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Sparklez the Wonder Pony

“When one door closes, another one opens”

The last few months have been filled with lots of ups and downs. As many of you know, I made the difficult decision to sell Royal. When I made this decision it meant that I would not have a horse to ride for our two CPEDI3* shows in Wellington, FL this January. This was a big decision to make, especially with it being a WEG (World Equestrian Games) year. Sometimes, though, you have to think of what’s best for your horse and your own training in this sport even if it means missing big competitions.

I have to admit I was pretty bummed to be missing out on these big shows on top of selling my best friend. However, I then was contacted by Sara Schmitt. Sara is a Grand Prix dressage rider, trainer, instructor, USEF ’S’ judge, ADS ‘r’ judge, and international combined driving competitor. She has her USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals and numerous regional and national awards to her name. In 2014, Sara coached the bronze medal winning US team at the FEI World Para Equestrian Driving Championships for Singles in Sandringhan, Great Britain.

I know Sara first through the para driving world. She found out my situation and thought she had a horse that would be perfect for me. I was out there last week to try him and he was pretty awesome- wonderful temperament and great gaits! She and everyone at the barn were so welcoming to me. I couldn’t believe the extent they went to make my few days there work out, and how much they wanted me back. Sara has offered to let me ride her wonder pony, Sparklez, in Wellington this season. It is too great of an opportunity that I can’t pass up. I leave in a few days to train on the East Coast with her and her assistant trainer, Maggie, before heading down to Florida. Whatever happens at the shows, happens. I’m just so grateful to have this opportunity, to be able to learn from a new horse and new people, and soak up the entire experience! Thank you to Janice for being so kind and welcoming me into her home while I’m there.

Thanks to all my friends and family at home who have supported me in making this decision to leave for this long. I’ll definitely be posting updates and keeping in touch with everyone. I’m excited for what the next few months will bring with Sparklez! Thank you, Sara, for giving me this opportunity.

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