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Petey enjoying some attention (and treats) in his temporary home
All photos by Lauren’s mom
The owner showed me the horse I would be riding
and left me to tack up. Nick was a large bay gelding
with a huge blaze, the frst thing I thought when I saw
him was, “wow, what a gorgeous horse, that couldn’t
possibly be the one I get to ride.” Nick is 14 years
old and has done many of the equitation medals.
Although he was a bit lazier than the horses I am used
to, he perked up once we started jumping.
Mattias Ekeroth taught the clinic and had a very
different approach than my trainers. He began by
letting us warm up our horses by ourselves, only giving
us guidance if we needed help. I was impressed with
the way he helped me learn to ride new horses, offering
different strategies to get the feel of them. The course
was quite tricky, there was a zig-zag of jumps down the
middle of the arena and we had to keep rolling back to
the jumps. It was a test of mental endurance that I had
diffculty with in the beginning. I love long approaches
to fences because they give me time to relax, but with
Nick’s help, I quickly fell into the rhythm. Being an
older horse, Nick was able to help me out a bit with
fnding the distances and getting the lead over jumps.
After untacking Nick, I rushed back out to Petey’s
feld and gave him a few more carrots. He looked
more sound than when I had
last seen him, so he is going to
come back to work soon. We
are going to continue trying to
sell him, and hopefully someone
close to home will want to buy
him. I would love to see him
compete with a new rider at the
Woodside horse shows. I have
learned so much from Petey,
like how to adjust his stride and
how to be a more confdent
rider. I can only hope that his
next owner will learn as much
from him as I did. Although I
will be sad to see Petey go, I
had such a blast riding Nick that
my mom decided to surprise
me by bringing him back to
the barn to lease. Nick has so
much experience that he can
teach me a whole new set of
tricks. Already, I am learning
to improve my more advanced
fatwork such as shoulder-ins
and turn on the haunches. I
can’t wait to learn all that I can
from Nick and hopefully even
show him a little bit, too!
Lauren Corey is a junior at
Woodside Priory School in
Portola Valley, California.  She
aspires to become a Big
Eq rider as well as possibly
compete in the Grand Prix
ring.  Lauren also spends much
of her time practicing piano, and
hopes to fnish the fnal level of
California Music Examinations
next spring.
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