"Ever since I was little I wanted to be a cowboy," says Aaron Moses, who has been an assistant trainer for Gil Galyean for four years. "I was really the only one of my siblings that caught the horse bug, but I love everything about the lifestyle."
Moses is the oldest of four boys, and his mother, Bianca Moses, was very influential in his life when he was growing up. As a single mother, Bianca never let the challenges of raising four children on her own get her down or prevent her from finding a way to support her children. Moses homeschooled all her children which is quite common these days but not as much a decade ago.
"If my children were passionate about something, I tried to never let our lack of finances stop them from pursuing their dreams. Aaron's love was horses. I got him a pony when he was nine years-old named, Crystal, and he saved every penny of his money to purchase his first quarter horses when he was twelve for $2,000," says, Bianca, back at Gil's stalls in the Gilligan barn during Congress.
Moses continues, "I remember driving my 1963 Terry Camper and old pickup truck to the shows at three in the morning with all the kids packed in to head to the horse shows. I drove like 35 mph white knuckled to the fairgrounds hoping we would get there okay. Aaron will probably kill me for telling you this but he was quite good in the showmanship and he made the finals at Congress when he was sixteen with a little mare named, My Magnolia Breeze. He did quite well with horses that weren't that talented because he was such a showman."
The 21 year-old from Saco, Maine had an exceptional show at this year's Congress. Moses and his mount, Good Luck Only (Brady) were Reserve Champions in the Two Year-Old Limited Western Pleasure Stakes at the Congress and the duo was also fifth in the Open Two Year-Old Stakes Class.
"Gil Galyean has taught me everything about pleasure horses," says Moses, who clearly is thankful to be mentored by such an icon in our industry. "He has taught me how not to just train horses but how to be successful in business and how to best handle clients--he always says that riding horses is the easiest part."
The 2010 sorrel stallion, Good Luck Only, is by Invitation Only and out of Good Luck Girl who was the 2007 Congress Masters Champion. During the Congress, the owners of Brady were Kevin and Amy Smith of Falmouth, Maine. The couple sold their outstanding stallion to Zach and Michelle Favorite of Kent, Ohio after his success at the show.
"I have known Aaron for several years and to see this happen to a person on our horse was just an amazing feeling," says, Amy Smith who owns Capall Creek Farm in Falmouth, Maine along with her husband, Kevin. "For him to also have his mother, Bianca, there as well just meant so much. He is so deserving of the attention. I couldn't be more proud of him."
Aaron had limited contact with his father growing up, and his mother says that horse trainers, Al Dube and Gil Galyean, have been major father figures in her son's life.
"My son basically lived at Al's farm throughout his childhood. Al didn't have any children so he treated Aaron like his own," says, Bianca, who beams when talking about her son. "I also appreciate all the help Gil has given him and for him being his mentor. When Aaron was 17, he had a resume and a list of the Top 10 trainers in the industry and went around trying to meet with them. Luckily, Aaron connected with Gil because I think it has been the best place for him. Gil is a good man who is fair and has a lot of integrity. He has given my son an amazing opportunity."
A perfect ending to this young man's story is that Aaron surprised his mother for her birthday by buying her a plane ticket to watch him show at Congress.
"It was a perfect gift that makes me teary eyed even thinking about it," Bianca says. "My son has a huge heart, and it was great to see him show and win a Reserve Congress Championship. I couldn't be prouder."