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Rider Connect from Bit of Britain: Taylor Blumenthal
Today’s featured rider is Taylor Blumenthal, a hardworking mother and professional eventer who keeps busy juggling her business and family life.
If you would like to be featured in Rider Connect, email me.
Get to know Taylor
My name is Taylor Blumenthal. I live just outside of Atlanta, GA with my husband, toddler daughter, one big dog and one little dog. I became obsessed with horses at age 12 after a week at horse summer camp. I am now 30 years plus a few more years old and horses are still a huge part of my life. Rather than going to college I decided to ride horses exclusively after high school. I did the working student thing, evented through one-star, galloped racehorses, worked as a vet tech for an equine practice, had my own training barn mostly riding difficult horses and breaking young horses.
After a few years of lots of bad luck and plenty of bad decisions I was broke, tired and burnt out. So, I went to college so I could get a “real” job. Horse people understand! I found my other passion, politics, yikes! I know. I got married, started a family and recently found my way back to the horse business. My little side business of teaching a few students and riding a few training horses has now become a full-time job again. I took a break from my office job to have a baby, now that baby is nearly 2-years-old. I’m trying to find the right balance between horses, work, life, and family. It’s a constant struggle! I find it impossible not to have visions of Rolex and Grand Prix, I am just an ambitious, competitive type. However, the realities of finances and life being what they are I know ambition might not be enough. I love riding and teaching so I guess we will just see where life goes.
Taylor’s horse power
I am currently competing three horses. Saxon, Bocca, and Overture. Saxon is a 13-year-old Thoroughbred cross gelding. His owner and breeder, Martha Woodham, is a longtime client of mine. I actually broke Saxon as a 5-year-old. I am riding him again with the goal of taking him to the AECs this year. He won the Open Novice at Chatt Hills April Horse Trial. That was our first recognized event together in years so we are off to a good start!
Bocca is for sale. She is a Dutch cross mare also owned by the same people that bred her. I started riding her a few months ago and she is really taking to Eventing. She has won both of her schooling events with dressage scores in the 20s and she will go to her first recognized event this month. Bocca is aimed toward the AECs as well.
Overture “Quin” is my personal horse. He is a coming 6-year-old Warmblood cross. I got him August of 2016. I would describe him as unbroke at that time. Yes, I sat on him when I tried him and yes he had had a person on his back before but it was a tentative ride. I really didn’t want him. He was too big and much greener than I was interested in. But the price was right and I knew objectively he was a nice horse. So I bought him. When I got him he was 16.2hh he is now a full 17hh and I’m all of 5ft tall. Maybe not a perfect match. He’s big, strong, and still a little unpredictable. But he has come so far in just eight months. I have shown him in some recognized dressage shows. He went to his first recognized horse trial last weekend and was 2nd! He was so brave. I am also planning to try some hunter/jumper stuff with him. I’m very excited to see where he goes. He’s pretty cool.
Saxon and Bocca live at their owners farms and I ride them a couple days a week. That wouldn’t work for green, difficult or higher level horses but both of those horses are so easy and well-mannered I don’t have to ride them every day and they receive wonderful care at home. I board my horse at Chatt Hills Eventing which is amazing and truly my happy place. It’s hard for me not to take care of my own horses but it does give me a lot more flexibility. Pros and cons I suppose.
In the south, we can show year round if we want. I really only take off December and January. My students and I go on a little “boot camp” trip to Aiken for a week in February to get show season started.
Influence and inspiration
My family makes riding possible for me. My husband is not a horse person but knows horses make me happy so he is very supportive. My parents watch my daughter ALL the time. The free babysitting is soooo appreciated. I couldn’t ride nearly as much if not for that. For better or worse my mom has always been incredibly supportive of my riding. Without her, I would never have done as much as I have with horses. She still helps me do sale videos. A much-needed service!! My students are also a huge part of what makes everyday fun and rewarding. I teach almost exclusively adult amateurs. Many of my students have become incredibly close friends of mine.
Most embarrassing Eventing moment
My most embarrassing moment? There have been so many. Horses are pretty humbling in general. But there is one moment that sticks out as especially character building. I had two horses in a Training Horse division going into the show jumping they were both in the top five. I rode the course on the first horse and had just the most terrible round. By some miracle, the horse actually jumped clear but it had absolutely nothing to do with me. He was a mess and I rode like it was my first time jumping a horse. That round was embarrassing enough. Then I get on the next horse still beating myself up about what a terrible rider I was. I go in the arena on the second horse and actually have the most beautiful round until I crossed the finish line and realized that I had missed not one jump but two and been eliminated on the exact course that I had just jumped around. And I was eliminated on the horse that was in 1st place. Yeah, it was not awesome. The announcer seemed confused too because he first said I had jumped clear then said: “actually that’s an unfortunate elimination.” But hey it was a good lesson learned. Shake it off. Dwelling on my last ride, how I screwed up the last fence, whatever, only takes away focus from what’s next.
Most triumphant Eventing moment
The best moments are the small moments. The first time I feel a young horse take me to the next flags. When an especially careful horse really starts to trust you. Walking a scary cross-country course and crossing the finish line, there is nothing better. But I do feel most proud when my students reach their goals. Last year I had a couple students check off a bucket list item completing the AECs in Tryon. Another student completed her first Training level 3-phase with clear cross-country. I love to win but that is secondary to the journey. Maybe that’s because I haven’t won enough championships?!
This has been a great year so far. All my horses are off to a good start with some exciting goals at the end of the year. I have to say the best moment so far was crossing the finish line of the Beginner Novice cross-country at my young horse’s first horse trial. He can be so spooky and I wasn’t sure he was ready for his big Beginner Bovice debut. But he was such a star. It was just fun!
Best of luck this season Taylor!
If you would like to be featured in Rider Connect, email me