Saddle up

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Saddle up

Hollar and Viper pose for a picture at the barn.

Hollar and Viper pose for a picture at the barn.

Taylor Montez

Hollar and Viper pose for a picture at the barn.

Taylor Montez

Taylor Montez

Hollar and Viper pose for a picture at the barn.

Priya Gregerson, Staff Reporter

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Forget football, soccer and tennis, grab life by the reins! When the topic of sports comes into the conversation, minds rarely invision equine activities. Juniors Julia Hollar and Anna Patterson both are horse riders here at Vandegrift. 

“I’ve always loved animals,” Hollar said. “At first I wanted to be a nurse, but then I realized that I love the field of study that veterinarians have. Now that I want to be a veterinarian when I grow up, horse riding gives me good experience with human and animal interaction.”

Hollar participates in horse shows and competitions through a team called Interscholastic Equestrian Association. Through this program, Hollar goes to competitions with her barn, the Bee Cave Riding Center and rides horses she has never ridden before to gain more equestrian experience. 

“I love the thrill of horse riding,” Hollar said. “It’s such an adrenaline rush. Horses can do whatever they want, when they want. Something about that keeps me going back.”

Patterson grew up up north and often visited her aunt who owned a horse ranch. Ever since she could walk, she would visit her aunt every summer and ride. She took classes from her aunt in dressage and classical riding. When she moved to Texas, she started to get into rodeos and barrel racing.

“There was one English thoroughbred named Drow,” Patterson said. “He would pick people who he liked. Drow would nip and jump at people, then he would see me and be completely fine. He knew me ever since I was little, so he had always been gentle with me.”

Young Patterson and Drow go for a ride

Patterson is multidisciplinary which means she rides in more than one style. She said she prefers to ride in a western saddle the most but also said that English riding can be just as fun.

“I enjoy horse riding because of the freedom it gives you,” Patterson said. “At my aunt’s horse ranch I used to just go there for the summer, get on a horse and just go for the day. It could just be me, a horse and nothing else.”

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