BY TYLER BUI
Sixteen-year-old Mina Godden began riding six years ago and has quickly found her place in the equitation ring. The young rider competes with her horse Oliver out of Baxter Lane Farm and sits in the top 10 overall standings for the THIS National Children’s Medal.
“I began riding at a local barn, and didn’t start competing until five years ago,” says Godden. “I started out in the cross-rails, moved up to the 2’6” on lesson horses, and then ended up buying my own horse. I recently have been competing in the 15-17 equitation and all of the medals with my horse Oliver. He is a 16.2h Holsteiner gelding, and he had done the jumpers until I bought him two years ago. He’s been very successful in the equitation—he’s got the biggest personality, and he’s a very fun horse to ride.”
Godden spent the winter circuit in Wellington, FL, and plans to compete at the World Equestrian Center during the summer. In the fall, she hopes to compete in the THIS National Children’s Medal Final and the USHJA 3’3” Jumping Seat Medal Final; she will also compete in her first 3’6” equitation final at the Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final.
“I enjoy the equitation, because I know that I’m learning the most that I possibly could doing it,” says Godden. “It’s the best foundation for the hunters or the jumpers, and I feel like I’m really learning how to ride. All the people that I’m meeting while competing in the equitation are also really great. In the THIS Children’s Medal, I really enjoy the test, where you have to memorize the jump numbers. My horse really loves the 3’ equitation, so it’s really just a fun class for me to do, and it helps me build my confidence up.
“My riding goals for the future would be to compete in the WIHS Equitation Finals and the rest of the 3’6” equitation finals next year, which will be my last junior year,” she continues. “I would love to own a business in the horse industry, whether I’m importing or training, but I definitely want to keep riding, and I would love to do both the hunters and the jumpers.”
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