Hope Floats

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We are celebrating Splash of Color month on YourDressage!  Whether your horse is a registered Paint, Appaloosa, Knabstrupper, or Gypsy Horse, sports a patched or spotted coat, or wears lots of chrome, this month is for you!

Dressage enthusiasts who ride colorful horses have the opportunity to earn special awards through the Adequan®/USDF All-Breeds Awards such as the American Paint Horse AssociationAppaloosa Horse Club, Knabstrupperforeningen for Danmark (KNN), Gypsy Horse Registry Of America, Westfalen Verband of North America, and Gypsy Vanner Horse Society, which are all Participating Organizations.

We recently asked our social media followers to share photos of their loudly colored horses, and let us know what makes these horses so special. Here, an adult amateur, who didn’t start riding until her forties, shares about starting her first horse, a lovely pinto named Hope Floats.  

By Maureen Voltz

My adventures with Gladys, aka Hope Floats, began when she was three years old.  I had just immigrated to the United States from Canada and was horseless.  We had gone to a local breeder to look at another horse when this lovely pinto came floating by in the pasture.  My husband wisely said, “We should take her”.  Luckily she was for sale, and we took her home.  She was basically unbroken, however the breeder had given her excellent ground training so, after getting to know her, I started her under saddle.  I had never really started a horse before, not to mention I only really started riding in my forties.  We struggled along together for a couple of years..she was always so tolerant and allowed me to learn, but I made many mistakes.  In true Gladys fashion, she did a lot of eye-rolling at my incompetence, but she always forgave me and did her best to learn what I was trying to teach both of us.

Me with my trainer Jaime

Good luck came my way again when I found my trainer Jaime Wickander.  We started together about 14 years ago, and she has been our greatest mentor, teacher, trainer, cheerleader, and most importantly, a beloved friend.  She has taught us so much and we have had more accomplishments than I would have ever thought possible.  We have been showing consistently for several years now, and we always have so much fun at shows.  With her quirky personality and her drop dead gorgeousness, she is always a hit with everyone.  She is certainly the life of the party.

In the last few years we have qualified for the Great American Insurance Group/ USDF Regional Championships three times.  We even placed when we showed at the Region 4 Championships at Second Level.  She also earned me my USDF Bronze Medal in 2018, and hopefully we will go on to get our Silver (ahem .. changes are a thing Gladys!).

We really enjoy our weekly lessons with Jaime, and we take regular clinics at our barn.  There is always so much to work on, but Gladys makes everything so joyful.  Every time I ride her I feel so grateful that she has chosen me as her person.  Even though she is turning 19 and I am 72, I feel we have many years ahead to continue to grow our partnership.

My long term goal in 5 years is for us to do our Century Ride together….perhaps an FEI test, who knows. All I know is that there could never be a better equine partner and friend for me.

Thank you Gladys for being my heart horse. 

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