𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐧, 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐚 𝐪𝐮𝐨𝐭𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐝, '𝐈 𝐟𝐞𝐥𝐭 𝐛𝐮𝐫𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠."
𝐃𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐫𝐞𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐛𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤 𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐥𝐥?
I don't regret it, I think if I would have gone and stuck it out I think I would have gotten to a point where I wouldn't have rode again. I hurt my back and at that point in time I didn't have that love for it anymore. I really thought that that was it for me. But, I found my way back to it and the break made me realize why I loved it. The simplicity of being one with the horse.
𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻?
"I went with my mom to New Zealand and she was filming a movie there. I was just bored, I was working for her company. I didn't have a real passion anymore. I was trying to find some things to do and they had a hotel where I could go horseback riding. I was 21 at the time and I went out for 3 plus hours. There were wild horses, sheep and streams and rivers. It was the most awe inspiring experience, it just made me fall in love with the love of the animal and being one. I think being away from it for so long and coming back I found what my soul needed. It's just a soul connection, that through competing got burnt out. It just became about winning and I had lost that purpose, so that ride completely brought me back to it.
𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗥𝗶𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗦𝗽𝗼𝗼𝗻𝗲𝗿, 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁'𝘀 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂'𝗱 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗵𝗶𝗺?
He is an extremely hard worker, he always said he was never that talented, but he worked harder than anyone else. The way he can break down a horse and get you prepared to win is unlike anyone else. He started training me when I was thirteen. Once I became a professional I rode horses for him sometimes. I worked with him for many years.
𝗜 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲 𝗗𝗼𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗼 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿 𝗚𝗿𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝘅 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗪𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗘𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗙𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗮𝗹, 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗱𝗶𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝗻 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁?
It was very surreal its like you don't really feel the magnitude of what you accomplished. I had never won up until that point. Donatello was nine it was his second five star Grand Prix, it was just one of those moments where you're floating.
"I feel more for the horse then I do myself like I can't believe the horse did that! For me I just expect myself to do it."
We got Donatello at six years old, he took a lot of work. It's the first horse that I've taken to that level on our own. He was a horse we brought up all the way so that was also a really cool feeling!