THIS PAGE: SHILOH & ANNA IN THE SMALL PONY HUNTER DIVISION AT USEF PONY FINALS 2019 IN LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY. RIGHT PAGE: SHILOH WINNING THE HARPER TASKIER WRIGHT AWARD FOR THE SMALL PONY CHAMPIONSHIP AT 2019 CAPITAL CHALLENGE HORSE SHOW IN UPPER MARLBORO, MD. HEAVENLY PATCH OF BLUE ENDED THE YEAR BY WINNING THE COVETED USEF NATIONAL HORSE OF THE YEAR, SMALL PONY HUNTER CHAMPION.
From Shiloh’s perspective, however, it hasn’t always been rainbows and butterflies. “Christa does not put up with lollygagging. It’s work, and when you get in the ring, you’re there to learn. You put in the work, you pay your dues and this is how you become a good rider,” says Shari, adding that Shiloh had a bit of a rude awakening when she took her first lesson with Endicott. “Shiloh never had to work that hard in a lesson before, ever, and she did not enjoy it. She did not want to take her next lesson,” laughs Shari, who says that making students work without stirrups is one of Christa’s favorite pastimes. Fortunately, it’s also become one of Shiloh’s. “In my lessons, we work a lot on the basics, like riding a good track on course. We work a lot with no stirrups, and I’ve jumped without them a few times over things like triple bars and barrels!” she says excitedly. Adrenaline-seeking aside, Shiloh has also absorbed a number of more technical lessons from her trainer that are likely to serve her for the rest of her riding career. Says Christa, “Once Shiloh got to a certain point in her riding, I could start to explain to her how to get the best jump out of her pony, and how her riding really played a part in that. It isn’t just the pony’s job. That’s something that she and Anna learned together, which, of course, is a tool that Shiloh will really take with her.”
“For me, the transition wasn’t that difficult because I think you still need to be thinking about all the same things as you goimportance around the of show ring on a kind horseofasgoing you do pony. “Christa’s taught me the “That’s to on be athe endIof an still have to use leg, I still have to use my corners and keepbaton good horsemanship and having a good era,” Shari says. “I think the formal my eyes I still to listen my horse I do withDevin my attitude,” Shiloh adds. “She has up. taught mehavepass will to happen after(as that, when and make adjustments as I go.Anna One thing thatWe’re has getting to always listen to the ponies) horses, because starts showing this year. made my transition easier is my already horse Venice. We ” they can’t talk, but theydefinitely always try to tell her on her at home to practice. so luckywhat to get him, he is really a unicorn. He helped his us something. She canwere understand previous poniesher to middle-child horses and now he’sand donesome Despite status they need, and she tries to teachowner me go from the same for me. He’s so patient with me and he knows good-natured ribbing (“she’s a bithis of job, a potthose important life lessons.” so he’s helped “cover” for a lot of my mistakes while I’ve been stirrer!” Shari jokes), Shiloh has been happy created a more partner to MOVIN’ ON UP learning. I could not have to help Devin alongperfect with the transition, help me learn the ropes," said Shiloh. suggesting what spurs to wear with Anna
In January at the Horse of the Year Gala, and giving her flatwork pointers at home. adds,stage "Thetohorses are strides which a beaming Shiloh tookShe center Butbigger Shilohwith will bigger have more than enough on means the process of measuring where you are in lines is very accept her giant, tri-color ribbon and a her plate this year to keep her occupied. different. On ponies, you often have to squeeze to make sure silver trophy reserved for the National you get down the lines. But on horses if you squeeze too much Small Pony Hunter Champion. Though First on the list is making a name for you might get there too soon. So I’ve had to learn to be patient she still has big dreams in mind for herself in the equitation and junior hunters, jumping in and then see where I am beforeoffI decided how I start her other ponies – foremost, a strong where she’s already to a successful ride awith certain herline.” in the 3’3” divisions. Her plans are to move finish at Pony Finals 2020 bay Medium, Beach Boy – Shiloh up to the 3’6” by Summer 2020. According and Anna will likely make their final to Shari, Shiloh’s intensity and steely competitive appearance together this character are likely to serve her well in spring at the Devon Horse Show. After the years to come, especially in the highly that, Anna’s reins will pass to Shiloh’s technical and occasionally cutthroat little sister, Devin. Big Eq divisions.
“Shiloh is strong-willed, independent and determined, but she actually has a very sensitive inner core. She has a big heart but she also has a tough exterior and very thick-skin,” Shari says. “I am a strong, independent-minded woman so I’ve always believed it was important to instill those same qualities in my daughters. But it’s kind of a ‘be careful what you wish for situation,’ because Shiloh likes to challenge everything, and now that I have it, I’m ready to pull my hair out!” Though she’s not ready to trade-in her jodhpurs and garter straps for a permanent pair of tall boots any time soon, it’s clear that Shiloh’s foundation in and out of the ring is more than solid. With poise, mental toughness, and a coach that prioritizes good horsemanship in her corner, there’s every reason to expect that Shiloh’s junior career will be just as successful as her pony years.
“For me, the transition wasn’t that difficult because I think you still need to be thinking about all the same things as you go around the show ring on a horse as you do on a pony. I still have to use leg, I still have to use my corners and keep my eyes up. I still have to listen to my horse (as I do with my ponies) and make adjustments as I go. One thing that has definitely made my transition easier is my horse Venice. We were so lucky to get him, he is really a unicorn. He helped his previous owner go from ponies to horses and now he’s done the same for me. He’s so patient with me and he knows his job, so he’s helped “cover” for a lot of my mistakes while I’ve been learning. I could not have created a more perfect partner to help me learn the ropes,” said Shiloh.
very different. On ponies, you often have to squeeze to make sure you get down the lines. But on horses if you squeeze too much you might get there too soon. So I’ve had to learn to be patient jumping in and then see where I am before I decided how I ride a certain line.” “Riding teaches kids so much about compassion, and huge, huge, responsibility,” Shari reflects. “Christa has taught Shiloh a lot about listening to her pony or horse, and also being able to think on her feet.” “She’s really taken Shiloh from a child rider to a more mature junior rider, and she’s given her a whole new set of ground rules and tools.” ◼ PHOTOS © JAYDE COLE, SHAWN MCMILLEN PHOTOGRAPHY, THE BOOK LLC, MCCOOL
She adds, “The horses are bigger with bigger strides which means the process of measuring where you are in lines is
PHOTOGRAPHY & ANASOFIA VAZQUEZ
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