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  • Writer's pictureLiz Moorman

The Tale of a Dream Horse and Her Dedicated Owner

In our industry, there are tales of exceptional partnerships between horses and their riders that inspire and captivate us. One such story is that of Abriel Odling and her beloved mare, BMQ Living My Dream, affectionately known as LeeAnn. Their journey together is a testament to dedication, hard work, and the unbreakable bond between horse and rider.


A Special Connection

Abriel's journey with LeeAnn began in 2020, a meeting that would change both their lives forever. LeeAnn, a small yet spirited mare, captured Abriel's heart with her brave demeanor and athletic prowess. Despite her initial reservations, Abriel knew in her heart that LeeAnn was the one. From the early days of training to the challenges they faced together, Abriel recounts the journey that led them to where they are today.


A Triumph in Showmanship:

Winning reserve in the English Showmanship at the Color Breed Congress was a significant achievement for Abriel and LeeAnn. Abriel recalls the hard work and dedication that went into mastering the discipline, from teaching LeeAnn the basics to fine-tuning their performance together. The pride she felt in her horse's performance was unmatched, a testament to their strong partnership and shared determination.


Abriel and BMQ Living The Dream

The DIY Approach:

Being a DIY exhibitor adds an extra layer of dedication and hard work to Abriel's journey with LeeAnn. As a teacher splitting her time between FFA, teaching, and caring for her beloved mare, Abriel's schedule is packed with responsibilities. Despite this, she finds solace and joy in spending her days at the barn, where she devotes herself to LeeAnn's care and training.


A typical day for Abriel begins after work, as she heads straight to the barn to reunite with LeeAnn. Whether it's rain or shine, Abriel is there, tending to LeeAnn's needs and ensuring she receives the best care possible. From banding her mane to longing her and preparing her for upcoming shows, Abriel takes on every task with unwavering dedication and a sense of purpose.


While some may struggle to balance work, family, and equestrian pursuits, Abriel embraces the challenge with enthusiasm and determination. She understands the sacrifices involved but remains committed to her passion for horses and the bond she shares with LeeAnn. Despite the long hours and occasional stress, Abriel finds joy in the simple moments spent with her mare, knowing that their partnership is built on the foundation of love, trust, and mutual respect.


Abriel's DIY approach extends beyond the barn and into the show ring, where she takes on the role of groom, trainer, and support system for LeeAnn. Arriving early at shows, Abriel ensures that LeeAnn is well-prepared and comfortable, taking care of every detail to ensure their success in the ring. From bandaging legs to polishing tack, Abriel leaves no stone unturned in her quest for perfection, knowing that every effort is worth it when she sees LeeAnn shine in the spotlight.


Despite the challenges and occasional setbacks they face, Abriel remains steadfast in her commitment to LeeAnn and their shared dreams. She knows that their journey together is filled with highs and lows, but she wouldn't have it any other way. For Abriel, being a DIY exhibitor is not just about doing it all herself - it's about the bond she shares with LeeAnn and the joy they find in every moment spent together, both in and out of the show arena.


BMQ Living The Dream

Favorite Aspects of Showing:

For Abriel, the joy of showcasing LeeAnn's growth and spirit is highlight of showing. She delights in LeeAnn's athleticism, particularly in Discipline Rail and Hunter Under Saddle classes, where LeeAnn's fluid trot and graceful movements shine. But beyond competition, Abriel values the camaraderie with friends at shows, sharing laughter and support. Showing with LeeAnn isn't just about winning - it's about the journey, the bond they share, and the memories they create together.


Effective Training Techniques:

Abriel's approach to training LeeAnn revolves around dedication and patience. She emphasizes the importance of taking her time, focusing on pushing LeeAnn's shoulders and ensuring she moves her body correctly. However, Abriel acknowledges the significance of maintaining the right mindset for both herself and LeeAnn. This involves fostering a deep connection with her horse and building trust in their partnership. Abriel also finds inspiration and guidance from observing techniques shared online, such as on YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook Reels, constantly seeking ways to improve their performance and strengthen their bond. Additionally, she prioritizes her own fitness, recognizing the physical demands of showing, particularly when navigating the sandy arenas common at many events. Through dedication, mindfullness, and a commitment to continuous improvement, Abriel and LeeAnn continue to refine their skills and elevate their performance in the ring.


Abriel and BMQ Living The Dream

Mental Preparation:

Abriel's mental preparation before entering the show ring involves a mix of focus, routine, and staying calm. She often listens to music, particularly 2000's hip hop or 90's rock, to help set the mood. Before their class, Abriel takes LeeAnn out for a warm-up session, typically starting two classes prior to theirs. During warm-up, Abriel breaks down the showmanship pattern into manageable segments, ensuring they have all the elements correct. Instead of running through the entire pattern, she focuses on specific maneuvers, helping both herself and LeeAnn stay in the right headspace for the upcoming performance.


Advice for Aspiring Amateurs:

For those just starting out, Abriel offers valuable advice based on her own experiences. She emphasizes the importance of setting clear goals and staying committed to them, even when faced with challenges and setbacks. Recognizing that the journey may be tough at times, Abriel encourages aspiring exhibitors to persevere, keep working, and seek support from a community of fellow equestrians. Building a network of friends at shows can provide not only camaraderie but also practical assistance and encouragement. Ultimately, Abriel advises newcomers to remain focused on their goals, believing that with determination and dedication, success will follow.


Beyond Showmanship

While showmanship holds a special place in Abriel's heart, she and LeeAnn also compete in a variety of other disciplines, including halter, hunter under saddle, equation, discipline rail, and horsemanship. As they continue to expand their repertoire, Abriel looks forward to further honing their abilities and exploring new challenges, such as introducing LeeAnn to over fences work.


Abriel and BMQ Living The Dream

Biggest Lessons Learned:

Reflecting on her journey with LeeAnn, Abriel identifies several significant lessons that have shaped their partnership. One key lesson is the importance of communication and understanding between horse and rider. Abriel discovered that rather than dictating commands, she needed to engage LeeAnn in a dialogue, asking for cooperation rather than demanding compliance. This shift in approach fostered a deeper connection and mutual trust, enhancing their teamwork and overall performance. Additionally, Abriel learned to anticipate LeeAnn's responses and adapt her training methods accordingly, recognizing and respecting her mare's intelligence and individual personality.

Future Goals and Aspirations:

Looking ahead, Abriel has ambitious goals for her equestrian journey with LeeAnn. At the forefront is their aspiration to compete at the Paint World Show, with a particular focus on excelling in Solid Showmanship. This long-held dream represents a culmination of years of hard work and dedication, driving Abriel's determination to achieve success on the world stage. Beyond the Paint World Show, Abriel envisions exploring new opportunities for LeeAnn. As they embark on these endeavors, Abriel remains committed to nurturing their partnership and pushing the boundaries of their capabilities, eager to see where their shared journey will lead.


The story of Abriel and BMQ Living My Dream is a testament to the power of dedication, passion, and the unbreakable bond between horse and rider. Through triumphs and challenges, Abriel and LeeAnn have forged a partnership built on trust, mutual respect, and a shared love for the journey they embark on together. As they look to the future, their dreams and aspirations continue to guide them on their remarkable equestrian adventure.

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