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Riding is in the blood of every serious equestrian; no one agrees and understands this more than myself, Courtney Harbin. From early childhood I have been consumed with all things equine, competing in everything from pole bending and barrels to equitation and show jumping. At the ripe age of 13 my parents bought me a 4½ month old colt, Soldier, whom I began training in my back yard.
When it was time to choose a college, I decided that, since life in Palmer, Alaska did not support my career goals, I needed a different location to move along my life path, so I (and Soldier) moved from the state with the second lowest citizenship per square mile to Wyoming, which has fewer. Despite the small population, Wyoming offers excellent experience in horse keeping.
I graduated at the top of my class in the Equine Riding and Training program, where my course of study included equine conformation, dietary needs, training techniques, and much much more. This solid academic background gives a clear foundation to my care for horses and informs my training.
Dressage, my true passion, grabbed me during an internship in Redmond, WA during a summer in college. The challenge of working in close harmony to achieve collection and flexibility in precise movements had me hooked. Soon after graduation I served a working apprenticeship in Alabama with Judy Pirtle, a USDF gold medalist. Throughout my travels and experiences, Soldier was right there in the trailer being pulled along for the ride. Following my sojourn in Alabama, I traveled back to Washington State to put down roots, grow a business, and continue developing my riding. Although Soldier has retired from showing, he is now the cheif horse in my lesson program.
Riding Dressage at an upper level takes powerful strength of mind and body of both horse and rider. I have the passion needed to make it to the top and am driven enough to make the same true for my students and the horses that I train.
Northwest Collage, Powell WY
Equine Riding and Training Program Graduate