Well this cowgirls has been a massive support of Cowgirls Gathering and we are a massive supporter of hers!  Cowgirls we are proud to introduce you to Vera, our CGQ23 Sponsored Rider! 

 era considers herself a Green Rider but all we see is someone out and about giving it a red hot crack! When we told Vera that she had been accepted this is what she said: “Oh wow! Thank you so much CG team!! I am beyond excited!! This feels like yet another great step on our journey and a reward for all the hard work I’ve done as a green rider on a green horse.  THANK YOU!!! I’m looking forward to this opportunity very much.  And as far as getting any benefit in the form of gift cards or event ticket, my incentive to get from level 1 through to level 3 will be for you guys to donate those rewards to someone else who has had a hard time of late and is deserving of a little cheering up. That would make my heart happy and just smile. :-)”

Because that is just the kind of Cowgirl Vera is 💛✨

Let’s get a little more information about Vera’s journey!

After buying a beautiful and kind Paint X mare named “Cloud” for my young daughter in 2016 and being completely new to horse ownership and proper riding (having only ever “trail” ridden”) we discovered 6 months in to owning her that she was in foal.

The result being my now pony “Lunar”. My daughter has long since stopped riding the older mare and it fell upon me to step up and work with both horses, in particular the young filly or sell her. I couldn’t bare the thought of selling or separating the horses so 3 years ago, I tried my hand at handling the filly and failed miserably.

She had only just been newly broken in and was a headstrong, dominant and often dangerous young filly. All because I had done all the wrong things with her, spoiling her, letting her get away with bad manners, not knowing how to properly handle or train a young horse (or any horse for that matter).

After being nearly kicked in the head numerous times, I sought the help of trainers and that’s where my journey started. So I have worked hard, attended dozens and dozens of lessons, clinics and training sessions, watched lots of online stuff, expanded my horsey network and spoke to everyone I could about all things horsey. I’ve learned so much the last 3 years but still consider myself on the green side. However, this year I jumped in to start competing for the very first time as a green rider at the age of 51, and we’ve already won ourselves a few ribbons in the beginner classes of Ranch Trail, Ranch Rail and Ranch Riding (and I often say to people how exciting it is for me to win these ribbons…..these little pieces of material that represent how far we’ve come. Just don’t ask me how much I’ve spent on training and gear etc. to win these little pieces of material !!).

My young horse is now 6 and she is still headstrong, but so much more respectful and kind….and SAFE. Total opposite of what she was 3 years ago. As for our older mare Cloud, she has developed moderate osteoarthritis in her legs and can no longer be ridden, so she has gained a new lease on life as my Liberty horse (as has Lunar).

Both horses love doing Liberty and I’ll be entering them as a mother/daughter duo at the Cowgirl’s Gathering Liberty comp and I can’t wait to show them off ! My goals are also to enter the horsemanship challenge, the roping clinic and for the 3rd year now, just soak in the incredible atmosphere of Cowgirl’s Gathering. I will always be grateful for what these beautiful creatures allow us humans to do with them and to have watched my pony be born at home and now do what we’re doing together is just the most amazing thing, so Giddyup!! While my knees are still in working order, there are plenty more horse adventures on the horizon for this “mature aged” wannabe Cowgirl 🙂

What is some horse advice you have received that you would like to share with others?

My favourite two pieces of advice I have received over the last 3 years:

Trainer no. 1 – From this so called “trainer” (and may I use that term VERY loosely) who said to me nearly 3 years ago when working with my young filly – “If you want my advice, send this useless thing to the doggers”. Well, so called trainer will be at CG this year and I can’t wait to show them a thing or 2 with my useless thing!! I now thank that trainer for that piece of advice because it led me to seek out the next trainer who also gave me the best advice.

Trainer no. 2 – Commit to doing the work every day and by the time she is 6, you’ll have won her heart and she’ll do anything for you. And just breathe and have fun! (Massive thanks to Belinda Butterfield from Belz Horsemanship for believing in me and my beautiful pony and starting us on our partnership/journey).

So my advice to other green riders is – find the right trainers that believe in you and teach you how to work with your horse. And do the work!!! (Obviously only if you can safely do so). In my case, it wasn’t the horse that was at fault – it was me. I lacked ALL the skills and needed someone to teach me.

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