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Herd Member | Killian Deano

Hi, my name is Killian, I am 14 years old and live in Alaska. I started riding at 3 years old and I’ve been riding ever since. I got my start riding with a lady down in Tennessee. After a couple of years I got my first horse, a Tennessee Walker named Beauty. I had her for a while, but when my family moved to Alaska, we had to sell her. I rode with quite a few people in Alaska until I got my Morgan named Royal. We met a dressage instructor and I’ve been with her for almost 6 years now. 

In May of 2021 I got accepted into Lendon Grey’s SIT (Summer Intensive Training) program in Maine for the month of August. I applied to the program just seeing what would happen. I didn’t expect to get a spot in the program, so I didn’t get my hopes up. When I got into the program, I was very excited. My mom and I quickly started planning the trip. Unfortunately, because it’s very hard and expensive to fly a horse out of Alaska, I couldn’t bring one of my horses to Maine. So we started looking for a horse to lease for a month, and that’s when our very nice friend Allie told us about a lady who had a confirmed 1st level, schooling 2nd Belgian Warmblood mare which was exactly what I needed. 

Talking with the lady it sounded like the horse was perfect. I did a ride with her owner when she got to Maine, since I had never ridden her before. She seemed nice, forward and like she knew the right things. But once I started doing lessons with Lendon she started bucking in the canter and felt scared when I asked her for the canter under saddle and on the lunge. It was very odd. For the whole month of August I worked on a lot of walk and trot because Lendon and I were stumped on why she was bucking in the canter. I had a lot of fun with this mare though. 

We did many other things in the program other than riding. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday we rode our horses and had a lecture from Lendon or another professional would come in and talk about their job in the horse industry. We worked-out with a professional fitness trainer, or on the days she couldn’t come we would go swimming at the barn manager's beautiful house. We did presentations on topics outside of horses and were challenged to interview someone we didn’t know that works in the horse world. That person could be a professional rider, a business person or someone that you researched about a little bit and wanted to interview them on how they got to their place in life.  On Thursdays we did our normal routine but instead of lessons we broke into small groups and went for a trail ride around the farm. It was very fun getting to ride around in the field with the other girls talking about how the weeks had been and sometimes we would let the horses take a short gallop through one of the fields at the farm. On Sundays we broke into two groups. One did morning chores and the other did evening chores. The horses got turned out in the field and would get a spa day so they could be ready to start again the next week.  

Throughout the program every horsewoman there had their ups and downs, but it was totally worth going. I got a whole new experience in the horse world and now I want to participate in many more activities.