What Riding Has Taught Me
By Olivia Brown and Balt

My name is Olivia Brown and I am eleven years old.  I have been riding since I was two years old.  I ride with Diane Ritz at Hidden Spring Farm in Monroe, North Carolina.  My pony Balt and I are currently riding first level in dressage.  I have had Balt for almost two years; he is a Belgian Riding Pony and he just turned fourteen. 

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Olivia and Balt getting their games faces on at TIEC!


Riding has taught me many great things, and I would like to tell you about three of them. 

The first thing that riding has taught me is responsibility.  You may not think riding takes responsibility but you are way wrong.  As a rider, you have to take care of your pony; if you don’t your pony could get hurt.  A quote that my Uncle taught me is “if you do not have time to groom your pony then you do not have time to ride”.  Responsibility in the horse world also teaches me to have responsibility outside of the horse world which my Mom and Dad love!

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Rivendale schooling show.  PC: Jennifer Sides

The next thing that riding has taught me is trust.  The more time you spend with your pony, the more trust you will have in him and the more trust he will have in you.   It feels better than a million dollars when your pony comes walking to you in the pasture and nickers at you.  I had to learn to trust Balt and he had to learn to trust me when I first bought him.   I needed to trust him before I could even get on.  Since Balt had been an A circuit hunter, he had to trust me that I was teaching him the right thing.  I had to trust him that he would be willing to learn dressage.   Trust is hard to get but so important. 

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Working hard at a lesson with Diane Ritz


The final thing that riding has taught me is confidence.  The confidence comes from all the training that you have done with your pony.  That boost of confidence from your trainer right before you enter the show arena is really what gets your adrenaline pumping.  Riding helps me and many others have that “Never give up” attitude in whatever we decide to do.  Every rider in the world has to have confidence to go into the show arena. 

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Celebrating in Camden!


Riding is an awesome sport and most people think it is just about the riding part, but it really is not.  Riding is about the bond with your pony and trainer that make you a real rider.