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About Natalie!I have been riding for 30 years. Born and raised in London, England and moved to the USA 20 years ago and currently live in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I grew up showing in the jumper ring with my two horses and now I show dressage. I have two friesians that I show in levels from first through fourth. I am a British Horse Society Intermediate Instructor and have my USDF Bronze Medal, with hopes to earn my Silver Medal in 2017. I do not own a horse anymore but I show my clients horses. My special guy is Hank P, a 14 year old Friesian that will be debuting at 4th level next year. My most favorite accomplishment was bringing Hank P up the levels over the last few years, he was a tricky horse to ride and I earned his trust and we were USDF All Breed Champions 2015 at second level. We currently stand 4th for third level this year. I love C4 Belts because of the different and fun color and design combinations. The ability to be able to change the buckle on to any strap is fantastic. Fun to wear in or out of the saddle. My advice to fellow riders is....there are no short cuts! Train hard and work hard, it pays off! Besides my love for horses I also adore my two Dachshunds, Ziti and Blue.
Katharine “Kate” Cassidy is a NAYRC Bronze Medalist, USDF Silver and Bronze Medalist, and USDF Silver Freestyle bar recipient from San Diego, California. For the majority of her equestrian career, Kate has ridden dressage, but she has also dabbled in hunter/jumpers, equitation, and many forms of western riding.
Kate’s first dressage horse, Aavignon Andante, was far from destined to be in the big dressage ring. However, Kate was able to transform her seven-year-old Saschen Anhaltiner hunter prospect into a respected, national FEI small-tour competitor. They finished the 2015 season with an invitation to compete at the USDF US Dressage Finals for the Open Fourth Level Freestyle and CDS FEI Jr/YR Champions.
Kate was paired up with Pellegrini, a Hanoverian gelding, in 2013 and finished their 2015 season as the USDF Region 7 Young Rider Champions with a 69.342%, CDS FEI Jr/YR High Point Champions with a 67.063% and CDS FEI Young Rider Champions with a 66.389%.
Recently, Kate acquired a lease with Donna Richardson’s Welt Erbe (“Velt Er Ba”) and the pair worked diligently to secure a position on the 2016 Region 7 Young Rider team. At the conclusion of the 2016 season, the combination is ranked 11th in the nation, 142nd in the world and received a bronze medal at the NAJYRC.
Kate rides with USDF Gold Medalist Tina Caldwell and attends clinics with world-renown clinicians like Charlotte Bredahl, Jan Ebeling, Jane Weatherwax, George Williams, and Paul Belasik on a semi-regular basis. Along with catch riding horses for her trainer, Kate is also a full-time student at the University of California, San Diego, studying chemistry and molecular cell biology, and intends to pursue a graduate level education. Additionally at her university, Kate competes with the UCSD Equestrian Intercollegiate Hunter/Jumper team.
Looking toward the future, Kate hopes to find a partner for her FEI Under 25 Grand Prix dreams and intends to always pursue competitive dressage.
At the start of 2016, Kate secured partnerships with popular brands like Romfh Equestrian Apparel, Schockemöhle Sports, PDS Saddles, and, of course, C4 Belts. These relationships are just the start for her equestrian career and provide a network that has proved to be invaluable.
You can keep up with Kate on her Instagram account @_kate.cassidy_
Kate's Riding History
I started riding when I was two years old, begging my mom to take me anywhere and everywhere that had a horse. Initially I started with Western lessons, but I transitioned to English riding when I was six years old. My heart wanted to pursue jumping; however, my mom urged me to develop my technique through dressage so that I would be safer and more prepared for jump courses. Reluctantly, I fell into dressage as I just wanted to be near horses. My competition career began when I was ten on my first pony Zippity Do-Dah. From there, I started to realize how fun dressage could be and I was addicted to learning how to direct my horse and communicate with him without using words. I truly fell in love with and began to dedicate myself to the sport at the age of 16.
I do not own any horses at this time, but I am currently schooling and showing a horse named Beowulf or "Rogan" (owned by Edward Fischer of San Diego, California). Ro is a 14 year old bay Hanoverian gelding with more heart than any horse I have ever known. He is so friendly, kind, and has a personality that fills arenas.
Kate's Favorite Accomplishments
My recent Bronze Medal at the NAJYRC is definitely at the top of my list! That day was so surreal and standing on the podium with some of the best riders in North America as my amazing support team watched was one of the best moments of my life. Welt Erbe and I went on to compete in all three phases of the championships, placing 11th overall.
Past NAJYRC, I have been able to claim multiple championship titles including 2015 Region 7 FEI Young Rider Champion, 2015 Southern California FEI Young Rider Champion, Overall FEI Jr/YR Champion, and FEI High Point Champion, 2014 Southern California Overall FEI Jr/YR Champion and FEI High Point Champion. Last year, I also qualified for and was invited to the United States Dressage Finals for the Fourth Level Open Freestyle after finishing in the top five of my championship class at the Region 7 Finals. However, the arduous trip to Kentucky in the middle of my fall semester was not something I could accommodate.
Why Kate Loves C4 Belts
I love C4 because I am a huge advocate for self expression. I have always worn bright colors in the warm up ring, even wearing a purple shadbelly in a few CDI's and Championships. C4Belts allows each person to discover what they like and make a statement about it; the belts give me the freedom to be me. Prior to discovering C4Belts, I always had belt marks on my whites from my leather belts that were IMPOSSIBLE to get out. Now, I don't have to worry about the leather bleeding because of the animal friendly material C4 uses. I also love and appreciate how C4 gives back to charities with their belts. It creates a community and encourages people to be charitable and gracious.
