A Look Inside Horseback Riding at West Salem

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A Look Inside Horseback Riding at West Salem

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Many students with unique passions go unrecognized. At West Salem, we have many who love working with horses.

Junior Morgan Lance has been around horses for five years. Her mom was interested in  horses, but Lance always had a fear of them. She was able to overcome her fear, and that is when her passion for horses began.

Since then, Lance has competed in all different events including cattle and halter classes, ranch pleasure, and trail. Halter classes are showing off the build and muscles of a horse. Being around horses has taught her listen to the horses and to work better. Not only has she learned from them but horses have been reliever when dealing with anxiety. It allows Lance to be free from what is on her mind for a few hours. Overall, horses have given her a passion and been a major part of her life.

Freshman Delaney Christianson was born into a horse loving family, with her father growing up on a farm and passing down the joy of riding. She has since learned many important life lessons, including how to be mindful and careful around these 1000 plus pound animals. Creating a bond has helped her and her horse, Lily. It is important to know how to know what your horse needs. It is a huge responsibility, and you have to be committed to taking care of the animal.

Because of this, Christianson’s day starts off early at 6:00 a.m. with a quick breakfast and a walk down to the barn. She then grooms and tacks up Lily. “Tacking up” refers to saddling a horse and putting on the headgear. Depending on how her horse is doing that day, she will ride for pleasure and then go on a trail ride with her dad. She ends with removing Lily’s riding gear, brushing her, and giving her some peppermints as a treat.

Junior Ali Lovejoy also has a strong passion for horses. She has been around horses her whole life, but got involved at age six. Her Grandma Peggy owns a horse farm in West Salem and was someone who played an important role with getting started. She started with youth classes but then decided that she wanted more of a challenge. She went on to compete for a world title in 2017 with her horse, Chloe. They traveled to ten different states and she came up home with World Reserve Champion!  One thing that she says is important when working with these animals is creating a bond and relationship. She has a strong bond with them, “I have a great bond with my horses, whenever they hear me coming they’re waiting right at their stall door staring at me,” said Lovejoy. This year she is showing two horses named Vinnie and Iris. Showing her horses gave her enough money to pay for half the price of Iris. She is very devoted to these animals and have been a huge part of her life!

Grace Waldenberger is a freshman who has also been around horses for most of her life. She started riding at age four because she saw her older sister, Jessa, taking lessons and was interested. Waldenberger also competes and works with two organizations, Little Britches Rodeo of Wisconsin and Wisconsin High School Rodeo Association. Her whole family leaves on Fridays to arrive at the rodeo in the evening. She competes all of Saturday and Sunday and drives back home after the long weekend. One thing Waldenberger has learned through working with horses is trust and patience. These animals require a strong relationship for a successful time.

Horseback Riding can sometimes be overlooked. But these girls spend countless hours preparing and devoting their time to horses. They’ve learned responsibility and hard work by taking care of them which is no easy chore. Horses have brought families joy and the passion for them has been passed down for generations.

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