2018 Miniature Horse World Magazine WINTER 2018 Volume 34, Number 8 - Page 32

miniature tales Growing Up with Minis By Bridget Yates T he secret was out! My mom attempted hiding horses from me, but it was all revealed whenever my grandpa bought me my first plastic horse from Walmart when I was three years old. This plastic horse was just the beginning of my horse fascination. After, begging and pleading to see more. My mom sought out a local horse show to ease my burning desire. Miniature horses were everywhere, all of which were standing square. What a perfect match for a little girl who wanted a taste at what the equine industry was like. My dreams then went from little plastic horses to real-life little horses. A lucky girl I am! The following week, we discovered that there was a Miniature horse farm down the street. The nice lady invited us to come visit her farm. Being four years old, I gladly picked up a rake and presumed to do horse chores while memorizing the names of each horse. She then invited me to participate in my first Miniature horse show, and there has not been a last since. It is 2002, a small young girl with an even younger small horse were hitting the horse show circuit together. Chance is the name of my first Miniature horse, together we had many adventures, trials and errors, and above all lots of lessons learned. Some endeavors include being a runaway ballerina in costume class, biting me in halter class, and the occasional rare ups in showmanship. These many tears and many fears brought the attention of Al and Susan Bulgawicz, who had the perfect solution. Alpha and Omega’s Stormy’s Hero, or Hogan became my next chance to shine in the arena. Together we would learn and trust each other to become a successful team. Under the guidance of Sally Smith, Hogan and I both learned what all went into showing and training Miniatures. We learned how to drive, showmanship, and many more events. In 2005, we landed our very first AMHA World Championship in Youth Showmanship 7 and Under. Hogan and I continued to compete until I aged out of the Youth Division, grabbing a few more World Champions in Obstacle Driving, Halter Obstacle, and Showmanship. Growing and learning together, Hogan symbolizes many lessons learned, the importance of trust, and how hard work pays off. 30 Miniature Horse World WINTER 2018