Anya Leland – Six World Titles in 2021

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The Northwest Horse Source is celebrating youth in action. This column features young equine enthusiasts from all over the Northwest who inspire, uplift, or just have fun with horses. The future of the horse industry depends on youth participation. We look forward to sharing their stories and adventures!

If you’re 18 years old or younger and would like to participate, we invite you to share your story HERE.


What is your name and age?

Anya Leland. I am 16 years old.


How long have you been involved with horses?

I began riding at when I was 6, so about 10 years now.


Do you have an instructor or trainer?

Yes— Sarah Aron Kramer.


What’s the hardest part about owning or caring for horses?

I would say that the most challenging thing about owning horses is the time and responsibility involved. Weekends consist of clinics, team lessons, or horse shows. Many times over the years, I have missed birthday parties and other fun activities due to horse commitments.


What kind of riding do you do?

I ride both Western and English and I’m fortunate enough to have a different horse for each style. Tex is my Western horse and Indy is my hunt seat (English) horse. I do showmanship, horsemanship, pleasure, western riding and trail with Tex and hunter under saddle, English equitation, and hunter in hand with Indy.


Tell us about your horses:

Rock My Motion (Tex) is an 11-year-old Appaloosa. I’ve had him a year and a half. He’s Totally Sonny (Indy) is also an 11-year-old Appaloosa who I’ve owned for two years. Blonde Barbee (Barbee) is 10-year-old Appaloosa mare who I’ve had for 4 years.


What are your horse riding and training goals?

My goal is to continue to push myself to be the best rider I can be. I have enjoyed teaching Tex the other classes such as horsemanship and trail (which he had never done before) and fine-tuning his showmanship. Tex is well known for western pleasure and western riding. Tex is actually in the Appaloosa Hall of Fame for being the first Appaloosa to win three All-American Quarter Horse Congress titles. With Indy, I would like to continue to improve our flying lead changes and our back up.


Any accomplishments you’re especially proud of?

Probably my most significant accomplishment has been with my newest horse, Tex. Teaching him horsemanship, showmanship, and trail over the past two years truly paid off for me. I just returned from the ApHc Youth World Show and earned six world titles with him— four of which I won unanimously! I also won the hunt seat equitation with Indy unanimously. I still am pinching myself from this show. I am genuinely so fortunate!


What are some obstacles/challenges you’ve had to overcome with your horse training or riding?

I would say that the toughest challenge has been to teach Tex, who was solely a pleasure horse, to do horsemanship and trail. These two classes are quite different than anything he had ever done before. I know that Tex has been enjoying these new events. Tex is very short-strided, so for him trail will be much more difficult than for a horse with a larger stride. Trail is not my favorite class, but my mom likes it, so we have been working with Tex on trail between my mom and me.


Name one or two of your heroes in the horse world – people you admire and respect. Why did you choose this person?

My biggest heroes in the horse world are Sarah Aron Kramer (my trainer), Jacqueline Frimodt, and Robin and Jenny Frid. Sarah has been one of those trainers that anyone in the Appaloosa circles would love to have as a trainer. Sarah is hardworking and pushes me to be the best that I can be. My dream was to ride with Sarah at Capstone Farm, and my dream came true! I am fortunate to live only 25 minutes from our barn.

I have always admired and respected Jaqueline Frimodt. Jaqueline has been one of my teammates at Capstone and is two years older than me. Jaqueline has been riding with Sarah since she was 7 years old and is currently on the equestrian team for Auburn University. Jaqueline is always there for me. Whether it’s helping me break down my pattern or a shoulder to cry on when a pattern doesn’t go my way, I can count on Jaqueline to bring me up.

Robin and Jenny Frid are two well-known horse trainers in Texas that I have taken clinics with over the past 4 years. Jenny is well known for her specialty of showmanship and Robin for horsemanship. The two of them taught me so much over the years in the handful of clinics we’ve had. I do owe much of my success in the show pen to them.


What is your dream career? Do you see horses in your adult life?

I’m not 100% sure what my dream career will be. Possibly interior design, but I know that I plan to continue to ride for as long as possible. Horses are my passion.

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