Wherever she goes, her grace, harmony, and hard work always follow. An International Grand Prix Dressage Rider, horse trainer, fashionista, business owner, and Exhibitor’s Equine Ambassador, Amina Sade’ Bursese works hard every day, in and outside of the showring to fully live her dreams on her journey to happiness and success.
Currently residing in Jupiter, Florida, Amina and her husband, International Dressage Rider, Diego Gonzalez, steadily balance their busy schedules along with their life with their horses and dogs. Most recently Amina and Diego launched their artisanal tequila brand, “Tequila Scenario” – named after Diegos’s late Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) horse, Scenario, featuring three different Tequilas; Blanco, Reposado and Anejo.
Between Wellington and Ocala, Florida has offered more show opportunities, allowing for her horses and herself to become more seasoned in the competition ring with access to both small local shows and big Concours de Dressage International (CDI) shows. Amina’s focus as a rider is on training and presenting their three breeding stallions who are represented by Hilltop Farm – all competing at FEI level while also actively breeding. Outside of her husband’s heavy influence on her horse career, she is a constant student of her craft, currently working with trainer, Lisa Wilcox and coach, Gary Rockwell, as well as constantly staying physically fit herself.
Amina’s journey to the Grand Prix level did not begin in the dressage ring. Her first experience with riding was enjoying casual bareback rides on her family’s small breeding farm in Broadalbin, New York, where she also was involved in modeling in the fashion industry. Now, Amina’s passion lies heavily in developing horses to the Grand Prix level and producing quality off spring from her stallions.
On their farm, they own several horses, mostly Iberians. Her stallions are all Pura Raza Espanol bred, also known as PRE horses. Fiti AL is her heart horse and is competing in the International Grand Prix – perhaps he may be the only PRE Stallion in the USA doing this. Amina gives credit to Fiti AL for everything she knows, as he was the horse that made her fall in love with horseback riding, climbing the ranks together from 1st level to Grand Prix, with many first-time experiences along the way. Flamenco YM, her second oldest stallion has also helped her achieve levels together. He is currently competing in the Prix St. George/I1 and is very close to making his Grand Prix debut. Flamenco YM is well-rounded and loves western rides, working equitation, and liberty work. Amina’s youngest stallion is C Discreto, who competes in the Prix St George/I1 and will make his international debut this season in Wellington. She has owned him since he was three years old, and everything comes easy for him.
And to help keep Amina’s horses’ coats, manes, and tails beautiful and luscious, she uses Exhibitor’s Equine products for instant professional results.
“My favorite thing about Exhibitor’s products is that they work! It’s so evident that they are products for horses made and ran by a company of horse people,” Amina expresses. “My favorite product is the Quic Silver, mostly because it has so many uses for me. I use it on the horses, I use it on my own blonde hair, and I use it to wash my white breeches!”
With unrivaled performance and break-through color enhancing technology, Exhibitor’s Color-Enhancing System is pH balanced, contains no harsh chemicals, bleaches, or dyes, and intensifies your horse’s natural coat color, coat contrast and shine. The Exhibitor’s System is an intensifying solution for equine hair that gently cleans and removes stains while creating an incredibly soft, clean feel and shine, giving your horse that polished look every equestrian strives to achieve. The specialized technology optically alters the way light interacts with hair. Quic Silver is stunning for gray and albino coats, bringing out silvery highlights, along with enhancing golden highlights in palomino and cream coats. Quic Black is absolutely stunning for blacks and browns and all rich, ebony shades while subduing unwanted red tones. For best results, begin with Quic Shampoo to remove dirt buildup. Follow with Quic Silver for color enhancement and Quic Conditioner will lock in the moisture and strengthen hair strands. Finish by spraying Quic Sheen on coat, mane and tail, to provide optical, mirror-like brightening and a beautiful show ring shine.
“We use the entire line of products daily, usually Quic Sheen before work and a bath after work, followed by Quic Sheen again. The thing I have noticed the most is the shine and amount of dapples the horses have,” Amina says.
Are you curious to see the results for yourself? Use Amina’s favorite products, Quic Silver and Quic Sheen, and shop the whole professional line! Visit a tack store near you or shop online at Dover Saddlery.
Q&A with Amina – Instagram: @aminasade
- Any grooming secrets, tips, or advice?
- All of my horses have A LOT of hair, but I know that with many horses you must be careful when brushing out their tails to not pull out too much hair. Some people don’t brush their tails at all but just pick through them with their fingers to preserve the hair. However, if you spray the Quic Sheen in the tails after their bath or end of the day grooming, you almost never need to brush it, they stay shiny, smooth and tangle free.
- Favorite thing about your horses and why?
- Their temperaments….all of my horses are perfectly behaved. I can go anywhere and do anything with them. I never have to worry about new places or what is going on around me. They are always 100% with me, taking care of me. They can breed in the morning, go on a group trail ride that evening and ride an FEI test the following morning and never miss a beat. 90% of this is the breed the other 10%, I’d like to think is their program with us.
- What is your most memorable horse experience and/or win?
- I can narrow it down to three experiences. My most memorable competition experience was riding Fiti in the Friday Night Lights Grand Prix Musical Freestyles during the CDI 4* in Wellington this past season. The other experience would be riding Fiti, wearing a princess dress while we danced under the lights to music during one of the USPRE events in Wellington. And lastly, my first-time riding Flamenco without a bridle, it was such a special feeling of freedom and trust, a moment I will never forget.
- Any advice for alleviating those show-ring jitters?
- I am the wrong person to ask about this, because I have NO show-ring jitters. I grew up dancing so performing is in my blood. On top of that my horses have no jitters because nothing phases them so for me every time I go out there, whether I do good or bad, I have fun!
- What is your favorite part of competing or being in the show ring?
- The performance aspect of it. I think of every test as a dance recital…smile, wave and no matter what happens keep on dancing. That has not always worked to my benefit as I generally get into the ring and become a passenger rather than a driver, so I don’t tend to correct things within the test and I very much under ride the horse in an effort to not make any mistakes. I hope with time I will get better at training within the test and be able to truly showcase my horses’ talents even if there are moments where I am uncomfortable.
- What is your favorite aspect of horseback riding?
- My favorite aspect of horseback riding is the training, whether it be slow or fast, big or small, the moments when finally, you ask correctly, the horse responds correctly, and it all falls together in perfect harmony. Those moments are unexplainable, it’s sheer joy.
- What are you most passionate about?
- I am most passionate about being happy. For me, happiness is spending time with my family, my horses, my dogs and traveling – even better if I can incorporate traveling with my family, horses and dogs – which is probably why I love horse showing so much because basically that’s what it is. I am super lucky that my husband is also a horse person and has for the most part the same passions, so doing it all together sometimes feels like I’m living a real-life fairy tale.