By: Ambassador Maya Schneider
I was born and raised in Northern CA. I started riding at summer camp when I was in grade school. I only rode at summer camp until middle school when I learned about a local barn that had thanksgiving camp. That camp lead to taking weekly lessons. Riding slowly edged out most activities until there was enough to to lease a horse. I never looked back!
After leasing a few horses I got my first horse Anna, aka “Rumor Has It”. The hope was to start in the children’s and move up to the juniors, unfortunately Anna was not a 3’6” horse so I finished out my junior years in the children’s hunters. My parents were gracious enough to support my riding career while I was in college. After selling Anna, I got a green horse Tuscany (show name) /Belle (barn name). I showed her in the adults while she did the pre-greens and then moved up to the 3’6” A/O hunters while she did the first year greens. I took a break from riding due to tearing my ACL snowboarding, and Belle was sold shortly after my forced six-month break from riding.
After completion of my first degree I needed to figure out what career path to pursue and preferably one that would support horseback riding. I followed my then boyfriend to Rochester, NY, got my second bachelors and masters in nursing. After realizing riding was not as expensive outside of California I started riding again after an 8 year hiatus. My return to riding was placed on hold a few times by another knee surgery, a broken foot, and my last break after starting my doctoral program at Vanderbilt. After spending a year in Nashville for my husband’s Laryngology fellowship at Vanderbilt we returned to Rochester, NY. I was finally ready to dive back into riding and competing.
In hindsight I should have finished my doctoral program before riding again, I inadvertently ended up taking a year off of school to focus on riding and getting back into the show ring. In the fall of 2016 I started leasing a horse got back into the 3’ hunters, competed in my first national derby, qualified for zone 2 hunter finals, and the zones 1, 2 & 5 adult hunter championships. In the end of 2017 I stopped leasing Patrick to focus and complete my last class and doctoral project. I ended up purchasing my horse Marcus Aurelius prior to completion of my semester, but managed to graduate with my doctorate in nursing from Vanderbilt December of 2017.
I am in the process of returning to clinical nursing, to help fund my riding and showing habit. I have a long bucket list left from my days showing as a junior and younger amateur and hope to check off as many boxes as I can in the coming years along with my trainer Katie Kurtz of Woodland Farm. This year I hope to qualify for and attend the Capital Challenge, PA national, & WIHS which would be my first indoor horse shows. I’m looking forward to returning to the A/O hunters and hope to qualify for Devon 2019. I will also strive to find a good balance of home with my husband and our two golden doodles Douglas and Trixie, work, and riding/showing.
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