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?
Georgia Wiersma, and I am 15 years old.
How long have you been involved with horses?
I’ve been involved with horses for most of my life; my mom used to show, which influenced me.
Do you have an instructor or trainer?
Yes, Splendora Huizenga.
What’s the hardest part about owning or caring for horses?
The hardest part is not knowing what could go wrong, like your horse getting injured before a show, and then you can’t show. I enjoy caring for my horse, so I wouldn’t say there are any tough things to do.
What kind of riding do you do?
In general, I show performance. My main classes are showmanship, hunt seat equitation, hunter under saddle, and horsemanship. My favorite class to show is hunt seat equitation because I love how connected I am with my horse. I like executing the different maneuvers in every pattern and showing the judges how my horse and I work together. To prepare for this class, I work on my leg strength a lot. Exercises that I do to help me with this are posting without irons, two-point, and much more!
Tell us about your horse. Breed? Age? How long have you owned him or her?
My parents bought me ‘A Daytona Machine’ in October of 2019; I call him ‘Daytona.’ Daytona is a 15-year-old bay Quarter Horse gelding. We have been a team for just about 2 years, and I can’t wait for many more!
What are your horse riding and training goals?
My goal for the 2021 show season is to ride the same at shows as I do at home. Another primary goal I have is to grow my leg strength. I want to confidently ride without irons for long periods and just increase my leg strength. My immediate goal this show season is to improve my showmanship and horsemanship so I can be as strong in those classes as I am in hunt seat equitation.
Any accomplishments you’re especially proud of?
My first year showing Quarter horse was last year, and I’m a different rider than I was last year at this time. So, I would say that an accomplishment I have is growing my confidence because that has helped me get to where I am today. Last year, I would’ve thought that I was not at the level to compete at big shows. But now I’m getting ready to show at the EMO Championship Shows in Las Vegas, and I’m so excited!
What are some obstacles/challenges you’ve had to overcome with your horse training or riding?
I haven’t had any significant obstacles, but I would say the biggest one is not having as much confidence as others that I was competing against. I gained confidence through experience, and now I’m a better rider because of this.
Name one or two of your heroes in the horse world – people you admire and respect. Why did you choose this person?
The person who I admire and respect the most is my trainer, Splendora Huizenga. She has guided me and taught me so much; I would not be the rider I am today without her guidance. She is so knowledgeable, and in every lesson I learn something new or advance a skill.
What is your dream career? Do you see horses in your adult life? How
I don’t really know my dream career yet, but I hope to move somewhere warm and have horses involved with my life. I would love to travel the world someday as well.
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.