Rebecca Hafner (MN)
One of my earliest childhood memories involves me sitting on Santa’s knee, explaining why he really needed to bring me a pony. It took several years of “explaining” before said pony ( a wild unbroken mustang from western ND) appeared. “Lady” was long and dearly loved and taught me how to ride—largely through trial and error.
At the College of St. Benedict, I helped to start the equestrian program—saw an English saddle for the first time—learned how to jump and was introduced to dressage.
After medical school at the University of North Dakota, I spent my entire first internship paycheck ($600) on a “good horse.” Raffi was a purebred Arab who looked like a warmblood and had never seen an English saddle, but a few years later I rode my first dressage test on him, as did my children 15 years later.
After a career as a country doctor, and serving on my state medical board, I’ve spent the last 20 years in the corporate world, leading start-up and growth stage med-tech companies. I’ve served on several not-for-profit boards, including one where I helped to start a therapeutic riding program for physically and mentally handicapped children and adults.
I’ve also been a horse owner, a horse show and USDF volunteer and a “horse show mom” to a Young Rider—now a young professional dressage trainer and rider who has benefited from TDF programs and grants. Thanks for this opportunity to “give back” to TDF.