Hayley Buckingham

Here is Dressageforjuniors Rider of the Month for February, Hayley Buckingham:

My name is Hayley Buckingham. I am 16 yrs old, in 11th grade and live in Southern California. We have 5 horses and a mini. Jubilee is my dressage horse, and I also have a big, sweet 8 year old Percheron mare named Willow that I love to trail ride on

I have been riding horses since I could sit up. I started with hunt seat lessons and jumping.I started riding dressage at age 9 when my Mom got a schoolmaster named Angelo. I have been riding dressage now for 7 years.

I ride 6 days a week and go to my trainer once a week.

My horse is an 18 year old 17.1 hand Dutch warmblood gelding named Jubilee. Jubilee has an amazing work ethic. He is always ready to go, never runs out of energy and seems happy in his work. He may be 18, but has the energy of a 2 year old!

Jubilee and I compete in The Interscholastic Equestrian League and local chapter shows.. I have qualified and been to the CDS JR. state championships for the past 5 years. This is my favorite show each year. I love to hang out with all the other competitors . It is a really fun weekend!

My biggest accomplishment so far is earning my USDF bronze medal. I am now working on earning my Silver.

My warmup routine is about 15 minutes of walk on a long rein to stretch with a little connection. Then I go into a long and low trot while posting. After that I go into a relaxed canter. After our work out I make sure to properly cool my horse down and make sure his legs are cooled down.This routine was taught to me by my first dressage trainer and mentor Colleen Walker. She taught me all my dressage basics, and theory that I have used to succeed in dressage. She let me learn to ride dressage on her 2 FEI schoolmasters.They taught me so much, and if I wasn’t riding correctly they tattled on me! She always encouraged me and told me I could do anything I put my mind to. I really appreciate and value everything that she has helped me with.

My favorite dressage movements are flying changes.

I have participated in clinics with Gerhardt Politz, Kathleen Raine, and Jan Curtis. I am currently riding at 4th level, and schooling PSG.

To reach your goals in dressage you have to keep working hard, keep trying even when you are discouraged and keep learning all you can. Take really good care of your horse. They give us so much! You will only get better the harder you work.

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