It has finally come to my last year as a POA Youth, and looking back it feels like I have been showing forever but at the same time it feels like I was just jumping on my first pony yesterday. I started riding horses when I was just three years old by riding around our family farm. My love for horses soon manifested into showing every weekend spending endless hours with my mom, sister, and pony. Spending all this time together in a small trailer you really learn to love, and yet hate your family. Let’s just say you learn to sleep through the snoring, your sister talking in her sleep, and you know they will prevent you from sleep walking outside in the night. If you asked my family they would say i’m not so easy to room with either.
I have been showing in the POA circuit since I was 11 years old. My first couple years were filled with many struggles, and lessons that at times were so hard I wanted to give up. Then small moments of victory or that feeling you get when achieving one of your goals even when it is just having a good ride makes it all worth the effort. Another big inspiration for me to keep going growing up was watching the older girls ride. In addition, to being an inspiration to become a better rider they have taught me some valuable lessons. Although Bryce may not want me to share this memory, I will always remember her falling on her face during hunter in hand and getting right back up laughing.This really hit home that at the end of the day the best thing about riding, showing, and spending time with your pony is that you enjoy it, and have fun. Another big lesson I have learned over the years from watching Kelsey practicing at all times is that in order to achieve your goal it take practice, and dedication. All my hard work, and achievements stems from the guidance of my trainer Sara Gronski at Birch Valle Farm. I have spent endless hours, and nights at Sara’s barn practicing on many different ponies over the years. There’s even a room in her house that Quinnley calls, “Maddie’s Bedroom”, which was the room I stayed in before I got my driver’s license. Sara has pushed me, and supported me throughout the years, and at some much needed moments given me some well deserved tough love. I think I will always remember her screaming on the rail “heals down” “shut your fingers or ill tape them shut”, and “ smile you look like you want to kill the judge”. I would not be the rider I am today without the help, and support of Sara and her family, which will always be apart of my life. Showing on the POA circuit has created many special bonds, and have made thousands of memories with friends, and family that I will always cherish. Some important people I would like to thank for supporting me over the years, and giving me this great opportunity that not everyone is able to have are my mom (Jennifer Chadwick), my sister (Kati Chadwick), and Sara Gronski.
Over the years I have had a couple different ponies but I found that special “one” in my pony Pepper. I can never thank him enough for putting up with all of my learning curves; for example, flying over his head because I didn’t have my heels down while jumping. Pepper taught me to be a become a better rider, and helped me broaden my riding to jumping, western riding, and reining. Even though he has a talent to somehow lay in every pile of poop, and to get it in multiple places. He will forever hold a special place in my heart. I am looking forward to, and dreading this being my last year as POA youth. I cannot wait to see what this year brings, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the shows!