Sophomore participates in horse riding competitions

Chloe Jester vaults a hurdle with her horse Devil.

Hannah Durr

Chloe Jester vaults a hurdle with her horse Devil.

Chloe Grimm, Staff Reporter

Before a big show, there are jobs that need to be done. Riders bathe their horses, put blankets on them and wrap any white legs with polo wrap so they would not be dirty for the next day. Then on the day of a big show, they take off the wraps, make sure their horses look pristine, and put on all of the horses’ tack, as well as all the equipment used. Finally, the riders get show clothes on and takes a few laps around the warm up ring. 

This is what Chloe Jester, a sophomore at Revere, and her horse Devil do, when they are getting ready for a show. For Meghan Schweikert and her pony Floyd, a different routine goes as follows; first a warm up lap, with a walk, then a trot, and even a canter, which is a fast trot. After this Schweikert can try out and practice jumping, barrels, and even archery. 

Photo by Hannah Durr. Used with permission.

Although Jester and Schweikert share the same interests, they are doing completely different activities, from shows to archery. 

Jester is part of a program called 4H, which stands for Head, Hands, Heart, and Health. The program is all inclusive and is not just about horses, although this is why Jester joined. 4H has classes for horses, bakery, goats, and much more. Michelle Jester, Jester’s mom, is an advisor for 4H and has been doing it for the past four years. 

“I am always at every open show supporting Chloe and [I] am the advisor of 4H to be more involved, ” she  said.

Along with 4H, last summer Jester went to the Summit County open show, where she did contesting and western. Western involves the type of saddle, which is the seat a rider sits on a bridle, a part of tack that is put on a horses face, and bits, the mouthpieces of the bridle, someone can use. It is also how the horse walks or trots, while contesting is barrels and jumping poles. 

Jester won many awards including first place at the banquet for western at Summit County. 

 “For western I got a bunch of firsts and seconds, and [in] my contest classes I usually got fourths and fifths,” Jester said.

Jester started riding at only eleven years old when she got riding lessons for her birthday. Jester first learned about horses and became interested from her sister who worked at Camp Christopher. She’s been riding for about five years now, and is now leasing a horse named Devil for show season.

Photo by Hannah Durr. Used with permission.

“Even though we have a barn, we board [a horse] at our riding instructors barn, she had thirty or so horses and takes care of them. When I [have a] show I lease one of her horses [like Devil] from May through July,” Jester said.

Along with riding and showing horses, Jester is also part of Horse Bull. Teams from different counties go and compete with each other on what they know about horses, with planned trivia questions. There are two high school teams, the A team, who has more experienced juniors and seniors, and the B team, which are freshmen, sophomores and some inexperienced seniors. Jester is on the B team because she is only in tenth grade.

“[Horse Bull is] like academic challenge for horses,” Jester said.

 Teens from all over Summit County come to be a part of Horse Bull. They have a meeting about once or twice a month, and have a state competition at the Ohio State University. Two teams face off against each other and whoever gets more points wins the round. Last year the Summit County A team got 1st place overall at states and moved onto nationals. The prize for competing at the state competition is a belt buckle. 

“If you do contesting you can use the belt buckle for showing, or you just keep it at your house and keep it shiny,” Jester said.

Jester covers a wide range of the horse genre, because she does shows and Horse Bull, but Meghan Schweikert another rider does not do shows but something entirely different. Schweikert is learning archery on horseback. 

“Right now I’m doing neck reining with archery, which is no reins no bridal, just using your legs,” Schweikert said.

Schweikert can do archery standing still but wants to continue learning when her pony Floyd, is walking, trotting and cantering a fast trot.

“[Archery is] kind of an extra thing that my horse trainer thought I could try, and my horse Floyd, he never did it before but he’s ok with it,” Schweikert said. 

Schweikert does archery on foot as a hobby, and her horse trainer Solange Ellis, decided to let Schweikert give it a try. Both she and her horse went out of their comfort zones and tried something new. 

Schweikert rides at horse heaven stables and goes four times a week to practice archery on horseback and sometimes clean stalls. At practices she will start with a warm up slowly going from a walk to a canter in just a halter instead of a bridal that has more connection to the face. After Floyd is comfortable she will take off the halter and just use a neck rope.

Jester and Schweikert were very close friends when they were younger and were both Girl Scouts, and they also happened to start riding at the same time. Although they took two different paths with horses, they are both still connected and enjoying what they do best.