BY TYLER BUI
As 13-year-old Rylie True concludes her final year competing on ponies, she is finding her way into the equitation ring with love for the medals—especially the THIS Children’s Medal.
The young rider began taking lessons at age six at a local barn in New Jersey. After taking a trip down to Wellington, FL’s Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in 2018, her eyes were opened to the A Circuit, and she transitioned to a competitive program.
True began showing in the Small, Medium, and Large Children’s Pony divisions and eventually moved up to the regular pony hunter divisions. At the end of 2020, she began riding horses.
“I started training with Lainie Wimberly of Brigadoon Show Stables, and she has totally opened up everything for me,” says True. “She’s shown me all the USEF rules, all the classes that I can show in—she’s taught me a lot.”
During her 2022 show season, True has begun learning how to be a three-ring rider. Currently, she competes in the 3’ and 3’3” equitation medals, the 1.10m jumpers and the Large Pony Hunters.
“The Taylor Harris is the medal that I really enjoy—I love the test. I like that everyone there gets a good shot at it,” says True. “It’s not just one round: You get the chance to qualify for a test, and you can move up. I show my horse Fluffy in the THIS Medal and other equitation classes. He has shown me that he can do both the hunters and jumpers. He’s a very good teaching horse.”
True hopes to continue to compete in the 3’-3’6” equitation medals, jumpers, and to move up to the Junior Hunters in the near future.
“My riding goals are to be consistent in all rings and have fun. I don’t want to be all serious all the time. One of the reasons why I do this sport is to have fun and not just win,” says True. “In the equitation, I’m looking forward to all the finals as it’s my first time, especially the [THIS National Children’s Medal Final].”