An Equestrian's Story

Last week we attended the Pacific Northwest Horse Show in Monroe and had a very successful show. Once again our ribbon display was impressive showing that our horses and riders performed exceptionally well. Saturday we took  our turn at  the  Welcome Center, thank you to the parents for making our lunch a great success.

Before I begin the overview of accolades from the week, I would like to share a story about a rider and her journey as she reaches for her star. Eleven years ago the Hill family brought their two young aspiring equestrians to our barn for "riding lessons" their names were Lauren and Natalie, for the purposes of my story we are going to focus on Natalie. I have a clear memory of  a tiny 5 year old learning to post on the lesson ponies, each week she came and worked on her skills. She progressed through the lesson levels and leased a pony to take to the shows, her quiet determination never seemed to waiver and she always  progressed at her own steady pace. She moved onto her sister's horse Jake and rode  in the Childrens 12 and under, she loved Jake and had a wonderful empathy for him, during a summer show we realized that Jake was letting us know it was time for him to step down. In the middle of the season, she leased Troubador and lit up the circuit with their partnership. After another leased green horse and a great experience to add to her resume, let's fast forward to 2010. It was time for Natalie  to have her own horse, we found a handsome dark bay gelding she named Brody and the "love affair" began. In 2010,  Natalie and Brody competed at the 3', 3'3" and at the end of the season moved into the 3'6". As we stepped into 2011 Natalie and Brody  bonded and have become a "dynamic duo". Last week they excelled in the Equitation and Medals, what an accomplishment for this young rider! In addition to this, every available Saturday, Natalie works at the barn. She arrives early Saturday morning designs and builds a full course for the Saturday Rotation , rides her horse, scrubs feed buckets/brushes and in the afternoon can be seen assisting the lesson riders in the barn.

Natalie's success is not by chance, it is through hard work and determination that she has been transformed into a Horsewoman in every sense of the word. She is a living testament to the Archway philosophy and a wonderful role model for her peers and our younger riders! Keep up the good work Natalie, there is more to come!!

Here are the Award Highlights for the week:


Equitation 16 - 17 - Natalie Hill

Pony Hunters -Platinum-Payton Smith

Pony Equitation - Payton Smith

Equitation 13 and under - Jenna Barker

Reserve Champions:

Adult Amateur Hunter - Sir William - Patty Osberg

Equitation 16 -17 - Hannah Thornton

Performance Hunter 3'3- Black Tie Affair- Corene Smith


Natalie Hill: 1st WSHJA 3'6", 1st USEF Pessoa, 1st ASPCA Horsemanship

Hannah Thornton: 3rd USEF Pessoa

Mali Kerslake: 4th - WSHJA 3'

Jenna Barker: 4th - Taylor Harris

USHJA National Hunter Classic:

4th - Broderick - Natalie Hill

7th - Black Tie Affair - Corey Smith

I would like to acknowledge Madeleine Strain and Alexa Driscoll both of these riders moved into new divisions for the first time and did a great job!