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Youth Spotlight: Riley Long




(Editor’s Note: The following Q&A took place between the Walking Horse Report’s editorial director Sadie Fowler and youth rider Riley Long.)

WHR: Tell me about yourself in a nutshell. 

Riley Long:
I have been riding horses for six years. I also enjoy sports such as basketball, swimming, and volleyball. Always doing your best is important to me because I want to grow up and be a positive contribution in today’s society. Some of my top priorities include, religion, family, and academics. 

WHR:
Tell me about your journey into the horse world. How did you get started? What has riding taught you?

Riley Long:
I was first introduced to horses when I started taking hunter jumper lessons. Riding has taught me many qualities of life such as working hard, being patient, and never giving up. 

WHR:
Tell me what it is about the Tennessee Walking Horse that attracts you most. 

Riley Long:
Some of the things that attract me to the Tennessee walking horses is their calm demeanor, smooth gate, and beauty. 

WHR:
Who is your favorite horse of all time? Tell me in your words what makes this horse so special to you. 

Riley Long: My favorite horse of all time is Fables Broken Promise. He was my first performance horse and taught me how to ride. 

WHR:
What do you most enjoy about the show horse industry in terms of what it provides you with things like friendships and new experiences (outside the show ring). Do you have a best friend you’ve met through your participation in horse shows?

Riley Long:
The competition, friendships, and excitement. Also, I met one of my best friends Claudia Gribble. 

WHR:
Who is your trainer? Describe to me what he or she is like, from your perspective as a student of riding.

Riley Long:
Edgar Abernathy. He keeps everything very exciting and fun and has become more than a trainer; he is also like family.  

WHR:
What has been your most special moment in the show ring?

Riley Long:
My first blue on Hot Dollar.

WHR:
Tell me about your world outside of horses. What do you do for hobbies? What grade are you in and what comes next for you in terms of education? What do you want to do professionally? 

Riley Long:
Enjoy all sports. I’m in the 8th grade. My goal is to get a scholarship playing basketball 

WHR:
What is one new thing you would love to learn?

Riley Long:
A second language. 

WHR:
Who is someone you admire and why?

Riley Long:
My mom, because she is such a wonderful person and such a great example. 

WHR:
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone brand new to the horse show world?

Riley Long:
Never give up. 

WHR:
What is one of your goals for the upcoming year in regard to horses? Non-horse related goals?

Riley Long:
To make straight A’s and to win the celebration

 

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