Sunday May 25, 2014
Where do I begin?
My name is Liz Jaax, as most of you already know. I am twenty one years old and have just embarked on the job of a lifetime and the opportunity to learn and grow in the horse industry. This is my story, both in the past and what is to come.
Through the years I have ridden and brought along many young and older horses, each one teaching me in their own personal way. From my first Arabian pony to my current five year old thoroughbred, I couldn’t have accomplished what I have without them. From these horses, I have realized my dream of being in the horse industry in some sort of fashion.
Back home I have been working at Palmer Ranch Inc. as a riding instructor and trainer. I specialize in young horses and hunter/jumper training. Before that, I worked with Tim and Bonnie Griest who owned Briar Fox Farms. During my time at Briar Fox I was able to ride an amazing young thoroughbred and receive lessons with Geoffrey Griest, who taught me all about riding quiet and confidently. I owe a lot of my riding abilities to Geoff and the time that he spent training me. Last summer, I spent a few weeks in Stillwater, OK with Catie Noles, a hunter/jumper trainer who taught me the importance of patience with the babies. And now, I find myself in Manhattan, KS at Ashwood Farm, under the expert tutelage of Mary Ann Funk.
I have only been here a week and I am just loving it. The horses, care, and people here at Ashwood are second to none. I have also never felt more at home this quickly than I have with the Funk family. They seamlessly welcomed me into their home and barn and I can’t express how much I appreciate it.
This week has been hard yet so rewarding. The first day met me with six horses to ride, a huge change from the usual two or three back home. I got through with some very sore muscles and a tired mind but already feeling the improvement. The next day had eight horses on the schedule! I honestly wasn’t sure that I would make it through some of the rides. Don’t get me wrong, the horses I am riding are amazing but I was only marginally prepared for the amount of work this job requires! As the rest of the week went on, each ride got easier and I am starting to ride better. Lessons are hard but with each one I feel as if I am understanding better and figuring it out. I am also learning all about what it is like to run a competition barn. I love how each horse receives such individualized attention and care, making for some of the happiest horses around. I can’t wait for the rest of the summer, I feel as if I will learn so much and grow a lot as a rider, especially since I was able to bring Danny (my 5 yr old TB) along to join in on the fun!
Next week we start up the week of camp! I am so excited to see Ella, one of my students from back home! It will be a great week of fun for the kids! After that, we are off to Kentucky for two weeks! I am beyond excited to see the horse park and see all the horses!
I will be posting weekly so stay tuned for more posts! Pictures will be up too!