The Northwest Horse Source is celebrating youth in action. This column features young equine enthusiasts from all over the Northwest who inspire, uplift, or just have fun with horses. The future of the horse industry depends on youth participation. We look forward to sharing their stories and adventures!
If you’re 18 years old or younger and would like to participate, we invite you to share your story HERE.
What is your name and age?
Anna Rodriguez; I am 17 years old.
How long have you been involved with horses?
I’ve been riding since I was seven. 2022 will be my fifth year showing AQHA.
What’s the hardest part about owning or caring for horses?
Two of my horses are over an hour and a half away from where I live, so not being able to go ride and practice as often as I would like is hard.
What kind of riding do you do? (What’s your discipline?) Do you have more than one?
Currently, I’m just showing my gelding, Randy, in the hunter under saddle division. Last year I showed my mare in the all-around events at AQHA shows.
Tell us about your horse(s): Breed? Age? How long have you owned them?
I have two quarter horses, Randy and Belle. Randy will be five this coming year; Belle will be six, and my senior horse, Nanny, will be 26. I’ve had Randy a little over a year, Belle for 3 years, and Nanny for 9.
What are your riding and training goals?
My current goal is to become a stronger rider and have a stronger team with Randy in the hunt seat equitation. He is just learning how to do the equitation, so I’m super excited to put all the pieces together.
Any accomplishments you’re especially proud of?
My biggest accomplishment would have to be placing 5th overall at this year’s All American Quarter Horse Congress in the NYATT (National Youth Activity Team Tournament) Hunter Under Saddle. It was only Randy’s fourth time showing, and I was super proud of how well I rode him through such a deep class. Washington State finished 3rd overall in the team tournament.
What are some obstacles/challenges you’ve had to overcome with your horse training or riding?
The biggest challenge so far has been learning a new discipline on such a green horse. Before I got Randy, I mainly was showing in horsemanship, showmanship, and equitation. Switching to just showing in the hunter under saddle was a massive change for me. He has loads of natural talent, but it was hard to learn how to help him do his job without getting in the way.
Name one or two of your heroes in the horse world—people you admire and respect. Why did you choose this person?
I admire Jeni Brunner; Jeni does beautiful photography and seeing all her work inspires me.
What is your dream career? Do you see horses in your adult life?
My dream career involves both horses and photography. I would love to work as a photographer at some bigger horse shows or take portraits of equestrians and their horses.
This column is sponsored by:
Brandi Coplen has shown AQHA nationally as a youth and amateur. With a successful show career at top shows in the world, her focus is now on her twin girls’ riding. Passionate about youth programs, she sees our youth as the future and success of the industry. Brandi was an Area Director for the National Snaffle Bit Association and helped them promote the National Snaffle Bit Association Youth Smart Points program.
Brandi is a Realtor who partners with Tresie Weirsma as Windermere Equestrian Living’s The North Group, specializing in farm, acreage and equestrian properties. firstname.lastname@example.org or www.brandicoplen.withwre.com
Find out more at www.brandicoplen.withwre.com.