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Much To Be Thankful For

Written by Rachel Ory, November 24, 2022

There is much to be thankful for this season! The awards earned this year represent the experience gained from riding literally hundreds of horses throughout my career. Young horses, difficult horses, and horses that weren't particularly talented were all ridden with the goal of making each a little more useful. Some were more talented than others, some got going well and were taken out of training before reaching their full potential. A lot of it was difficult, and some of it disappointing, like building sandcastles up only to watch the waves wash them away so you can start again. The fact is, there's no clean and easy way to gain experience, you just have to keep learning and keep doing your best.

So to have a talented horse of my own has been both a relief and a challenge. Veronica is eight this year. From two until five years of age, we focused on developing basic skills and went to the occasional reining show. At six, we began the medium-advanced work for dressage while continuing reining. As she has matured, the dressage work enhanced her performance in the reining arena. Now at eight, we are focused primarily on uphill balance and the advanced work for dressage. Her talent is a gift, but to do right by that gift, it takes a lot of soul searching and digging in on my part.

The understanding between us is perhaps the greatest gift and will always be a mystery to me. I have much gratitude for her efforts day in and day out, and do my best to be a good steward; to not to squander her good graces. She has taught me more about tact and patience, re-thinking and adjusting to fit the situation.

To have such success at this year's AQHA World Championship Show was just icing on the cake. Two Stakes Championships, a year end high point award, and a Superior award all earned this year. It took a while to reflect on all that went into these accomplishments, and it started long ago. I certainly couldn't do any of this without the support of my mentor, Tom, the support of Mardanza Farms, and the support from my family and clients. I'm truly thankful for the opportunities that have come my way.

There is much to be thankful for, much to keep striving for. To my students, I'm grateful to be part of your journey, and thank you for being part of mine. Happy Thanksgiving!

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