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?
My name is Cora Floyd, and I’m 17.
How long have you been involved with horses?
I’ve been riding consistently since I was about 8 years old, although my parents say I’ve raved about and loved horses since I could talk.
Do you have a trainer?
Yes, I primarily train with Suzy Huizenga of Twin Maples Farms. I also sometimes get to show with Paige Wagter of Burkwood Farms, and I am on the Burkwood Farms IEA team.
What’s the hardest part about owning or caring for horses?
For me, the hardest part is the time commitment. When you own a horse, it takes a lot of time to keep them healthy and in top condition. Balancing time between friends, school, and horses is a lot. It’s a big responsibility, but I think it’s taught me a lot about time management.
What kind of riding do you do?
I ride English; I do show jumping, hunters, and equitation. Right now, I primarily compete in show jumping and equitation.
Tell us about your horse. Breed? Age? How long have you owned him or her?
My horse, Given, is a 10-year-old Canadian Warmblood gelding. I’ve owned him for about 3 years now.
What are your horse riding and training goals?
Someday I hope to show at the grand prix level. I also want to try my hand at training off-the-track-thoroughbreds. I really enjoy the training process and I think it’s just as fun (if not more fun) than showing. Finally, I want to start a teaching/lesson business and teach kids to ride.
Any accomplishments you’re especially proud of?
In 2018, I was the WSHJA champion in the 0.75-0.85m jumpers with my previous pony, Monkey. I was proud of this achievement because it was during my first year of rated showing. I’m also really proud of my improvement with my current horse, Given. I haven’t had trainers ride Given and all of the training he’s had in the time I’ve owned him was done by me. I’ve seen him really improve in his canter, lead changes, and jumping, and I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together.
What are some obstacles or challenges you’ve overcome with your horse training or riding?
Luckily, I haven’t run into that many challenges in my riding. However, I’d say the biggest obstacle I’ve faced is combatting femoral anteversion. Femoral anteversion is something you’re born with, and it’s basically when your femur is turned too far inward. This alters the anatomy of your knees, legs, and hips. It has made it difficult for me to not pinch with my knees and to maintain a correct hip angle over fences. I’ve gone to physical therapy and gotten much better, and I’ll keep working to combat it.
Name one or two of your heroes in the horse world—people you admire and respect. Why did you choose this person?
The person I look up to the most in my riding is Beezie Madden. Beezie is someone who I’ve always admired, and I aspire to be as good as she is. My favorite thing about Beezie is how she emphasizes correct flatwork, equitation, and horsemanship as the foundation for show jumping.
I also hold lots of respect for my trainer, Suzy, because she is incredibly knowledgeable and has helped me and many others to become better riders and horsewomen.
What is your dream career? Do you see horses in your adult life? How?
My dream career is to ride professionally and to teach lessons at my own business. I want to share the horse knowledge that I have learned with aspiring riders and help to bring the joy of horses into their lives. I would also like to incorporate training rescue horses into my adult life.
This column sponsored by:
Brandi Coplen has shown AQHA nationally as a youth and amateur. With a successful show career at top shows in the world, her focus is now on her twin girls’ riding. Passionate about youth programs, she sees our youth as the future and success of the industry. Brandi was an Area Director for the National Snaffle Bit Association and helped them promote the National Snaffle Bit Association Youth Smart Points program.
Brandi is a Realtor who partners with Tresie Weirsma as Windermere Equestrian Living’s The North Group, specializing in farm, acreage and equestrian properties. [email protected] or www.brandicoplen.withwre.com
Find out more at www.brandicoplen.withwre.com.