Every Thanksgiving The Plaid Horse Interns take the time to sit back and thank some of the hardest working people they know- their trainers! Here are some feelings they wanted to share with you all this year…
I am so incredibly lucky to have Libby Barrow as my trainer. I have trained with Libby since I first started riding so she has literally taught me everything I know. She has taught me so much both in and out of the ring. Thank you for everything Libby!
I am thankful for my trainers (Robert and Tammy Blanchette) because they are always so supportive and want the best for me. They do so much for me and everyone at my barn; they want me to accomplish my dreams just as much as I do. Every lesson and show (even the rough ones) they are always doing their best to be there for me and make me the best rider I can be. They are humorous, kind, and great trainers. I am so grateful to be doing the things I want to do the most, and they are right by my side helping me.
For the last two years of my life Miriam Doddridge has been like a mother to me. She taught me how to ride hunt seat and how to jump. Before I met her I was riding dressage and before that I had been riding western since I was little, I had always been a timid rider. Miriam helped me find what I really want to do and what I love doing, and for that I am forever grateful. MIriam is very caring towards all, and is loved by all her four legged and two legged students. I would like to thank Miriam for always being there for me and teaching me everything I need in order to succeed.
Thank ou to my father who has always been there for me. The guy who has trained me from the start and has shaped me into being the rider I am. Without him I would not be half the rider I am today. Every early morning and late night the horse show brought us, was spent either laughing about a good class or thinking of new strategies for tomorrow. I am happy to call you my dad and trainer. From the bottom of my heart thank you for what you do.
Love your daughter,
I am very fortunate when it comes to the people I have had surrounding me throughout my equestrian career. My first trainer Jayme Nelson taught me so many life lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I was a barn rat growing up. I spent every minute I could there, which lead to Jayme basically raising me as her own child, something I will be forever grateful for. Jayme also instilled a great work ethic in me, she taught me about the fundamentals of horsemanship and what it really takes to be a conscientious horse owner. On top of all the “real world” lessons she also gave me a very solid riding foundation that I will be able to fall back on for the rest of my life.
When I moved away to college I was lucky enough to find a phenomenal trainer to help my amataur career take off, Emily Elek. In such a short time Emily has taught me so much. She really brought my riding to the next level. I have always been a timid rider but she has helped me become more confident than ever before.
I will be forever grateful that I am lucky enough to have not just one, but two strong, inspirational women as my trainers/role models.
I am so thankful for everything you’ve done for me. Without the support you have given me, I wouldn’t be half the rider I am today, both physically and mentally. This year, I accomplished so much more than I ever could have hoped for. Without you, I would never have placed at regionals and been able to compete at both medal and maclay finals. I have learned so much from you, in and out of the saddle. I don’t think I will ever be able to repay you for everything you’ve done for me, you have truly changed my life. Thank you.
I am very thankful for trainers Lynn Jayne of Our Day Farm and the trainers at Judgement Farm. They have taught me the most important fundamentals of the equestrian sport from how to put my foot in the stirrup to turning on the haunches and more. Judgement Farm and Lynn Jayne have supported me so many times throughout my riding career, even through the highs and lows as well as teaching me to be a thoughtful horsemen when I’m in the ring and out. They have also made me remember that it is a privilege to ride. Without their guidance, I wouldn’t be as confident and strong of a rider as I am today. Thank you for being my support system and having me learn and laugh every lesson. It has been such a privilege to grow up with such great trainers. Thank you!
Being able to mount a horse everyday in itself is something that I am thankful everyday for. I was blessed recently with the opportunity of being able to take my trainer, Leah von Henkle’s horse, Remmington Steel to the GSDHJA Championship show in October. Remmington Steel and I were fortunate enough to highlight the week with Reserve Champion in the Junior/Amature Hunter Derby and fifth in the Flat Medal. I am extremely grateful for all the patience and effort that both Leah and Kaitlyn Kasseno, our incredibly talented assistant trainer, have put into me over the past two years. They have never doubted my abilities and have pushed me to my limits every single ride. I would not be the rider I am today if Leah and Katy were not in the ring day after day believing in me and my abilities. I cannot express my level of gratitude for these two women. They are not only trainer but mentors and role models for myself and every client at von Henkle Equestrians. Thank you for all the 18-hour days at horse shows, no-stirrup lessons, laughs and smiles.
Xoxo, Estelle Kraft
Trainer Jodi Ray (Park City, Utah)
I am very thankful for my trainer Jodi Ray. I started training with her four years ago when I was showing in the rated pony division. My horse and I are competing in the Low Junior Hunters and getting ready to move up to Junior Hunters this year. Jodi has a great way of pairing riders and horses together and has helped me find ponies and horses that have allowed me to be very successful in our divisions. I have known Jodi all of my life through our family’s friendship and riding with Jodi is very natural and easy as we are more than just trainer and client, we are friends. Thank you Jodi for everything you do for me.
