Our own Tessa Holloran is completing an amazing horsemanship experience in Florida. Read below to hear about her journey:
My horse Beau (her registered name is Usela) and I are wrapping up a three-month intensive training program in Wellington, Florida. I’ve been riding since I was three and a half and dressage since I was about six years old. This Dressage4Kids program was created by two-time Olympian Lendon Gray to help young dressage riders grow with training and horsemanship skills. I took five lessons a week with Lendon and while she can be very tough at times she is always fair and always pushes you past your comfort level. I loved every minute and am so excited with the progress Beau and I have made. We also competed at five shows, faced the judges 14 times, and earned several qualifying scores for Championships later this year.
There were 14 girls in the program, including one from Trinidad and several from the Northeast/New England area. We were able to watch and meet some of the biggest names in the dressage world. We met every member of the US Olympic Dressage Team and even held their bronze medal from the 2016 games in Rio. I was also able sit down with Laura Graves from the team and interview her for a required project.
While we were all enjoying the nice weather, the days were a lot of hard work. Every day starts at 6:30 a.m. with barn chores then fitness and ends around 4:30 p.m. We rode our horses 6 days a week, took field trips to other farms, had weekly written tests, and volunteered. Only twice a month could my mom and I sleep in because I shared morning chores with a friend. I did quite a bit of my schoolwork at the barn and on weekends.
I can’t wait to share more stories when I return to Pepperell. I really appreciate all the support from my teachers, Ms. Young, Ms. Gleason, and Superintendent Landers. It has been an amazing experience that I will always cherish. If you want to look back at more of my journey here in Wellington, please visit my Facebook page for Usela, just search teamholloran.
See you soon, Tessa