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Team #576 Esther McGann and Dewey

Team #576: Esther McGann and Dewey
From: Laramie, Wyoming
Ages: 77.5 & 22.5
Combined Age: 100
Test: Introductory Level Test A
Date: July 23, 2022

Before I had horses, I worked for over 20 years for the University of Wyoming Foundation in planned giving, then I resigned to open a private practice as a Certified Financial Planner. My husband is a professor emeritus from the University of Wyoming’s College of Business. We are both the “outdoorsy” type. We hunt, fish, shoot trap, and hike. Animal involvement has been primarily with Labrador Retrievers, not horses.

We’re fortunate to live in Wyoming and enjoy its beauty, majesty, and wildlife, which includes wild horses and mustangs. Mustangs are tough and smart and very much a part of Wyoming’s history.

The horse I rode in the Century Club ride is a Wyoming Mustang. He has a brand, unique to him, given by the Bureau of Land Management when he was rounded up and then offered for adoption/purchase. His name is Dewey--after the Dewey Decimal System--and his birth year, 2000, is part of the brand.

I started riding about six years ago. Ignorant, but interested and fascinated by the history and majesty of dressage. I met Connie Woodruff, the owner and trainer of Dewey, and my teacher. She also owned the only store in Laramie that sells English tack, THE TACK ROOM. She gave me the opportunity to ride her Wyoming Mustang and to take lessons. Bless her to the moon, she must have seen that, while ignorant, I was humble and wanted very much to learn.

Connie and Dewey were meant for each other. He needed to be loved, trained, ridden, and to be brought to full health. Connie was his Godsend, and she says Dewey was her Godsend. Their bond will last forever.

How green was I when she took me on as a student? When told I would not be allowed to ride without a helmet, I showed up in a bright blue bike helmet! Connie has taught me everything I know. Through countless mistakes, lessons, and repetitions, I have learned to respect and revere dressage. Connie’s first words to me about Dewey were about his kindness. Never had I heard the words “horse and kind” together. Now I know that I am forever blessed.