Rekindling a Passion
Rekindling a Passion
By The American Quarter Horse Journal editor Andrea Caudill
About three years ago, Natasha Pusch of Phoenix, Arizona, was in Las Vegas on vacation.
She noticed an advertisement for the AQHA West Level 1 Championship, and decided to go check it out. She had ridden hunter-jumper and eventing as a youth, but life got in the way, and she had been out of the saddle for more than a decade.
As she sat watching, she came to a realization.
”I realized that I missed showing so, so, so much,” she says.
She immediately went to work fixing the problem.
About two years ago, she bought Ms Gettin Blazed, a petite daughter of Blazing Hot out of the Vested Pine mare Vested N Satin. “Jackie” was bred by Joan Schroeder of Collinsville, Texas.
“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do – originally I thought I wanted to do ranch riding, so I bought this horse,” Natasha remembers. “That’s why she’s so short. I started doing that a little bit, but after a few months I decided it wasn’t for me. I wanted to do the all-around and I missed riding English.”
She toyed with the idea of buying a different horse, but was too attached to Jackie – they would make it work. And they have, expanding their repertoire to include hunt seat, trail, pleasure, showmanship and horsemanship, and pulling in a win in the walk-trot amateur hunt seat equitation at the AQHA West Level 1 Championship.
“I was happy AQHA offered walk-trot, because I wouldn’t have been brave enough to come if they hadn’t,” she says.
Natasha is in the final few months of pursuing her PhD at Arizona State University, where she is studying criminology and about to defend her thesis in juvenile victimization.
It is a tough line of work, but fortunately she has an eager face waiting when she pulls up to the barn. She describes Jackie as smart – sometimes to the point of mischievousness – but also a sweet and loving mare.
“When she sees my car pull up, she’ll be at the gate waiting for me,” she says.
And as Natasha and Jackie prove, horses are good for the soul.
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