Amateur competitor, Lindsey Gillette of Largo, Florida has been involved with horses ever since she can remember. The 21 year-old says that when she got her first Quarter Horse, the passion for competition led her to surrounding herself with horse lovers and that showing on the horse show circuit became her whole life. GoHorseShow sat down with Lindsey to find out more about her background and love for horses.
Click here to view Lindsey's ad in the April 2012 issue of GoMag.
Q: Hi Lindsey! Let's start with how did you get involved with horses?
A: My mom grew up riding and made me and all five of my siblings take riding lessons as soon as we could walk. My younger sister, Vanessa, and I were the only ones who stuck with it though. I grew up mostly riding for fun, then, eventually started showing in open shows.
Q: Please tell us about the horse you are showing now?
A: I am currently showing a seven year-old mare, Extend the Previews (Claire), by Extended Invitation. Claire is truly a once in a lifetime horse with a one-of-a-kind personality. She definitely can be goofy at times but always gives 150% in the show pen. My trainers, Andrew and Lori Augsburger joke that our personalities match! I show in the Amateur All Around events including showmanship, horsemanship, equitation and trail. Claire is also showed in the Senior Trail by Lori and Andrew. Every show I look forward to the progress Claire and I make as a team, and who knows what that will lead to in the future.
Q: What are your favorite horse show memories?
A: My favorite memory was at the 2011 Reichert. I had only owned Claire for a week and that was my first show with her. I ended up winning the Novice Amateur Trail the first time showing her. Most of my other favorite memories are with my younger sister Vanessa. We have become so close from sharing our passion for this sport and she makes me so proud every time I see her in the show pen. In fact, most of my favorite memories are of her accomplishments in the show pen rather than my own.
Q: Tell us about your trainers, Andrew and Lori Augsburger?
A: There are not enough words to describe the love I have for these two people. I owe all of my success and confidence as a rider to them. The dynamic between the two of them makes for an awesome team. Their love of horses and passion for the success of their students reflects in our performance. They know when to push their students but know their limits at the same time. One of my favorite sayings Andrew has is, "Everything happens for a reason," meaning that every mistake and hardship happens to create a stronger team. Andrew and Lori are more than just my trainers, they are my family and we understand each other perfectly. The whole Pinetree team, Andrew, Lori and Anthony are proof that anything is possible with hard work and determination. They work hard but play hard too. Andrew is quite the accomplished Cornhole player and their games can get quite competitive when were hanging out at the stalls. I can't imagine sharing any past or future successes with anyone else.
Q: What do you like about showing horses and the horse industry in general?
A: I love how it is a constantly changing industry. The competition is constantly evolving from show to show. Also, nothing compares to the amazing, hardworking people I have met. I used to attend Florida State University but am now finishing my undergraduate degree online to pursue my riding career and goals.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you have faced showing horses?
A: I had qualified with my previous horse for the 2011 World Show in Showmanship and Equitation. He passed away unexpectedly that August and we then purchased Claire. She was very green in the pattern classes and only new the basics of showmanship, which she didn't really seem to have a knack for. My first two shows with her were the Reichert and the Congress. Andrew and I worked day and night to get her as far along in those classes as possible before the World Show. Although she was still green she gave me all she had, and I couldn't have asked for better goes from her at that point in time. I could also consider dealing with 'The Ant Man' (Anthony, their assistant trainer) a daily challenge, but, we couldn't live without him! (laughs)
Q: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and good luck with your new horse this year!