute, Donkey, willful, frisky, wiggly, brave, challenging, promising. 

    MSEDA: What other animals do you own? 
    TS: I live on a farm in Simpsonville with seven retired horses, one exuberant Boxer name Molly, four cats and a Beta.

    MSEDA: Where do you ride? 
    TS: I ride with Rachel Miles at Blackhorse Stables. 

    MSEDA: What is your favorite thing about your barn?
    TS: I love that the barn atmosphere is relaxed and that the people are friendly. 

    MSEDA: What are your favorite brands? 
    TS: My favorite brand is my new riding coat from Winston Equestrian, and I can't live without Rambo blankets. 

    MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals? 
    TS: I used to wear a bracelet I won on Scout for a good luck charm until a fall smushed it, and I figured I had used up the luck. I also used to wear blue underwear, but that didn't work so well beneath white breeches!  Now I just tempt fate and hope for the best.

  • 01/26/2016 1:40 PM | Deleted user

    By Sarah E. Coleman

    Photo Credit to Lisa Dean

    MSEDA: When did you begin riding? 

    NWS: As early as I can remember! Most vividly before I could ride on my own, I remember renting ponies at Iroquois Park in Louisville, and my awesome stepdad running around leading me as I said “faster, faster!” 

    MSEDA: When did you get your first horse? 

    NWS: I was 12—he was a grade walking horse named Bo.


    MSEDA: What horses do you have? 

    NWS: I have Gold Style and Tucker, both retired Thoroughbreds that packed me through my hunter, eventing and dressage exploits. I also own Shiny Tiny Dancer, or Lucy, who my daughter, Lilli, and I share. She is a Red Dun Quarter Horse mare. (I have never owned a mare! Let alone a red-headed one!)


    MSEDA: How did you get your horses? 

    NWS: Gold Style was my engagement present from my husband when a prior horse was retiring; Tucker is Jess Woodall's old three-star horse. Ellen and Tony Huffman (who had already hooked me on reining), of Spinning Arrow Quarter Horses, owned Lucy—she was actually Tony’s personal reiner. They asked if I would show her in some hunt seat classes at a few open shows. I began showing her in both hunt and western, and the rest is history.


    MSEDA: What horses do you compete and what do you compete in?

    NWS: Lucy is the only horse competing these days; she shows in the NRHA, AQHA, and IBHA (buckskin) including reining, ranch riding, hunt seat discipline rail, western command, lead line with my daughter and western dressage....oh and costume with my daughter, too.


    MSEDA: How did you get involved in Western Dressage? 

    NWS: With the help of my family, I had just bought a reiner for my daughter and me to share. She is a nice mover and we were already doing patterns, and with my background in dressage and eventing, it was a great fit and filled my want to get back to those arenas. 


    MSEDA: How long have you been competing in Western Dressage? 

    NWS: We started in the fall of 2014 at KDA. 

    Photo Credit to Lisa Dean


    MSEDA: You took a roundabout way to get to this discipline, can you explain that path?

    NWS: I actually grew up riding western and continued in that discipline through college, riding on the bot the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky IHSA teams. When I got pregnant and couldn't jump anymore, a long-time friend and (now) trainer, Ellen Huffman, got me involved in reining. In 2014, with a newly purchased reiner and my event horses retired, I found western dressage an awesome opportunity to get back to the dressage ring while still earning NRHA, AQHA and IBHA points. The biggest smile I have ever had on my face in a dressage ring was the first time I jogged down centerline! 


    MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member? 

    NWS: I rejoined this year because of western dressage! Prior to that, I was a member while showing the Thoroughbreds, but took some time off as their careers ended and I became a mom. 


    MSEDA: Who do you ride with? 

    NWS: Spinning Arrow Quarter Horses, Rachel Miles and Cat Fortener for dressage. We also participated in our first western dressage clinic with Sharon Vander Ziel this summer. 


