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We All Have a Dream
We All Have a Dream
On January 27, 2019, I decided I wanted to take on my first dressage tests at forty-five years old in the first series of the STRIDE shows. The weather conditions were horrible; it was raining and very cold. I had a choice to not start this journey due to weather conditions, but we rode those tests we set out to ride.
After that moment, you realize that you are determined.
March came around pretty quickly, and I wanted to improve my scores. We practiced and practiced. We rode in March for STRIDE and we did better.
I came home to Georgia and decided we needed more training in this discipline. GB Kapriel and I started a weekly journey to Tallahassee Fl. from Sparks, Ga., about an hour and half trip one way. We continued weekly to improve.
Over the summer of 2019, I was told I had seven herniated disks in my spine and I could not ride. All this hard work I started, I could not believe my ears when the surgeon said I would need three back surgeries, nerve ablation and so much more to repair what had been done over the years.
I took the bull by the horn like most things I do. Surgery was scheduled around our show schedule. When I went into surgery, the doctor said he would not do my neck and back that close together. I did not have sixteen weeks, I had eight exactly. The worst was the lumbar. He did the surgery and all went well.
Then a couple days later, acknowledging my persistence, he decided to do my neck. Yeah, I won that battle.
Eight weeks and we're back in the saddle.
We had two STRIDE shows in October to still ride. We did a show, the day after I was released to ride in Tallahassee, FL., and two shows in Perry, GA back to back in early October. We rode both shows for STRIDE in October. We rode one day at STRIDE and did pretty well.
Remember it had been a lot of months in between the first series and now, a lot of training and riding before surgeries, and eight weeks of no riding.
I had help on the farm, and kept Kapriel in shape by doing 20 meter circles with a training cart. My friend Courtney Buckner came as much as possible to help me. She taught herself to drive.
Then on Sunday, the last show of the year for STRIDE, it happened. Courtney was taking care of the farm. That morning early she got a call. When I started this journey we had a horse trainer. Now she would be my judge.
GB Kapriel and I had started a new journey with a horse and rider combo trainer a little closer and more manageable for us. I was going to scratch my classes due to nerves; instead, I rode them. My former trainer judged me the same, like I had been judged by many. That day turned into another great moment in my time at STRIDE that I will never forget. The comments left by Paulette Stoudt made my year for 2019. I had improved, even in her eyes. We had improved from scores of, 59.000% and lower, to 69.000% and higher.
GB Kapriel is a beautiful Gypsy Horse; he has a story like many horses do. He is a six year old gelding. We are going to continue our journey together with STRIDE, looking forward to doing all kinds of things offered. Dressage cones are in our future. We have fun with the organization, we enjoy the people. It is a lot of fun showing at STRIDE.
The Florida Horse Park is a nice place to enjoy your equestrian friend. After shows at STRIDE you have areas of beautiful scenery to ride. The park is quiet and relaxing after all shows are done for the day. Wonderful memories made with great people. A journey that is unforgettable. It all began at STRIDE, my dream, our journey, our success.
Bluewater Horse Ranch