I have ridden since childhood, competing in equitation and hunters as a junior and amateur owner hunters. I was fortunate to have wonderful, supportive trainers as a kid and young adult, because my horses were always ‘bargain bin’ greenies and I was always showing on a budget.
After a ten-year break from riding during my thirties, a friend gave me crossbred mare. She wasn’t fancy enough for the hunters, so we tried eventing. I loved the idea of this sport: with the right preparation a plain little crossbred has a chance at success.
This introduced me to Margie and I have been training with her ever since. I love her teaching style - calm and low-key, with tremendous patience (and a little humor). She is sympathetic to the crazy schedule of an adult amateur with a budget and a child/husband/farm/job, etc. And she always wants what is best for the horses.
With Margie’s help, I found my current horse Vi four years ago. I keep Miss Vi at my house in the summer and fall, and trailer in for lessons. We board at Larkin Hill every winter and spring. Everybody loves Vi – she’s a nifty little horse, and I have a lot of fun with her but a string of injuries has made our progress slow at times and frustrating. Each time it happens, Margie and the Larkin Hill staff provide sympathy and encouragement, and pay careful attention to Vi’s return to work and her level of fitness, which plays a significant role in her recovery. I am picky about the care of my horse, and when she is at Larking Hill the level of care provided is second to none. Their collective breadth of knowledge and attention to every detail are evident.
This summer, Vi and I are taking a little hiatus from jumping to see if we can break this injury cycle. In late June we dipped our toes in the ‘DQ’ pool for the first time at a USDF show. Thanks to our training at Larkin Hill, we had a great experience and came home with excellent scores. I think we’ll try it again.
Larkin Hill is a beautiful facility, and I am very lucky to live so close to it. I can drive less than ten minutes to regular competitions and clinics by world-class instructors. It also has something not found at every barn - a friendly, supportive atmosphere and true camaraderie. Even though we board there only half the year, Larkin Hill always feels like our home.