I have been dreaming of the “Big Eq” since I was eight years old. Now, as I, Anna Easton, am approaching the end of my junior career, I am trying harder than ever to find an opportunity to get into the equitation ring.
Equitation is a division in the Hunter/Jumper world that is judged on the rider’s effectiveness and form. Riders that are on nicer horses (i.e. more expensive) generally create a nicer picture. So, while the equitation is judged on the rider, it is often greatly influenced by the quality and training of your mount. Because of this, and the fact that it is the “in” division for junior riders, making it very competitive, means that it is a division that will be hard for a small-town girl, like me, to break into.
The ASPCA Maclay Finals are the biggest equitation final of the year. Held in November, it usually draws more than 150 riders who have all already passed through a regional final. Winning the Maclay, or even making it to the second round over fences, is a huge accomplishment for anyone and it’s something that can make your career as a rider. Year after year I have watched the Maclay, trying to figure out how to ride like them. Now, at 16, I finally feel as though it’s my time to try.
While trying to qualify for the Maclay is a tall order, I’ve always been a girl with big dreams and “Big Eqspectations.” I don’t have the resources to buy a nice horse, train with the best and most popular trainers, or go to a show every weekend. I do, however, have what matters. I have a dream, I have determination, and, most importantly, I have an amazing support system of friends and family who have never stopped believing in me. This journey won’t be easy and I don’t know what the result will be. This is no sure thing and I have been told many times that it’s impossible. But, I know I’m going to regret it if I don’t try, so here we go. This is going to be a bumpy road, but I hope you all will be following me every step of the way.