Here is junior rider Mackinzie Pooley’s interview for the month of May:
Q: Tell us about yourself:
A: My name is Mackinzie Pooley and i live in Coto De Caza California. My horses name is Jonkara and she lives in Murrieta California which is over an hour away from my house. Some of my accomplishments are being a double individual bronze medalist at the 2007 and 2008 NAJYRC and also the 2008 Collecting Gate Farms Reserve National Champion. This season i am trying out for the Region 7 Young Rider Team.
Q: When did you decide to ride dressage and how long have you been riding?
A: I started riding dressage when i was seven.My mom was the one who started me because she had ridden when she was younger. I was doing both dressage and hunter jumping for a while, when i was 9 i decided to just focus on the dressage. The reason being that at a young age i loved the challenge of not always having it perfect and having to work had to achieve something. I have been riding dressage for 10 years.
Q: How often do you train?
A: I train anywhere from 4 to 6 days a week depending on when in the season it is. Jonkara is 19 and already trained so its more about keeping her fit and happy. My horse is an hour and a half away from my house so it makes it difficult to get out there all the time. My trainer is David Wightman.
Q: What is your warm up routine?
A: Well in the morning of a important show day i usally will get on and walk her for 15 minutes then do 5 minutes of long and low in the trot just to get her moving. When i get on to show i always walk my horse for a good 10 to 15 minutes. She is older so she needs that time to loosen up. Then its basic work ( transitions and half halts) until she’s supple and relaxed. Then depending on how its going we work from there on shoulder in and other excersizes in the test.
Q: Tell us about your horse and his/her personality.
A: I have a 16.1 hand Oldenburg mare named Jonkara. I’ve had her for almost five years. She tries very hard all the time and always gives me 110%. On the ground she can be kind of sassy but once she knows you she is very well behaved. She is never “mareish” and is the most willing horse i’ve ever had the pleasure of riding.
Q: Do you go trail riding?
A: Unforchently i don’t get to as much anymore, i used to take Jonkara once a week because she loves going out on the trails.
Q: What are your goals with your horse?
A: My current goal is to try to qualify for the Region 7 Young Rider Team. I’d also really like to continue showing her at the I1 for the experience. After this season is over i would love to be able to try an I2 on her just for fun
Q: Who is your mentor and why?
A: My mentor i would have to say is my mom. She is always there for me, and is Jonkara and I’s biggest fan. She always has such an upbeat and positive attitude and is a great role model. She does so many things not just for me but for the dressage community in California. She is the Region 7 Coordinator and gives so much to the people around her.
Q: What can you tell other junior riders about reaching their goals in riding dressage?
A: My advice to other juniors and young riders would be to never give up. I would have never dreamed of accomplishing the things i did without the drive to succeed. Always have a positive outlook and good attitude, it well get you much farther than a sour one. But most importantly remember that there is always tomorrow and you cant win them all.
Q: What is your favorite dressage movement?
A: I would have to say my favorite movement is the passage. I find it the most fun because Jonkara and i are just learning it, so it makes it a challenge.