Rider Connect from Bit of Britain: Grace Peters

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Rider Connect from Bit of Britain: Grace Peters

Today’s featured rider is Grace Peters, a young rider from Kansas who is producing her Irish Sport Horse up the levels.

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

 

Get to know Grace
I am 17-years-old and live in Louisburg, Kansas. I started riding when I was five on my little Quarter Horse named Rosie. My mom grew up riding horses, so that’s how I got into it. I didn’t start really learning to ride and jump until I was around ten. My Eventing career didn’t really kick off until I got my current Eventing partner, Rowan. Rowan has taught me so much and has brought me up to the one-star level, with plans to go Intermediate soon. Someday I would like to take him two-star and to possibly take him to the CIC2* at the North American Junior Championships.

Grace’s horse power
My first horse was an Appaloosa/Thoroughbred cross named Dreamer. Dreamer had a little bit of Eventing experience before I got him, but not much. Dreamer is definitely not an easy ride! He presented me with many challenges during our Beginner Novice career together. He would always give me trouble on cross-country, such as throwing his body as hard as he could to the right just because he didn’t feel like going through the water that day. He tested me constantly, which is why I had to stay at Beginner Novice for a full two years. Luckily my current Eventing partner, Rowan, is the opposite of Dreamer. Rowan is a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse. I got him two years ago from a trainer in Florida. He had only been broke for a little over a year when I first tried him, so he was very green! He has been so much fun to work with. Despite his lazy demeanor, he loves his job. He acts like an oversized lapdog. He always wants to be with his people! He tries so hard every time I get on his back. He has been so game for all of the difficult questions we’ve thrown at him this year. I took him to his first CCI1* in the spring, and his second, and mine, at the North American Young Rider Championships in Montana in the summer. After having an unpredictable cross-country horse like Dreamer, it’s really refreshing to have an honest horse that will try his heart out for every ride! He is so talented and I can’t wait to see him continue to move up the levels.

Training
I have trained with Julie Wolfert for seven years. I didn’t even canter when I first started riding with her and now I am Eventing at the one-star level. I credit her for all of my successes because I could not have done it without her!

I take lessons twice a week and try to find time to ride at least two or three other days. Usually, most of my riding happens on the weekends when I’m not busy with school or work. Normally after the show season is over in the fall, I will give my horse several weeks of vacation before we start our winter training, which consists mainly of dressage training.

 


 

Influence and inspiration
Julie, my trainer, has definitely taught me the most and has been the biggest influence throughout my Eventing career. I didn’t even know what Eventing was when I first went to her, so I’ve definitely come a long way since then.

The second person I feel like I have learned a lot from is four-star rider, Allison Springer. She was my coach at Young Riders and I can honestly say that I learned so much from the short time I rode with her. She is a gifted rider and teacher that I feel like I can learn a lot from even from just watching her ride her four-star horses.

Most embarrassing Eventing moment
My most embarrassing moment was probably when I took my Appaloosa to Pony Club Championships in Eventing four years ago in the Beginner Novice division. On cross-country, Dreamer was being his usual self and refused the water. When he refused, he threw his body as hard as he could to the right and almost flattened the jump judge. All I remember is looking over and seeing the judge picking up her chair and running as fast as she could away from my psycho horse. I managed to get him together and cross the finish line with only two refusals.

Most triumphant Eventing moment
My proudest moment was at Young Riders this past summer when I went double clear in show jumping with Rowan. I was one of six double clear rounds in the whole division. Being a maxed out course, I was so proud of my horse and myself for being able to work together and put in a perfect round to end our Young Rider experience. For a horse that had only gone one-star one other time in his life, this was a huge accomplishment for us.

2018 milestones
Having the opportunity to go to Young Riders in Montana and ride at such an amazing venue was by far my favorite moment. Considering my horse had so little training when I got him, I’m so proud that I was able to take a horse that I brought up to the level myself, with the help of my trainer, to Young Riders amongst all of the more experienced eventers. The cross-country course at Montana is considered by many the hardest in the country. Rowan was a rockstar for 99% of the course, apart from our small bobble in the water complex that cost us 20 penalties. Even though it wasn’t perfect, I am so happy with the outcome and feel so lucky to have had such an amazing opportunity.

Best of luck next year Grace!

 

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

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