I remember the first time I went for a pony ride....I also remember the first thing I said....you can ride these things!?
From that moment on I was hooked on horses for life. I started taking riding lessons at the young age of 5 at a local farm in Vineland, Spring Creek Farm. I started off doing Hunters and stayed there till I was about 10. After a while the showing and the jumping started to bore me so we decided to find another stable closer to us and offered another discipline for me to try out,
dressage. I was hooked but the love to jump was more powerful, specially when it came to a little chestnut morgan mare named Krysta, that horse gave me wings. I didn't know at the time what that particular stable had to offer until I met an old family friend who introduced me to a style of riding known to be very popular for Saddlebreds and I showed Saddleseat for about 5 years, still doing hunters and some dressage here and there but not on a competitive level. I went far in the Saddleseat world, showing all over Ontario and parts of the States (Syracuse NY, Ohio) but my greatest accomplishment was going to American Saddlebred World Championships with a very quirky gelding named Flec (Reflection In Gold), I also got the wonderful, once in a life time opportunity to show him at Canada's own Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. I was lucky enough to say that I was able to ride at the Royal not once but twice, the year before Flec I was offered a lovely little stallion, Fury's Touch of Class, I was glad he was the first horse I got to ride there, I can honestly say he took great care of me. It was through this style of riding that I came across my first horse, Milly....she was unbroke, spooky and use to having her way for the prior 3 years, no wonder she was free. It took years of hard work, pain and tears to get her to where she is today, but we made it happen.
It was back in 2004 that my parents finally broke down and bought a farm. It was this time that I decided to get out of saddleseat and return to my roots, especially dressage. I was given the best gift that anyone could ask for when we bought our house in urban Welland, another horse, but not any horse a horse that had been part of my life since he was a year and a half, Caradan a gelding I use to show in the Country Pleasure Division for the Saddlebreds. I had always said he would make a great Dressage horse and I would dream at night of re-training him to do so, and so I did when he was bought for me. We went far, I learned alot on him along with taking other lessons on well schooled horses and we were able to take home Honorable Mention (3rd Overall) for Dressage Niagara. It was in 2005 that my parents and I created Hidden Creek Stables and I started teaching. I stopped showing seriously for some years to follow, until 2009 hit us. I was bound to get back out there, I had a talented horse as my partner, Milly, and she was finally ready to show her stuff. So we showed in mulitple jumper and hunter shows, bringing home Champion from the Cedar Ridge Jumper Series, it was the Beginner Division (2'3"-2'6"). Getting that big ribbon meant the world to me, I was so happy that things were finally starting to move for Milly and I. So that brings me to now, going into winter 2009, which I will spend most of time training for next year and the years to come. I will go as far as my mare can take me and when she is done and deserves some down time which I will probably breed her then, I will go at it with my gelding once again but this time doing something a little different, as for now he is teaching someone else the ropes of showing while I focus mainly on Milly. Keep checking in.
Brooke and Caradan, Syracuse, NY