Rider Connect from Bit of Britain: Amy Howes Warren

Amy Howes Warren & Highly Discreet at a Training 3-day. Photo Credit Eileen Dimond Photography

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Rider Connect from Bit of Britain: Amy Howes Warren

Today’s featured rider is Amy Howes Warren a Physical Therapist who is working her way up the levels with her two Thoroughbreds.

If you would like to be featured in Rider Connect, email me.

 

Get to know Amy
I am an adult amateur rider and work as a physical therapist. My husband Don and I enjoy Eventing and fox hunting together. We own a farm in Hillsborough, NC, work non-horse jobs and manage our farm predominately by ourselves. My father introduced me to horses as a toddler. We had several family friends with horses, but I did not come from a “horsey” family. My father and I enjoyed riding horses for pleasure and spent weekends trail riding together. I think I saw someone jump for the first time when I was about seven, and knew immediately that I wanted to learn. My parents enrolled me in formal lessons at the local riding school and I was officially hooked.

I purchased my first horse Rocky when I was 13, with the parental rules being “keep your grades up, help pay for his upkeep and sell him before college.” I was a true “barn rat” spending as much time as I could at the barn, riding as many horses as I could and working to pay for shows, board and lessons. I participated in 4-H, Pony Club and local horse shows and eventually became a “catch rider” to go to some of the bigger rated shows.

After graduating from Physical Therapy school, I bought an OTTB named Sam who I competed successfully in the hunters, jumpers and equitation rings. I attended Rolex in 2007 as a spectator at what now seems like a crossroads for my riding career. My horse Sam was having some soundness issues, I was “burned out” from the hunters, and I wanted a new challenge. I was able to keep riding Sam and compete in a few horse trials in 2009 and 2010 at Beginner Novice. The rest is history, I was officially “hooked”.

Amy’s horse power
I decided to look for an event prospect in 2011. I found Highly Discreet (Milo) as a coming four-year-old on a trip to Aiken, SC in January 2011. Milo is a 2007 OTTB, retired sound with nine career starts. Seven years later after a few bumps along the way, we are competing at Training level with the goal of moving up to Preliminary sometime this year. I have another horse that I am bringing along. Ramblin’ Rosie, an 8-year old Thoroughbred mare, competing at Beginner Novice with the goal to move up to Novice this year.

Highly Discreet at the Southern Pines HT 2018 Training. Photo credit: Brant Gamma Photography

Training
For the past three or four years, I have trained with Mike Plumb. I trailer an hour and 20 minutes one way from Hillsborough to Southern Pines to lesson almost weekly. Despite the long drive, I have learned more about riding and training horses in the last 4 years than my first 40 years in the sport. It would take pages for me to describe how much Mike has helped me with my riding, and how much he has taught about true horsemanship. I have never ridden in the same lesson twice and hope to continue as his student for as long as he will teach me. Mike loves my horse Milo (and he tolerates me.)

Sharing a moment with Mike Plumb during a lesson in 2015. Photo credit: Shartra Sylvant

 


 

Influence and inspiration
In order to be successful, it is important to have a good support system. Initially, I could always count on my parents to be there as sideline cheerleaders. My husband Don shares my passion and competes alongside me at every event. He has the difficult job of keeping me calm and focused. My friend Jennifer (farm-sitter/groom extraordinaire) can do it all. She stays at our farm when we are competing and sometimes travels down for the day to groom when we need her. Everyone needs someone like Jen behind the scenes to be successful.

Most embarrassing Eventing moment
Stopping at a 2-foot drop at AECs in 2016 at the Novice level. That was pretty embarrassing…

Most triumphant Eventing moment
Looking back it seems like the road to success has been long and bumpy. Balancing work and riding as an amateur, restarting an OTTB from the beginning and bringing him up the levels takes a lot of hard work and patience. It’s been a slow process since every level we compete together is a first for both of us. This year hard work seems to be paying off with a fourth-place finish at Southern Pines horse trial in March, a first-place finish at Longleaf Pines horse trial in April, and a second place finish at the long format 3-day event at Southern 8ths farm in May.

Highly Discreet at the Southern 8ths Training 3-day 2018. Photo credit: Eileen Dimond Photography

2018 milestones
My best moment in 2018… Working with Mike to become a more knowledgeable and effective rider has improved my partnership with Milo and lead to increased success at competitions. I look forward to the rest of the 2018 season.

Best of luck this year Amy! 

 

If you would like to be featured in Rider Connect, email me

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