By Sierra Bourdess
I grew up in the small town of Sullivan, Ohio. The population is probably less than 1,000 people, everybody knows everyone. I live with my parents in a log cabin sitting on 18 acres and I have lived here for most of my life. The community here is amazing, everyone comes together in a time of need and people are just always willing to reach a hand out to help.
I started riding horses when I was four years old. I can remember my mom taking my sister and I to our riding lessons multiple times throughout the week, which I am so thankful for her doing so. If it wasn’t for my mom introducing me to horses at such a young age, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Fast forward 16 years later and I am still riding and showing horses and I wouldn’t trade the life I have now for anything!
Besides my mom, there is one person in particular who also influenced me to start my career with horses and that is Sue Hoisington. She was one of my mom's friends who had a passion for horses as well. Sue was always willing to help me in any situation, even when I was being a stubborn four year old. She’s the one who taught me how to ride and care for horses and eventually as the years went by and I got older to care for my own, she gave my sister and I our first pony, Princess.
I have ridden both english and western, however, I’m more of an experienced rider in the western pleasure because I have ridden in that discipline since I was four years old. Additionally, I always had more confidence riding my horse in the western pleasure classes. I also work with miniature and shetland horses. With my miniatures and shetlands I work them in showmanship, halter, driving and trail in hand classes.
I purchased my 4 year old quarter horse January of 2016 and that was the best day of my life! PJ, also known as Double Invite, was just a tiny 2 year old at the time with little to no miles put on him, but he still stole my heart. In addition, I also have four miniature horses and one shetland.
PJ is a 4 year old quarter horse gelding. He stands 16.2 hands tall and I feel like he never stops growing! PJ is a gorgeous palomino with a super long mane. He was bred by Tim Greenleaf and Rose-Mary Price in Ohio, out of their amazing stallion Double Invitation and mare Zippy’s Version.
I would have to say PJ is one of the most docile and kind hearted horses I have ever owned, he’s seriously one of a kind. I am so thankful to be able to call him mine.
As far as my minis go, Shadow is a 9 year old miniature horse gelding. He’s a black and white pinto and I have owned him since he was 3 months old! Cardiac, also known as Graham’s Rebel, is also a black and white pinto and he is also a gelding. He is the most gorgeous mini with the sweetest attitude. JP, also known as Jones Call Me Phenomenal, is a solid bay gelding with one blue eye and one brown eye and has the oddest shaped blaze. He just turned 16 years old this year and he certainly doesn’t act like it! Lastly, I have Gypsy, also known as, Heavens Gate Special Design. She is a 12 year old black and white pinto. She is my only mare and I do have to say she is the best mare I have ever owned or interacted with.
PJ and I have worked together throughout the year I have owned him and I took him to local open shows. Of course he would always give me his all and if we didn’t do good we would work even harder to achieve a goal at the next show.
This past summer PJ and I traveled to Tulsa, Oklahoma and we accomplished getting two top tens overall at the 2017 Pinto World Show! We were in some pretty deep western pleasure and western horsemanship classes and I was really proud of how far we both have come to accomplish that together.
I also brought my miniature, Cardiac, to the Pinto World Show and we competed in the showmanship, halter, jumping, color, and trail in hand classes. Cardiac and I ended up being two time Reserve World Champions in the open and amature gelding halter class as well as a Reserve Champion in the amateur multi color class. Cardiac gave me his all that day and our hard work paid off!
Alot could happen in the next few years but I would have to say I hope I still have my family and friends supporting me and watching me do what I love to do between now and five years down the road. Who really knows what could happen throughout a single day? Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. They are always willing to help me and I am so blessed and thankful to have them as my support system.
I also want to keep working and pushing my horse PJ to our limits each and every day trying to live the dream as an equestrian. Everyday is a new opportunity to work for something you want, don’t take it for granted. Just working harder each and everyday to achieve a goal and never quitting if something gets in the way.