Varsity Equestrian

In high school you don’t picture riding as a varsity sport, but I am the one and only varsity equestrian at MHS.  I don’t get a banner in the gym or a page in the year book, even though I have been in the top six in the state all through high school and junior high, but colleges love the fact that I am committed to riding. A few weeks ago I got a letter from the University of Kentucky and I was really excited, but their riding team isn’t part of the SEC.

Annie, my old horse, and I in an equitation class.

People have always told me I was born to ride horses… I don’t know it just comes naturally to me and I love it. I want to push myself  to be a NCAA champion, no big deal. I have the horse, the training, and the drive to do it. And I’m not going to lie, but I bleed blue. UK is my favorite college and I love Lexington with all of my heart, but I want to be a part of the SEC! Lexington is surrounded by some of the best farms in the country and it is horse capital of the world, so it should be able to support a varsity equestrian program.

Granted I was a little concerned in the beginning about other people riding my horse (after all I am an only child and I don’t share well), but I read on the UK equestrian team’s page that you can ride and show your own horse! And I plan on spending four years in the Gluck Equine Research Center to major in equine Science and Management, but I want to make sure my horse has a nice home and she is well cared for.

I am planning an official college visit in early November, but I am not only looking at the college for me, but also for my horse, even if the team is club and not part of the SEC. I really want to go to UK and I hope that in the next few years their top notch equestrian team can join the SEC. I am confident that my horse and I will be a perfect addition to the team and life will be good in the bluegrass. Plus, I know my horse looks really good in UK blue, so Lexington, here we come!



Murphy out in the pasture on his 21st birthday. (5/13/2012)

Growing up as an only child I have always had a pet, but never any siblings (except for like 8 months when my dad was married to my third step mother and I had three older sisters that were all in college, so it doesn’t really count). So, for Christmas in 2000 I received Murphy, a 14.2 hand Halflinger pony. Now Murphy isn’t your average sweet, loving pony. No he is my evil older brother. All 1800 pounds of fat, blonde hair, and attitude were out to make me miserable. It was going to be a love/hate relationship…

I’ve grown up around horses and you could say I knew my way around the barn and a horse. The first day I went to ride Murphy he decided to run away and break his new bridle and two fingers on my right hand. I was five years old and demeaned that “Santa” takes his present back.

As time went on Murphy and I started to get along. I knew his quarks and he knew how to make me angry, but I decided to put on my big girl panties on and get over it. Lessons were filled with blood, sweat, and tears… lots of tears, but we always tried to end on a good note. We horse showed and typically he and I did pretty well. We won our first champion ribbon at our second show! I was super happy!

2008, My dad decided it would be a good idea to marry my trainer……… This was not good for me, but I thought he liked her, so I pretended to like her. This is when Murphy and I really bonded. He hated Shannon, my new step mom, with a burning passion! God bless him! Murphy and I were having a bad day, typical. He was hot and tired and so was I. And Shannon was yelling and jumping up and down because Murphy wasn’t listening and she decided to got on to show how good she was at riding. (Now Shannon is not built like a rider. She is 5 foot and to say she is bottom heavy is being nice). She got on Murphy and all I remember thinking was “Murphy, teach her a lesson!”, Well he did the exact same thing he was doing to me and the next thing I know Shannon was on the ground. 🙂

Her ankle was fractured and she needed surgery and would be off from riding for 6 months. SWEET! The barn was mine and I could go somewhere without being with Shannon!!!!!!!

Life was good… then my dad hired a new trainer in 2010. She was not so nice and hated Murphy… So of course my baby got sent to University of Findlay. I was heart-broken. Findlay is a pretty weird ghost town and it is in the middle of no where. Murphy was a bit of a handful, so he was sent to Miami University! And Miami is a pretty cool place. Every chance I got I was headed up to Miami to go see my pony… we even skyped … ya I know it was pathetic, but I got to see him at shows and a student even sent me daily Murphy updates.

Summer before last Murphy came home and we see each other almost everyday! Now when I walk into the barn Murphy whinny’s when he sees me and runs along side my car when I pull down the driveway if he is in the pasture. I guess the thing we hated the most brought us together. Forever Murphy will be my pony and forever I will be his person.

When your horse follows you without being asked, when he rubs his head on yours, and when you look at him and feel a tingle down your spine…you know you are loved.

                                                                                      – John Lyons