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August Rider Spotlight

Name: Karla Palmer

Age: Let's just call me an Adult Amateur

Horse's Name & Breed: Ao de la Luna. I didn't name her. The breeder did. Ao is a Maori Goddess. My mare is an Azteca. Quarter Horse mother, Andalusian father. Ao is 9. I've had her for about 2 1/2 years now.

I've been riding for most of my life. I started trail riding when I was about 10. I did some barrels and poles and showed Western Pleasure & Equitation. I also did a tour of duty as a Los Alamos County Rodeo Queen in the 90's. But at some point in my teenage years I discovered jumping. Someone loaned me my first English AP saddle and it was like I'd been handed a pair of wings. There's nothing like jumping. I enjoy dressage and I participate in both Classical and Western Dressage. But as many times as I've told myself I'm done jumping, I just can't stay away.

I've done Eventing and participated in Hunter classes, but my favorite thing to compete in by far is the Jumpers. About ten years ago when I was still living in the Midwest, I had the opportunity to show two weeks out of every month in the Low Adult Jumper classes on the A circuit. It felt like a dream come true.

Since my trainer was based out of St. Louis, Missouri, we showed in places like Missouri, Tennessee, Michigan, Florida, and Iowa. I attended as many of these events as I could afford with my mare, Mercy. Mercy has since retired to the Stephens College equestrian program in Columbia, MO and I have to say that my dreams are probably a lot smaller these days.

Ao is young and athletic and honestly, she's probably better at Dressage than she is at jumping. But that's okay. I don't have much of a driving need to jump big these days. It will be plenty enough fun for me to jump around a 2'6 course in Santa Fe. If I had to name a current goal, I'd have to say I just want to get back in the ring and remember where the heck I'm going. Some days, that's really enough for me. That's probably what I like best about training with Lindsay. There's no pressure to compete or to go out and buy the next expensive horse or new tack. She's perfectly willing to help me find a way to reach my goals in a way and on a time schedule that works for me. Ao isn't a super talented jumper mare and we're a bit of a mismatch in some ways, but both Ao and I are willing to try and that's all Lindsay ever asks for.

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