Hey! Welcome back to Horse Chats. Recently, I came across an amazing equestrian clothing brand called the TKEQ Shop. The shop has t-shirts, sweatshirts, saddle pads for your horses, and more! The TKEQ Shop also sponsor many incredibly-talented horse riders that have been very successful. Today, I am going to tell you about these riders and what they have accomplished. All of them have inspired me to strive to become a better rider and have taught me to never give up on reaching my goals.
The TKEQ Shop is currently running a campaign called the #ridelikeagirl campaign. I feel like these three riders truly exemplify what it means to “ride like a girl”. To me “riding like a girl” means to ride with grace, strength, and diligence. TKEQ was also kind enough to send me two of their t-shirts to show to you, including their signature #ridelikeagirl shirt and their Big EQ t-shirt.
*Featured Photo Credit to Quinn Saunders Photography
I hope you enjoy today’s post and that these riders inspire you as well 😊
At the age of 12, Julia Madigan started show jumping and it has been an incredible journey for her so far. This summer Julia competed at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta and won many of the competitions. After competing at Spruce Meadows, Julia, along with some help from her trainer, Jill, decided it was time to enter the International Ring during the North American Show. Julia didn’t do as well as she had hoped, but didn’t give up and qualified for the Young Riders (NAJYRC). At times Julia felt that she had lost hope and wouldn’t be able to reach her dreams of winning, but her Dad always was there to remind her that she should never give up and to never forget to smile. She took away a gold medal and also won a silver medal for leading the Canadian team to victory at the competition. Julia has faced some challenges throughout her riding journey, but she has continued to push forward and reach for her goals. She is currently studying at Queen’s University and is on the University Equestrian Team. This rider is truly inspiring to me because she is constantly reaching for her goals and dreams. She teaches me as a rider that even throughout the challenges those dreams and aspirations are still possible.
Grace Tuton is an incredible rider and person. Grace struggles with Hereditary Multiple Exostoses, a condition where tumors grow along the bones of the body and can affect development including short stature, unequal limbs, and bowing of arms and legs. For Grace, the condition has affected her movement making it more challenging to ride horses. As there aren’t many treatment options for this condition, Grace continues to use what she can including specialty tack. Even though Grace has this rare condition, nothing can stand in her way with regards to her riding. Grace’s recent highlight of her riding journey was when she won the Junior Hunter Stake at Devon 2017, earning reserve champion. Grace is not only a talented rider, but an inspirational person. She doesn’t let her condition get in the way of her horse riding. She is a pure example of strength and diligence and what it means to #ridelikeagirl. She challenges me to push harder and to keep striving for my best.
Jessica Rhinelander lives in Wellington, Florida and her riding discipline is Dressage. Jessica’s passion for horses began when she volunteered at a local therapeutic riding facility in St.John’s, Newfoundland. It was then that Jessica started her riding career. She began competing and made her way up from Young Rider Dressage to International Dressage.
There was a horse that had a significant impact on Jessica named Faro, a high-spirited Anglo-Arab. Faro taught Jessica that there is so much more to just competing. Jessica’s pony had melanomas which means that she would have to care for him every day. Jessica learned that competing always comes second and that caring for the horse comes first. Jessica is so inspiring because she is an example of someone who can start out not even knowing a thing about horses and making her way to the top. Her story also goes to show that there will be many horses throughout your riding journey that will have a impact on yourself and will teach and help you.
Mindy Cortez is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and her riding discipline is hunter/jumper. She started riding when she was seven years old with a riding instructor named Libby Barrow. Still, Libby is Mindy’s riding instructor. Mindy owns two horses named Happy Hour and Café Cream. The recent highlight of her riding career was when Happy Hour won a round in four different international Hunter Derbies and finished top 3 overall in each competition. Café Cream carried both of them into her first Grand Prix as well. Both of her horses have given her confidence in her riding journey, especially Happy Hour. He has helped her to develop trust in him over every jump. Mindy is inspiring to me because she shows an example of what it means to trust and develop a bond with your horse. Once you are able to trust your horse and your horse is able to trust you, an unbreakable bond is formed.
Emma Weinert grew up in Sydney, Australia and then moved to San Diego, California. She started riding when she was five years old and as she grew up she developed a love for Dressage. Her recent highlight of her riding career was winning the Grand Prix Special at San Juan Capistrano CD1 (Festival of The Horse). On that day, she was able to hear the national anthem sung for her for the very first time. The most rewarding moments in her riding journey is when she is able to train horses and create a bond with them. Emma shows strength and determination in her riding and training. She moved to a completely different continent, but that didn’t stop her. She was still determined to succeed.
Jill Treece is an incredible rider! I have been watching Jill Treece through her social media and watching her compete for a long time. She has definitely been an inspiration to my riding and has taught me to keep going even when it seems like everything is impossible. Jill lives in Little Rock, Arkansas and her riding discipline is Eventing. She started riding at eight years old.
The most difficult time in Jill’s riding journey was when she had to sell her horse, Beau. She sent him down to a sales barn to be sold, but he was not selling. Beau was not attractive to buyers because he had lost all of his muscle and a lot of weight. Jill had worked so hard with Beau and it was really disappointing for her to see that she would have to start from the beginning once again. Even though it was frustrating, Jill kept pushing forward and working with Beau and eventually she had a breakthrough.
This is what Jill had to say of how she overcame her challenge… “Bad things happen and things certainly don’t always go our way, however, if we push on and do what is best for us and those around us, in the end, we’ve done our part, and happiness is unavoidable.” Jill was diligent to herself and her horse and was able to start from the beginning again and work her way to the top with Beau. She shows true diligence.
Tosca Holmes Smith
Tosca Holmes-Smith has been riding for as long as she can remember. She was born into a family very involved with horses. Her father, Nick Holmes-Smith, was an Olympic Team Member in 1980, 1988, and 1992. Her mom, Ali Holmes-Smith was also involved in the world of Eventing. The most challenging time in her riding career was when she tried to upgrade her mare to Preliminary and it didn’t go as well as she had hoped. It resulted in an elimination and Tosca fell and broke her arm. The challenge taught her that sometimes things don’t go as planned or as smoothly. The people who have inspired Tosca have definitely been her parents and their determination in their riding careers as well. Tosca is a role model to every horse rider. Even though she broke her arm and went through some difficult times, she continued to be brave and push forward.
Last, but not least, is Lily Rhodes. Lily Rhodes’ riding discipline is Dressage and she has been taking riding lessons since she was eight years old. Her recent highlight was when her horse, Charlie, and her won Reserve Champion for all Juniors in Training Level in her state. Lily’s most challenging moment of her career was when she lost her arm and had to start riding again. She also found this moment the most exciting time of her riding career. She had to put a lot of trust into her horse to overcome this challenge. This is what Lily said about starting riding again… “Riding has brought me so much joy for my entire life, I couldn’t give up! I spent lots of time focusing on my balance so I could ride again.” Lily’s words to live by are: Never give up! Things will get better. Even though Lily lost her arm, it didn’t stop her from riding. Riding is her passion and she isn’t going to let anything stop her. ANYONE can ride horses whether young or old, big or small, arm or no arm. You just have to believe you can do it.
Be sure to visit the TKEQ Blog for more info on these incredible ladies and check out their shop to purchase their amazing t-shirts! Trust me, you won’t regret it. Also, TKEQ is going to be having an incredible deal this week. If you spend over $75 on their products they will give you a $25 bonus!! Check them out today! 🙂 Until next time… don’t forget to hug your horse!
What does it mean to you to #RIDELIKEAGIRL?