Thanksgiving is a time of thanks. Everyone knows how hard their trainers work, but sometimes we don’t always show our appreciation. The Plaid Horse interns want to take a moment to show our appreciation to our trainers.
Mackenzie Shuman and trainer Lorelei Cudney (Monument, Colorado):
The first time I rode with Lorelei Cudney, in a little horse camp that Hunter Run Farm held every year, I knew this is where I wanted to be. Thank you Lorelei for always making things light, while also pushing me further than ever. Thank you for keeping me in this sport, even when I was so down after a bad show or a tough spot, you helped me achieve things I never thought I would be able to do. Your ever so patient demeanor has given me confidence in and out of the arena. Thank you Lorelei for being such an amazing role model for me these past eight years I have been with you, I cannot wait for the next few to come!
With Love, Mackenzie Shuman
Estelle Kraft and trainer Leah von Henkle (Solana Beach, Florida):
‘Thank you,’ two words that I could not say to Leah von Henkle enough. Leah took me into her barn a little over a year ago as a working student. Thank you Leah for teaching me, believing in me, and pushing me to be the best rider I can be. I cannot wait for the next years to come with you because you are such an incredible inspiration and role model for me in my riding career. Thank you for being a support system for me not only in riding but, my personal life. Thank you for always making me laugh and letting me live in the dream that I do every day at von Henkle Equestrians.
Irene Powlick and trainer Michael Knight (Salt Lake City, Utah):
I have recently moved to Alta Hills Farm to train with Michael Knight this past spring. My first day visiting the barn and settling in my horses, I was invited to go down to Las Vegas to go to the FEI World Cup Finals with my new trainer and many of his clients my age. I was so welcomed by everyone, and it made the hard, emotional transition much easier. Mike worked hard to help me and my horses, and gave me plenty of opportunity to ride and show, even when I couldn’t on my own horses. He has helped me through the good and the bad, the hard times and bad.
I’m so thankful for everything Mike has done for me. From welcoming me in, working to fix the problems my horses and I had, and giving me more opportunity than I’d ever had before, he has been there every step of the way. Thanks to Mike I’ve been able to move up to the junior hunters, win big classes, and found the horse I’ve always needed. Even though I have only been with him for a short time, I have grown immensely in my riding and character by being able to work with him. So, thank you Mike for everything you have done for me, my family, and my horses! We are all so thankful and definitely wouldn’t be where we are without you!
Thanks, Irene Elise Powlick
Amy Coretz and trainer Libby Barrow (Tulsa, Oklahoma):
My name is Amy Coretz and I ride with Libby Barrow of Farewell Farm. I am so very thankful for all that she has taught me in and out of the ring. It has been such a privilege to grow up learning from such a great trainer
Olivia Stoeckel and Trainers Joanne Kurinsky and Katie Kunk (Chicago, Illinois):
I didn’t move to Littlewood Farm until my freshman year of high school. Looking back now during my senior year, I would have never seen myself riding at the level Joanne Kurinsky and Katie Kunk have brought me to. Before them, I had never been to a show, never knew how to take care of a horse, and lacked the passion that keeps me at the barn all day almost every day. My one day a week lesson half an hour from home turned into week long shows in different states because of them. When I first moved to Littlewood, Joanne embraced my sister and I with so much spunk and love that I will never forget her major part in changing me into a happy rider and person. Katie has taught me from the beginning how to ride and act with maturity thanks to her kindness and quiet and effective teaching skills.
Because of these two, I have learned the fundamentals of riding because of even the smallest jumps and the straightest tracks that Joanne has me follow, as well as the technicality and thought process that Katie has timelessly gone over with me. These two ladies are the only ones I would ever trust with caring for my horses and I am forever thankful even past this Thanksgiving to them for allowing me into their lives.
Thank you so much, Olivia
Emma Dubinsky and trainers Susan Baginski and Patti Boland (St. Louis, Missouri):
I am very thankful for both my trainers, Susan Baginski and Patti Boland, for everything they have done for me for the past 10 years. Without their guidance, I wouldn’t be as strong or confident a rider as I am today. You have helped me through some pretty low moments and I wouldn’t be where I am today without your support. Thank you for everything!
Dominique Gonzalez and trainers Terry Gonzalez and Don Stewart Stables (Ocala, Florida):
My name is Dominique Gonzalez and I train with Terry Gonzalez and Don Stewart Stables. I want to say a big thank you to my dad, Terry Gonzalez, for always believing in me at all times. Having a supportive family is a lot of pressure off my shoulders when I show constantly. Showing with DSS has been quite an experience, I can’t thank them enough for helping me through my first indoor season. I’m looking forward to a successful 2016 show season with these great people.
Jordan Cobb and trainer Donna Cheney (Austin, Texas):
I started riding with Step Aside Farm in May of last year. Donna has helped me improve my riding tremendously by making sure I not only understand what I should be doing, but also why I should be doing it. She has taught me to be a thoughtful horseman in and out of the saddle and to remember that we are always learning. Everyday she makes me want to go out and try to be a student of the sport and work in harmony with my horse while still being effective. The most important thing she has helped me realize is that there is a lesson in everything no matter how bad the situation may seem, and she can always make me laugh even when nothing is going right. I owe so much to her and can’t thank her enough.
Happy Thanksgiving from The Plaid Horse- we are so thankful for everyone who surrounds us in this sport!