Photos and article by Kelli Windsor
If you have a dream, or even just the idea of a dream, put it out there and great things can happen. I have been talking about riding in Europe again, specifically Germany, for a couple of years. About a month ago, the perfect opportunity came along! I am incredibly excited and grateful to say I am starting a new adventure this week! My name is Kelli Windsor, and I grew up in Orange County.
I started my career as a trainer about 15 years ago and I have been fortunate to work in several amazing barns. I have competed in Jumpers, Hunters, Dressage, and Eventing. I have always loved teaching young riders, bringing along young horses and ponies, and of course, showing.
This last year had me training a wonderful family in Wyoming. Because of this, I spent the entire Thermal 2015 circuit, and two weeks at the Oaks, working with the incredible Traci and Carleton Brooks of Balmoral. I learned so much working with them, got to work with some great people and ride a lot of fun horses. One of my favorite parts about shows like that is the friendships you make, the support of the horse world, and watching world class horses compete. What an experience!
Balmoral Farm at HITS Thermal.
Now I have been recommended for a position working for an American trainer in Germany: a sale barn owned by Karla Rothmann in a beautiful, rural area, right outside Cologne. She has sold talented competition horses to trainers all over the U.S. and other countries, to many well respected barns. Working with her, and a select group of horses as a groom and rider, is a dream come true!
Some of Kelli’s charges at Balmoral at HITS Thermal 2015.
On top of all of this opportunity, I am going to be flying over on a horse flight! The knowledge and experience I will gain from traveling with these horses will be so valuable. A future goal of mine is to be an international Grand Prix rider, and this will be an important piece of the big puzzle.
One of the hardest parts will be leaving my horse behind. I’m currently marketing her for sale and it’s sad to think she might not be here when I get back. I have been working with her for two years now. I’ve taken her from scratch to 1.15M jumpers. I’m incredibly proud of her, and wish I could just take her with me!
I am lucky to have very supportive parents, family, and friends who believe in my goals. As exciting as this is for me, it’s difficult to leave them behind as well, and moving to a country you’ve never been to can be a little daunting!
However, I have such an amazing feeling about this, and look forward to keeping you all updated! I will be keeping an eye on all the goings on in the horse show world here while I am gone, thanks to Facebook and of course, TPH! Lots of love, Kelli.