Read what Addie's Mom Michelle wrote about Denver Equestrians:
The Diary of the Lucky Winner!
Christmas 2011: I was at a loss as to what to get my daughter, Addie (then, 10 years old), for Christmas. With numerous in-town relatives, I was certain that I did not want to buy one more toy or one more article of clothing for the child! A few weeks before Christmas, I came across a Groupon for riding lessons with Denver Equestrians. Addie had some experience riding- with two aunts who are ride and own numerous horses- and had frequently shared her desire to take formal lessons. “Ah ha, that’s the gift for her! No batteries required, doesn’t require a visit to the mall, doesn’t take up space, easy to wrap!” What I didn’t predict was what a life-changing gift this would be!
June – July 2012: After months of nagging, I finally got around to scheduling Addie’s Intro to Horsemanship class and 3 lessons! (Now, I love horses and all, but between teaching full time, having two other children who are involved in other activities, and Addie having other interests as well, it took me this amount of time to fit it into our schedule!) Addie came home from each of these lessons with so much enthusiasm and passion for horses and for riding! She was immediately hooked and gave up all other activities so she could dedicate all of her time to riding!
August 2012: Addie enrolled in the DE Horse Camp that went all day for several days. While Addie enjoyed time with peers, what she really gained from the week was the relationship she built with the horses and with the adults who shared her passion for horses! The female trainers/instructors continue to be her role models to this day.
September 2012: Addie was no longer content with a riding lesson here and there. She wanted more, and she wanted a schedule! Each Sunday for 4 weeks, she spent 4 hours participating in Saddle Club. There, she furthered her knowledge about horsemanship, horse care, and riding. She interacted with a diverse group of students, ranging from ages 7-15, learning not only about horses but about working with people from different backgrounds and experiences.
October 2012: We were in Montrose, visiting relatives (the aunt with horses!). Addie had spent all day, riding with and learning from her aunt. As we were leaving town, I received the phone call that my raffle ticket was chosen and she had won a year of free lessons! While I was ecstatic, I had no idea- at the time- what this gift would really mean to us. This gift has not only been of monetary value but of social-emotional value for Addie. Addie has had many interests (volleyball, basketball, dance, clarinet), but riding truly is her passion. Through horsemanship, she has learned responsibility, commitment, risk-taking, & trust. As a teacher and a parent, I know that many of these lessons do not come to many until much later in life, and, for some, never. As I watch Addie each week- atop this large, powerful animal- exuding confidence, I realize what a true blessing this series of events has been.
February 2013: Addie had the privilege of participating in a clinic with Ken McGrath. While her experience with horses was more limited, relative to the other riders, and she had her glitches in the day (!), she learned so much from Mr. McGrath and from the experience. Here was a 10-year-old girl, showing with mostly women, and learning from an true champion. Who wouldn’t grow from an experience such as this!
September 2013: Addie has joined the DE Show Team and couldn’t be more excited about something! We feel very blessed to have the relationship we have with Denver Equestrians. The trainers are all passionate, knowledgeable, and trustworthy. Addie has been pushed just the right amount to make progress but not so much as to make her feel unsafe or uncomfortable. While I had seen through my sister (a lifelong equestrian) and through my son who has a disability (involved in hippotherapy), the beauty of a relationship between a human and a horse, there is a critical 3rd point in that relationship- a trainer who is caring and empathetic with the rider and in tune with the horse. We have found that at DE, and are extremely grateful for all that they’ve done for Addie.