My Riding Career Resumed

IMG950447I once was an AQHA all-around trainer. That seems like a lifetime ago. I won’t say what is right or wrong, but that world had turned out not to be the best fit for me. I decided to make the jump over to dressage, leaving a successful career behind with a new educational journey to begin.

1999 was my last year as an AQHA trainer. My clients followed me into this wonderful world of riding as an art. As I worked my way up the levels, eventually specializing in the development of the young dressage horse, I found my 5 foot tall body riding many 17 plus hand horses. For a lot of years, I rode 10 to 12 horses a day. Nothing new, I rode that many quarter horses every day in my former life, but something was different. My hips and back began to really hurt. I pushed through it, even got used to it.

In 2006, life led me to a move from NJ to southern NM. For the first time in more years than I want to admit to, I took a break from riding. About two and a half years of riding now and then. In 2008, another life change, back to work I went. I started back with no pain. Pretty soon I was riding quite a few big, big moving horses again. I wasn’t used to the pain anymore, the time without it had been wonderful. It was back and getting worse every day. I decided to mostly teach, I did ride Arabians, Quarter Horses, the more western type breeds. The pain improved. I missed showing, so I started riding the big guys again. As a professional, a super moving horse is a must. Pain again.

So that was it, my dressage career was over. I was crushed. Just about then, I read about western dressage. Our local GMO was offering classes at their schooling shows. I just had to try this new thing out… and I loved it!

I’m loving the whole experience and so are so many of my clients who are able to use the breeds they can ride to learn riding as an art. Right now I have a AQHA mare, Crystaline Belle, that I am showing at 3rd Level western dressage! Life is good!

Submitted by Sandy Perez on 11/19/2014

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