Kristi and Onyx
Never too late to learn
At a very young age, the first time Kristi ever touched a horse she forever had the fever! However, it wasn't until late in life that she began taking lessons. She was in a severe bicycle accident that left her with a huge hematoma on her forehead which resulted in a major concussion. She was covered in road rash, had another hematoma on her leg and banged up swollen knees!
One year later, having just barely recovered from a very painful knee surgery, she looked at her physical therapist and said "Don't tell my doctor but I'm gonna start riding horses this week and it will either make me or break me!"
Kristi took her first lesson that Friday and thank God learning to post out of the saddle actually strengthened the muscles around her knee and didn't break her! Riding made her stronger physically and she soon realized horses made her stronger emotionally and helped her with not only the PTSD from the accident, but depression and PTSD that was associated with the trauma she had suffered as a child.
For the following 6 years, Kristi continued with English riding lessons, entered the hunter show ring, and brought home several ribbons that caused her horse fever to spike!
She went on to train with several reputable trainers and has volunteered countless hours at the local horse rescue, which is where she first had the opportunity to work with a special needs child and began teaching him all about horses. That joy led her to becoming a certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health Learning through PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship).
Kristi has since earned a second certification with Stable Moments. She implemented their program and even developed her own program "Harmony & Horses." She truly believes in the healing spirit of the horse and loves teaching and sharing her passion of horses with children in need.
Several times a week, Kristi rides and trains under the instruction of English/Hunter trainer Ashleigh Bowman, who holds a World Champion title and was named Trainer of the Year by Twin Rivers Saddle Club. Currently, Kristi is preparing to enter the hunter show ring on her favorite mare Onyx, which is owned by Ashleigh. Hopefully they bring home a few more ribbons, proving it's NEVER TOO LATE TO LEARN. At the end of the day, just being in the presence of horses and helping kids is what brings her the greatest joy!