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Rider Connect from Bit of Britain: Madi Hunter
Today’s featured rider is Madi Hunter, a young rider who is working towards competing at a four-star in the future.
If you would like to be featured in Rider Connect, email me.
Get to know Madi
I am 19-years-old and I have been riding since I was six! My parents signed me up for a summer camp at a riding to keep me busy, and I haven’t looked back since! I am from Chevy Chase, Maryland and currently work at Waredaca Brewing Company, am a working student for Steph Kohr, and run my own business, Madi Hunter Equine Services. My horse and I are moving up to Novice level this season, and our year end goal is to compete in the Novice Three-Day at Waredaca. I hope to make it to the top of the sport one day, my main goal being to complete Rolex Kentucky CCI4*!
Madi’s horse power
My current horse’s name is Jack Sparrow and he is a 13-year-old Thoroughbred cross, but we are not sure with what! When I was a working student for Denny Emerson, I had another horse and he saw that we were struggling, so he suggested finding a different horse, and that is how I came across Sparrow, just a little over a year ago, and I am so thankful I did! We struggle with staying straight and connected, as well as staying focused, but we have come a long way from where we started! Sparrow loves to suck and chew on his tongue while in the cross ties and can’t seem to complete his day without a good head scratch, and getting a handful of his favorite Mrs. Pasture’s cookies! We board at Waredaca in Maryland and he is incredibly happy there. What makes me most proud of him is how hard he tries each time we go out to do our thing, I can feel him working for his best each time!
For the past year, Sparrow and I have been working with Steph Kohr, having lessons about four times a week. Since I have been running my own business, my schedule has been pretty flexible which makes getting all my barn time in pretty easy, thankfully! We try to jump twice a week, and get at least two hacks in, with one day for trot sets! I recently broke my back, so Sparrow had a week or two off while we determined a course of action before Steph took over his ride while I recovered. This coming season, he will have some down time after our spring season!
Influence and inspiration
I have been fortunate enough to have a great team of people behind me, all the way from the start. Amber Power and Carrie Mallory were some of my first instructors and they kept my interest going and helped me to start forming my dreams, and have continued to do so throughout the years! Denny Emerson really helped me to realize my confidence and capability, and also gave me an incredible horse. Denny is someone I admire, and will continue to admire forever. Working with Denny, I also got to work with Daryl Kinney, who has been a big influence. I really respect her desire to work and be better, and it has fueled my desire to work and be better. Laine Ashker, Elisa Wallace, and Lynn Symansky have been riders that I have really looked up to as I begin my carreer in Eventing. As for teaching me the most, Sparrow has certainly taught me the most-both about riding, care, and about myself. We learn something new everyday with the help of Steph Kohr, who has been such an influence in my life this past year. I greatly admire her and I am beyond lucky to call her my trainer and my friend.
Most embarrassing Eventing moment
At my most recent event, I thought I had done my dressage test wrong, but kept going because no one blew a whistle! I asked the judge as soon as I finished, super nervous I would be eliminated, and turns out I did it correctly, and I let out a nervous and relieved laugh! I will definitely be learning my tests a little bit better from now on!
Most triumphant Eventing moment
Starting Eventing, I have had some confidence issues, and Sparrow and I couldn’t complete a cross-country course without any faults. After taking a break so gain some confidence, Sparrow and I went to an event on our own, and went clear in all phases, only adding a little time. I cried when I crossed the finish line because I was so incredibly happy with how things had gone! That was the definition of a proud mom moment!
I have had many amazing moments this past year with Sparrow, but my favorite moment might have to be my first ride back after breaking my back. When I first learned I would be out, I thought I might never sit on a horse again, but after two and a half months of time off for myself, I finally got to go on a walking hack! I have never been so thankful to be on a horse before!
Best of luck this season Madi!
If you would like to be featured in Rider Connect, email me