Amanda Boutet, Lifestyle Contributor and Horse Enthusiast
For as long as I can remember I’ve always loved animals: dolphins, whales, horses, lizards and even dinosaurs. When I was eight years old my mother took me to my first horseback riding lesson. From then on I was hooked.
In 2002, when I was in 7th grade I received my first horse as a gift from my grandfather. Travis was a ten year old liver chestnut American Saddlebred, specially bred to compete in the show ring. Many tough rides came in those first years of showing, and I had to be excused from many classes. All of my efforts eventually led to an amazing five years of show seasons where Travis and I were untouchable in many divisions, bringing home plenty of blue ribbons. In 2008 I graduated from high school and left Travis at home; I traveled to Providence, Rhode Island and majored in Equine Business Management/Riding at Johnson & Wales University. After freshman year I returned home over the summer for one last show season with the now 17 year old Travis. We ended his career in July of 2009 with a retirement ceremony at the American Saddlebred Association of Maine’s Summer Spectacular Horse Show.
Throughout our career Travis had won me numerous first place victories; the Chris Vose Memorial Award; several scholarships; and a ribbon in the Saddle & Bridle Hunt Seat Classic National Championship in St. Louis, Missouri. Heading back to college I continued my studies in equine business. Classes ranged from equine anatomy to nutrition.
Sadly, on the 1st of March in 2011, I lost my beloved first horse Travis. Within two months of no longer being a horse owner I knew that I needed to have another. I packed up my things and asked two friends to accompany me as I drove down to Lexington, Kentucky - trailer in tow. We came home with Jimmy, who had just turned three years old. I gave him the show name Stonecroft Pot of Gold. Nearing the end of my college career, Jimmy and I traveled to Binghamton, New York to complete an internship under trainer Peter Axtell at China Pointe: a full service American Saddlebred show barn.
At China Pointe I was able to get firsthand experience working in stable management: caring for and showing the stables horses. After my time in New York was complete I travelled back to Rhode Island to graduate with my Bachelor’s degree in Equine Business Management and Riding.
I now have five horses. Jimmy is five years old and remains my primary show horse. Norman, who is a Shetland and miniature pony gelding, is in his early twenties. Curtis: show name Curtis B, is a four year old American Saddlebred gelding that I pulled from a truck headed to a slaughter farm in November 2012. I’m currently putting him under the saddle to become a show horse. Zip: show name Zip-A-Dee-Ay, is a three year old prospect show horse. Lastly, Mo who is a yearling Friesian colt will eventually be put under saddle as well.
Posts by Amanda Boutet, Lifestyle Contributor and Horse Enthusiast
Horse Health & CareHorse Grooming 101
Grooming your horse can be one of the most satisfying parts of horse ownership. This daily routine is not only a bonding time for you and your horse but also a good opportunity to check them over for minor injuries or irritations they may have acquired in their stall or out to pasture.Read More >
Horse Health & CareWintering with Horses
Just as the summer months bring fly spray, bathing, sunscreen, and heat protection, the winter months bring their own special care requirements for our horses. Fortunately, preparing for winter can be an easy task as long as you plan ahead.Read More >