Sixteen year-old Hallie Padilla of Las Cruces, New Mexico has had horses since she was three years-old. When she was nine years-old, Hallie and her father were out trail riding when she went down the hill and fell off her horse. After that frightening event, her mother wouldn't let her ride a horse without a trainer. In the fifth grade, she started showing her first show horse, SFC Invest In Me, locally in Cruces and Albuquerque. Every since then, the tenth grader says she hasn't been able to stop her addiction.
GoHorseShow sat down with Hallie to find out more about her background, horse, and goals.
Q: Hi Hallie! So nice to meet you! So tell me about the horse you are showing now? A: I'm am currently showing Hot Rockin Rita, who I have been showing for two years now. She is nine years-old and she is sired by Hot Impulse. Her nicknames vary around the barn. People mainly call her Rita Pita! Or Retey Petey or a heifer when she is being naughty. Her personality ranges from a princess to a grumpy woman, but she is always in the mood for treats! I show all-around; performance halter mares, showmanship, horsemanship, trail, western riding and sometimes pleasure, equitation and we have now added reining to our list. Reining is a rare event and so is equitation, because Rita does not like English!
Q: What are some of your favorite equine accomplishments so far in your youth career? A: My favorite accomplishments have been at the Congress. My first Congress with Rita was in 2010, and we made the finals in the equitation and top ten in the novice and youth western riding. In 2011, we made the top ten in novice youth western riding, showmanship and horsemanship. We also made the finals in the pleasure. Oh, and I can't forget about winning the Region 9 Reining Championship. I am hoping to do well at the youth world show this year!
Q: Any memories that stand out so far from showing horses? A: I have to say meeting my best friend Avery Ellis was a great memory. Otherwise it would be winning a 9th place at the Congress even when Rita spooked! I couldn't even believe it!
Q: Tell me about your trainers, Brynne and Dustin Davis? A: It is definitely hard for me not to live near my horse since they live in Tomball, Texas. I love my little Rita--she is an amazing horse, but it does take me a second to get in sync with her after not riding for a month. Brynne pushes me harder every time I go and ride, but I guess that is what helps me in the long run. She is an amazing coach and has taught me more than I could ever imagine. Dustin on the other hand is awesome with the horses especially the young ones. He helps me so much when I show the pleasure and the western riding. He sometimes even helps me with patterns when Brynne can't! He says he doesn't know anything about patterns, but I'm pretty sure he does. Together they make a great team, and I don't know what I would do without them.
Q: Biggest challenges you have faced showing horses? A: I would have to say balancing school and horse showing is a big challenge. I am in all honors classes and next year I will be in all AP classes.
Q: Future goals in show arena and career? A: My goals are to win the youth world in any event! For a career, I am looking into veterinary science and business.
Q: Anything else you would like to add? A: I would like to thank my second show horse, One Invitation Only, "Shrek", for teaching me how to ride. Shrek and Rita have some similarities, such as grumpiness, but they have both helped me in the climb towards reaching my goals. Rita is an amazing horse and has taught me a lot. Brynne had a huge part in teaching me to become a better rider. I have been with her for four years now, and I think I am finally done hearing, "holy Hannah", for not riding correctly! My parents have also had a huge part in my show career. They have been at every show so far and they support me financially which must be a pain. They also stick with me at all the midnight practice rides and sometimes even wake up before sunrise just so I have enough time to finish my make-up. I really appreciate everyone that has gotten me this far! Q: Thanks for the interview Hallie and good luck this year! A: Thanks and you're welcome!
Check out her ad in the June issue of the GoMag by clicking here.