Eye of the Tiger

Junior furthers equestrian skill

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BY DESTINE KYUBWA
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Roseville High School junior Abbey Armenta has been competitively riding horses for approximately four years.

Armenta initially began horse riding in her early teens after she stopped doing gymnastics.

“I quit gymnastics in 2012, and my mom told me I had to find another sport so after that I started riding horses,” Armenta said.

Armenta enjoys showing her horses.

“It’s really cool to see how [my horse and I] have progressed over the years,” Armenta said.

Armenta has struggled with finding confidence throughout her riding career.

“I kept wanting to quit,” Armenta said. “But I got over that, when we began doing a lot better.”

Armenta’s trainer, Natasha Elbert, helped her throughout the time period where she was learning to ride.

“She helped me with how to work with my horse, the skills you need while riding and, how to present yourself while riding,” Armenta said.

Elbert helped her with the logistics of how to present her horse.

“She helped me with the attitude you need to have when riding,” Armenta said.

Elbert is extremely proud of Armenta and how far she has advanced since they first met.

“I’m so happy she finally got her first horse, Signature, and that she can follow her passion with animals,” Elbert said.

Armenta’s most pleasurable moment is purely when she has a good day one-on-one with her horse.

“My favorite moment is when I can physically see the improvements that we’ve made, and the bond we’ve created,” Armenta said.

Armenta loves challenging herself by constantly competing.

“At first when I started competing I didn’t want too,” Armenta said. “Then I got my horse. I’ve been showing her for years and we’ve improved a lot.”

According to Armenta, the skills she learned from riding horses are extremely beneficial.

“It helps you learn patience,” Armenta said. “It’s so rewarding when you start getting into it.”

Armenta has especially enjoyed building a bond with Signature.

“I love my horse so much,” Armenta said. “Learning and growing with her is an amazing experience.”

Armenta is very appreciative of her parents giving her the support she needs for her to continue riding.

“They pay a lot of money for me to have my horse,” Armenta said. “I know it’s a big commitment for them, and I know they’re doing everything they can to help me.”

Armenta’s mom, Vikki Thomason is proud of Abbey and has supported her every step of the way in her career.

“She has found an activity that she is passionate about and excels in,” Thomason said. “The best part of watching her show is knowing she loves it and is constantly working to improve her riding skills.”

Armenta plans on continuing to ride horses no matter where her life takes her.

“I plan on going into being a physical therapist and a rehab therapist,” Armenta said. “I would move over to Europe after college.”

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