Trainer Jenny and Kost Karizissis (Calabasas, California)
I have had the opportunity to attend a few horse shows with Jenny and Kost Karazissis. I have looked up to Jenny as a rider since a very young age. When my parents said I that I would be training with her it was a dream come true. Riding with Jenny & Kost was as great as I thought it would be and I am very thankful for the opportunity. The first lesson I had with Kost was so much fun, I am pretty sure I was smiling the whole time. His lessons were challenging, but he would deliver the method in such a funny way that I was learning so much while having a great time. It has been a great experience riding with them and I look forward to more opportunities to ride with them in the future. Thank you, Jenny and Kost.
Thank you to my trainer, Beka Swan, for not only helping me improve as a rider, but also improve myself as a person. Thank you for teaching me to be an advocate for myself, and when I couldn’t, thank you for being an advocate for me. Thank you for believing in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. Thank you for teaching me to be a better horseman and for all the skills I will always carry with me, no matter where I go. I think of you as a teacher, mentor, and friend, and will be forever grateful to you for what you have done for both me and my horses. I am so lucky to have a place that is my second home – the barn.
I can’t even begin to start how much I am thankful for Sarah Young. She has helped me become the rider I am today; A rider with confidence, strength, patients and most of all a hard worker. Everything Sarah has taught me have brought upon greater opportunities like going to bigger horseshows the past years and signing with Fresno State Equestrian team to pursue my riding. You are there to talk me through the bad times and smile with me for the good times. However, just knowing I have your support means the world to me. Thank you for putting up with me all these years. It’s because you’re a fantastic mother and a fabulous friend, from now on I will call you Fantabulous.
Since taking me on as a client in April of 2015, Michael Knight has done everything possible to expand my knowledge and give me every opportunity to grow as a rider and horseman. Not only have I benefited from my move to the Knight family’s Alta Hills Farm, but my horses have, too. Never have I had happier horses that are so willing to do their jobs, and me, my horses, and my family have benefited tremendously. When I first moved to Mike I was in the .80m jumpers and had just started competing in the children’s hunters. Less than a year later I was competing in my first 3’6″ equitation and hunter rounds. My life has changed completely since moving to the Knight’s farm, but I wouldn’t be anywhere close to wear I am today without doing so. It was easily the best and most beneficial decision I’ve ever made. Thanks for everything, Mike!!
I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am for my trainers, Bethie and Libby Dayton of Red Oak Farm. Over the past four years, Bethie and Libby have helped me grow in and out of the saddle by teaching me that patience, confidence, determination, and hard work are key to achieving my goals. When I first began training under Bethie and Libby, I was extremely timid and anxious. Thanks to their dedication and hard work, Bethie and Libby have helped me break out of my shell to become the confident, outgoing person I am today. Under their training I have achieved more than I could have ever dreamed of, like being grand champion at the Garden State Horse Show, and placing in an over fences class at HITS on the Hudson. Thank you so much, Bethie and Libby, for your unwavering support and dedication.
This year has been an incredible year of both learning and success for me. If it were not for the help of Donna, Domonie, and Jessica, I could not have learned as much as I did, whether I was first or last. They have taught me not only a plethora of lessons about riding and horsemanship but beyond the show ring as well. Everyday I get on, we constantly strive to do what’s best for a learning horse and a learning rider. They have a tall order, and I’m so thankful for everything they do for me and my horses.
- Jordan Cobb
Thank you to my trainers, Scott Lenkart, Courtney Calcagnini, and Renee Lenkart. For the memories, the laughs, the lows, and the triumphs. From the beginning, you guys have been there for me every step of the way. Thanks for putting up with me all these years and can’t wait for the ones to come!
- Katie Lenkart
Photo Credits: Jerry Mohme Photography
My trainers Lorelei Cudney and Karen Patton have been with me my entire life; I have found that without their help I would not be who I am today. Lorelei has shown me that patience and perseverance will get you anywhere, and for that I am thankful. Those qualities you have given me have helped me get through heartbreaking and tough situations that made me just want to quit at life, but you always were there for me. Karen has shown me that always keeping a smile on your face and staying positive are virtues that only the strongest people can have, especially when things don’t go your way. Thank you Karen for putting up with my teenager attitude, I owe you infinite hugs for that. Thank you, Lorelei and Karen, for all your support these past 11 years. I have no idea what I will do without you guys next year.
With love, Mackenzie Shuman
You are more important to me than you realize and I am incredibly thankful for all you do. All the hours spent trying to fix my ‘social elbow’ and pushing me to be the best rider I could really meant the world. It was all the work you put into me that made me want to be the rider you are proud of today. All those early morning lessons were hard and challenging, but without them I would not be the rider I am and I would not have accomplished all that I have. Thank you for believing in me, for pushing me, and for showing me that hard work will pay off. You made me the person I am today and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. You are one in a million and I am lucky to call you my trainer and one of my best friends.