By Emma Marlowe
When you ride on the circuit, and you’re a working student, everyone at the shows become your family. You depend on these people, need these people, and make friends for a lifetime. Whether it’s needing a friend to help you out because you forgot to do the add scratch by 5:00, or needing a ride in the morning to the show, horse friends always have your back. I’ve met so many incredible people this year and am so grateful for the friendships I’ve created.
We often practically live together for weeks to months at a time and live in a different world than others. When I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep at night I worry about things like, ‘did I do tomorrow’s schedule and braiding board correctly?’ The horses are my life I care about all of them as if they were mine. At the end of the day we all do what we do for the love of horses.
2015 has been by far the most rewarding year of my life. Going to indoors was such an eye-opening and surreal experience. Flying with horses to and from indoors was also really cool; it’s amazing how much goes into getting the horses from one place to another. Arriving at Capital Challenge at 11 p.m., just me and our groom Waldo, setting up and staying with the horses until 3 a.m. might sound crazy to some people, but it was SO much fun! I love every aspect of getting the horses there safely and taking care of them. It takes a village of people to make everything happen, and I’m so lucky to get to learn from such amazing people.
I have to say WIHS was one of my favorite shows this year. There’s no feeling like walking down the street in Washington, DC, and showing in the Verizon Center. Everything was so close, and you didn’t need a car to get anywhere; you walked. We would hack in the ring at 11:30 p.m., sleep for three hours, and then hack again at 3:30 a.m.—so much fun! The atmosphere at Washington was different; everyone was having a great time. The best riders in the world were there and watching them ride is always a treat.
Las Vegas National was the last show of the season and I wanted to end on a good note. Winning West Coast Equestrian Medal Finals was a huge goal of mine, and I was ecstatic to accomplish it. Winning a medal final on the same night as my sister winning her medal final in LA was also very special, and a night I will never forget. I could of never accomplished my goals this year without my partner in crime Citadel aka Chandler (owned by Pam Stewart). He’s the best horse I’ve had the pleasure of riding and I absolutely adore him!
I look forward to 2016 and the opportunities to come. I’m very excited for HITS Thermal 2016 and another eight weeks “stuck” in the desert doing what I love with my favorite people. I am so grateful to get to go for the whole circuit. I have many goals for 2016 and am going to work very hard and hope to accomplish them all. Right now it’s nice to be home with my family for the holidays and have a little break before it all starts again. I cherish the time we are all together. I couldn’t do what I do without my mom and my sister, so thank you guys for allowing me to do what I love! Here’s to a fun and successful Thermal circuit!