I began as a working student with Courtney the summer after high school in 2001. Through college, I would return for “mini stays” as possible. I learned so much my first summer that I was always looking for an opportunity to return and soak up some more!
Being a working student at C Square Farm was hard work but very worthwhile. It was an immersion experience in the world of high end sport horses. I was exposed to training, competing, marketing, and importing. I also – of course – learned how to help with the day to day functioning of a high-end stable. My skills grew in so many realms – braiding, jumping, dressage, painting, and weedwacking. I practiced being versatile, useful, willing, and upbeat in all things horses. Courtney fosters her own values of hard work, high quality, and integrity in her working students. She leads by example, and this helped me as a young rider understand the importance of long days of work and never cutting corners.
As for riding skills, I improved overall and experienced many different rides on quality horses. We had frequent lessons in dressage, stadium, and cross-country. Courtney, and her now retired horse Hanna, had a particular impact making me a stronger, more confident rider cross country. Though I competed very minimally, my competition experiences were very formative. Courtney took me to my first recognized horse trial and helped me survive and enjoy the day at Waredaca.