    MSEDA: Where do you ride?  

    NWS: Spinning Arrow in Shelbyville, Ky.


    MSEDA: What level do you compete? 

    NWS: Novice Amateur and Green Rider in reining; I have been finishing up at the Basic Level in western dressage with good scores in Tests 3 and 4. I hope to start working on Level 1 this coming spring.


    MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?

    NWS:  Any and All! But carrots and peppermints will get rid of her grouchy stall face.


    MSEDA: What is your favorite show? Why? 

    NWS: I love taking part in the Blackhorse Stables show series; it’s a great atmosphere and fun, relaxed time to work on your scores. Thanks to Rachel Miles and team for adding our classes! KDA has been a big supporter of western dressage at their shows as well. New this year, we also attended the IBHA World Show--this was an experience at the C Bar C Expo in Cloverdale, IN. We came home with our first buckle together, a Reserve World Championship in Hunt Seat Discipline Rail and a top five in Reining at the same show. 


    MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals? 

    NWS: Yes, visualizing my ride and talking through how I will ride each pattern (especially in reining).


    MSEDA: What do you do to support your horse habit? 

    NWS: I am the Veterinary Sales Manager for Standard Process, Inc. We make a line of vet-only supplements for horses, dogs and cats. I spend my time educating vets and sales reps on the role of nutrition in veterinary medicine while managing a team around the country who does the same. 


    MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands? 

    NWS: Horseware, Ariat, Woof wear, and so many more now that I’ve added western clothing and tack.... 


    MSEDA: What are your horse's quirks? 

    NWS: Her stall is her castle. Don't even walk by! She has a bubble that also exists in the warm-up pen--the "princess” as we call her prefers other horses to stay out of it. 


    MSEDA: What is your goal this year? 

    NWS: In reining, we have a lot of work still to do on our spin; it's a been a sticking point for the two of us this year that finally came together in the ring at the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) for what I think was our best yet (then I blew the rest of the patterns!). It was our last run of the year in reining, so I am itching to get back at it. In western dressage, I would like to move up and show at Level 1, as well as attempt to show Lucy in Hunter Hack and Western Riding again. 


    MSEDA: What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your horse? 

    NWS: Does being a red-headed mare count? Still over coming this one--I've never had a mare. Lucy is quite opinionated and sure of her status in life. I have to be proactive or she will make a fool of me; she has lots of buttons and will throw in extra changes at my slightest shift, give me extended trot when I ask for lope, OR just decide she's done and stop, not going forward despite how much I kick. In fact, when we see a pony not going forward we say, "Look it's pulling a Lucy!" And don't get me started on how I'm going to get those ears forward on our fast circles…


    MSEDA: Describe your horse in 10 words. 

    NWS: Princess, red head, pretty, forward, indolent, good mover, talented and above all, priceless (she wore purple flapping wings while taking care of my 3-year-old). She knows and changes demeanor with my Lilli, then runs hard for sliding stops for me--and she is only 7! She started packing Lilli at 2 years old, when Lucy was 6; she even wore antlers for her then! 


    MSEDA: What is your favorite memory? 

    NWS: The costume lead lines with my daughter, getting my first real slide in the Alltech Arena (where the big NRHA guys were showing) and now learning to make those slides bigger--but most of all showing what a well-trained Quarter Horse can do in multiple arenas, especially dressage, no matter what tack you ride in! 


    MSEDA: What other animals do you own? 

    NWS: We have a Havashu named Madison and two cats at home. We are also currently borrowing Booger the wonder pony for Lilli from our best friends. The Beckman's trusted us with his care and we are forever grateful that Lilli can be his kid for a while!

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Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

MSEDA’s mission is to promote and preserve the sports of Eventing and Dressage in the Mid-South area, by providing leadership and education to its members and the community at large. To further these goals, MSEDA will provide educational opportunities, fair and safe competitions, promote the welfare of the horse and rider and reward the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the FEI level.

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