The Tough Good Call

Lemme tell you a little story about something that happened recently.

First, the cast of characters: a 12yo girl at my barn, and her pony. Devyn is a total kickass barn rat (she’s my go-to rider for Francis and her equitation is out of this world), and she’s had Sadie Pony for 6 years. They qualified and competed at Pony Finals this year where they finished top 20 in their division and top 10 over fences. So clearly both Kiddo and Pony are really talented.

The pony jumps like this literally every single time, she’s incredible

But Sadie is also starting to get a little older, so Devyn and her family decided to step down her workload after Finals. They’re looking for someone to lease her for the lower levels so that she can keep sharing the joy with another kid, without stressing her body by continuing to compete at full division height. So while she’s been in work since Finals, it’s been fairly light and she hasn’t jumped at that height in several months.

Instead, Devyn has been preparing to move up to the Highs and totally CREAM me and Francis with her lease mare.

Fast forward to last weekend: Devyn got a notification that she and Sadie Pony had unexpectedly qualified for the WIHS Pony Eq, to be held 3 days from that notification. She was elated to hear this, but also shocked to hear so last minute.

So she and her mom- both a bit overwhelmed- immediately reached out to Trainer to talk about pros and cons. After going back and forth for a little while, Trainer stepped back and said: “I trust your judgement as a horsewoman. What do you think you should do?”

Without hesitation, Devyn said that she felt it would be unfair to ask her pony to go compete at that level without giving her the fitness and stamina needed to perform. She said it wasn’t worth risking her health.

So to recap: this 12 year old got a chance to compete at one of the biggest shows of the year, and turned it down because she put her pony’s health first.

I certainly don’t think I had that level of maturity at that age.

In the face of so much controversy in different disciplines about the next generation of horsemen and horsewomen, I am so incredibly proud to ride with such an excellent young horsewoman. One who works her butt off and seeks out opportunities to learn, and always loves her horse more than she loves competing. I’m proud of her family, for nurturing that love of learning and supporting her decisions. And I’m proud of my trainer for giving her students the education to make tough calls, then trusting her students to make healthy choices.

Next time I’m faced with a difficult decision, I hope that I can see as clearly as Devyn did.



26 thoughts on “The Tough Good Call

  1. Holly 11/01/2017 / 10:14 am

    I definitely didn’t have that maturity at 12. I loved getting to see her ride in person when I was there – she has an awesome bright future ahead.


    • hellomylivia 11/03/2017 / 12:41 pm

      Isn’t she such a good little rider?? Love that girl


  2. Alex 11/01/2017 / 11:31 am

    It’s always great to see kids that are being brought up well and with the support to make those calls. She is going to make some serious waves in the competitive scene as she gets older. 🙂


  3. Kristen 11/01/2017 / 12:22 pm

    Thank you so much for taking a moment to recognize Devyn! I think it is so important that children are noticed for their behaviors, and not just their ribbons. She is honestly shocked that both you and Terri took the time to write about it, and her response was, “wow, I just did the right thing for Sadie, that’s all”. I love that she doesn’t think it is a big deal, or that she should be viewing it any other way. I learn from her every day.


    • hellomylivia 11/03/2017 / 12:41 pm

      She’s pretty much the only pre-teen that I actively enjoy spending time with. You’ve got an awesome kid ❤


  4. roamingridersite 11/01/2017 / 1:31 pm

    Wow. What an amazing young lady. She will go far in life with a great heart and mind like that


    • hellomylivia 11/03/2017 / 12:42 pm

      With her attitude and work ethic, I think she’ll be able to do anything she sets her mind to!


  5. heartofhope10 11/01/2017 / 1:37 pm

    This made me tear up! I hope we have dozens of up and coming riders come along who can make those types of tough calls with such grace.


    • hellomylivia 11/03/2017 / 12:43 pm

      I hope that too, and seeing this makes that hope feel a little stronger


  6. Susan 11/02/2017 / 9:57 am

    What a great kid! Who has obviously been raised right, both by trainer and her parents. But seriously, WTF, WIHS?!?! Shame on them for the late notification. Even with a fit pony, lots of people couldn’t make that happen in 3 days.


    • hellomylivia 11/03/2017 / 12:43 pm

      Yeah we’re not sure where the breakdown in communication happened!


    • Stacie Seidman 11/03/2017 / 8:44 pm

      Likely there was a scratch, so they invited the next on the list as soon as they were made aware.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Stacie Seidman 11/02/2017 / 3:59 pm

    See? These kids are still out there. The hard workers. The ones who love their horses. They are still out there! They’re just quietly doing things right and letting their actions speak for them. Thanks for sharing this tale with us ❤


    • hellomylivia 11/03/2017 / 12:45 pm

      I was so glad to see it in action- gives me so much hope for the young ones coming up the ranks ❤


  8. diaryofahunterprincess 11/02/2017 / 7:23 pm

    Love this! So often now a days we just hear about how the new generation aren’t “horseman”. But it’s instances like this that makes me believe they’re out there!


    • hellomylivia 11/03/2017 / 12:46 pm

      They may not be the ones talking the loudest, but that’s because they’re too busy taking care of their horses ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Tracy 11/03/2017 / 5:53 pm

    Man, it’s stories like this that make you realize that there really ARE talented young horsewomen out there who genuinely care. It’s takes a strong person to make the choice Devyn did and I have mad respect for her for doing so


    • hellomylivia 11/03/2017 / 5:55 pm

      So much respect! I’d respect that choice at any age, but I’m even more impressed at her maturity so young


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