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Team #609 Marrilynn Samuelson and Abbey

Team #609: Marrilynn Samuelson and Abbey
From: Hilliard, Florida
Ages: 77 & 23
Combined Age: 100
Test: Introductory Level Test C
Date: November 19, 2022

I think that I have loved horses all my life but never had the opportunity to be around them until I was in my mid-40s. I started riding after I turned 44. I started with Western Pleasure and decided that I did not like being in the ring with so many other riders. I decided that dressage would be a better fit for me.  It is one horse/rider in the ring and even though all eyes are on you, it is still way less scary.

I bought my first horse within a year and then a second and a third and a fourth and then sold that first horse because she was not a good fit for me. We bought another one for my husband, but he started having stifle issues so we donated him to a Boy Scout ranch where he would not be worked very hard or often. I mean I fell head over heels for horses. Now I have only one of my own left and he is no longer able to be ridden so I am riding a school horse.

I have stopped and started riding several times through these years for different reasons but have owned horses the whole time and taken lessons off and on through the years.  I have been riding Abbey since about 2009. Abbey is so much like my Arabian mare in that she has always taken care of me and never put me on the ground. 

I have found that dressage is very much a learning experience for me.  I am learning new things every time I ride. The breakthroughs are amazing. All at once, I feel connected, and then it is on to the next thing. I am not a quick study but when it gets through to me, I feel as though I have accomplished something.

I have, through the years, done mostly schooling shows and at Training Level but my dream is to eventually ride a First Level test at a show. I may have to find a younger horse, as Abbey is tired of the arena. My trainer is sure I will be able to do this next year.