Champion All Around Novice Youth and Reserve Champion All Around Youth 14-18

Brittany Minks made the most of her first full show season with her horse, Hope To Be Hot (AKA Timmy), winning All-Around Novice Youth Champion. When she first started riding, she never thought she would be showing at this level just a few years later. “I started riding in third grade and bought my first horse three years later,” she recalls. “At first, I just wanted a horse to love on and ride around for fun. But two years later, I went to a small open show and I was hooked. I continued to show more often and at bigger shows. I learned a lot from my first horse, Missy. She was a really good little mare. Then, we went to the 2013 Youth World Show in Oklahoma to watch. I did not think we would be bringing a horse home with us! However, we found Timmy and I instantly fell in love with him. He and I just clicked, and we took him home with us.”

They certainly did click, and they racked up the points all year long, including placing third in Trail and Top 15 in Showmanship at the Novice West Championship. ”We have learned to trust each other and that helps with a lot of our classes,” she muses. It has especially helped with Horsemanship, which is our most challenging class. My favorite class is Trail. I just think it’s really fun to do. I like that all the patterns can vary so much. My horse and I really connect our best and work as a team when we do Trail.” She also makes a great team with her trainer, Lindsey Minor. “Lindsey always puts her horses care and safety first. She has taught me so much and always encourages me to do my best. I really look up to her.”

Part of what made this win so exciting was that it was Brittany’s first year really going for the All-Around. “It was definitely exciting,” she says. “I really enjoy doing the All-Around. I like that I get to do such different classes, not just one thing like Trail or Showmanship all the time –I get to do everything. I also like learning and trying new stuff. It’s fun. But the challenge is you have to be competitive in such diverse classes in order to do well.”

Brittany has a ritual to make sure she and Timmy are ready for every class. “First, I make sure Timmy is properly warmed up and ready for the class,”She explains. “I then go over my patterns and figure out the spacing in the arena. Lastly, right as I begin my class, I remind myself to breathe and just have fun riding my horse.”

Outside of the ring, 17 -year-old Brittany is in her junior year of high school and constantly works to find the balance between school responsibilities and riding. “Luckily, my teachers are really helpful,” she explains. “I talk with them before I go to each show and get my assignments. I can do most of it while I’m at the show, and I just make sure to keep in touch with them.” Brittany is definitely looking forward to this show season and hopes to qualify for Youth World again.

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