Kate's Advice to Fellow Riders
Don’t ever give up. Honestly, I know it’s cliche, but it’s true. You can do this. You just need to put in the work and you’ll get there. Both life and equestrianism is a process and a journey and you need to enjoy all the troubles that you go through because that is what shapes you to be the person you’re meant to be. I owe a lot of my skills to my previous horse, Pellegrini; on the ground, he was the sweetest horse and loved to follow me around in pasture. When I got on his back, however, Pellegrini spent every moment testing me, asking if I was sure that I wanted to half pass or if I /really/ wanted that flying change. Every time I would let go of my seat, Pellegrini was convinced I wanted a walk break and would promptly walk, even if we were in the middle of a movement. He taught me humility, respect, determination, and, eventually, confidence. He taught me to trust in myself and my own ability and how to problem shoot in the middle of a test when his hind leg would shut down. Pellegrini wasn’t the traditional ‘horse of a lifetime’, but I wouldn’t trade the three years I had with him for anything else in the world.
A little more about Kate!
I have two favorite quotes that I think would be pertinent to mention. The first was said to me personally at a clinic with Paul Belasik. He said to me: “it’s a duet… That is what [dressage] is about. This is teamwork.” I love this quote because it highlights that behind the good, the bad, and everything in between is a partnership that needs to be cultivated with mutual respect and understanding.
The second quote comes from the fifteenth century from Antoine de Pluvinel, and I believe that it relates nicely with the quote from Paul Belasik. “You can never rely on a horse that is educated by fear! There will always be something that he fears more than you. But, when he trusts you, he will ask you what to do when he is afraid.” It is impossible to build a healthy relationship with any being, whether it be animal or human, based off of fear. Fear is an emotion that elicits the fight or flight response, and this reaction is triggered when the creature is under pressure. By building a partnership based off of trust, mutual respect, understanding boundaries, and not pushing limits, your horse will understand that, with you, there is nothing he can’t do.
Sydney's Riding History
I have been riding all my life due to my mom being a trainer. When I was 3 yrs old I went to my first show and was champion in the cross-rail division. I am a hunter/jumper rider although I mainly compete in the jumper divisions. I have recently started competing in Grand Prixs and have pinned 2nd in two of them, 6th in another and 9th. I had a pony jumper this past year that I took to the 2016 US Pony Jumper Championships and finished 4th overall in the nation. My main goal is to become a top jumper rider resulting in the worldcup completions and possibly the Olympics some day.
I own three horses/pony. My main horse is St. John 10:9 and he is my Grand Prix horse. He is a KWPN ands was originally imported from Europe. I got him from Florida after being a working student at the barn he was at. He is very petite being only 16 1/8H. He is a bay with a blaze and multiple socks. He is approximately 10 years old and I have owned him for a year. I got him to be a 1.10m-1.15m High Children's horse and just kept moving up until our first Grand Prix together where we pinned 2nd. He is a complete "dork" and lets me ride him around bareback in a halter and lead rope outside of the show ring even though he has a lot of "blood" or is very "hot" and strong in the show ring.My pony jumper is Mr Worldwide, or shorty for short. He is basically a shortened version of John. i don't know his breed but vets say he is about 8 years old and he has a pony card at 14.1H. i got him about a year ago as a last resort type of thing. We were told that he was "crazy" and "unsafe" and that we would never be able to even catch him. He walked right up to me and I got on him bareback and asked him to trot, canter, etc. My mom and trainer, Julie Luzicka, put some hay bales out for me to jump to see if he would make into a jumper if we were to save him. Shorty kept jumping the bales of hay with no hesitation and ended up jumping about 4 hay bales stacked up to be about 4ft tall. We bought him and started flatwork training for a few weeks then started to ask him to jump. At his first show he won every class and by the second show he had qualified for pony finals. Since being 4th at pony finals and finding out someone is interested in buying him I decided to have some fun and jumped him 1.45m high in just a neck rope bareback.My last horse is a 3 year old Holsteiner gelding, Bora Bora aka BB, that was born at our barn. he is by Boritas a Grand Prix stallion. We breed to get a possible Grand Prix horse but due to his incredible movement, amazing jumping form and unflappable brain he is going to make up to be a derby hunter. I raise him since birth teaching him tricks and lungeline work and I am also the only person to ever ride him. He went to a little schooling show with me where he won the pleasure on the flat, the crossrail and the 2ft hunter classes!
Sydney's Riding Accomplishments
Having worked with such talented horses thus far in my career, it is very difficult choosing a favorite accomplishment. Being 2nd in my very first Grand Prix as a 14 year old is definitely one of the top favorite. Also taking a sale barn pony and being 4th in the nation after less than a year of training is high up there.
When I was 10 I won the TIP award on my TB mare. Also when I was 10 Bernie Traurig made a comment comparing me to Margie Goldstein saying I was the next Margie Goldstein in the making. the list could go on and on because to me even the littlest thing such as jumping a single clear round or just schooling at home can be viewed as a massive accomplishment.
Why Sydney Loves C4 Belts!
I love the style of the C4 belts and the simplicity of them. I love how no matter the outfit I wear I can have a matching belt. I think I have personally changed buckles and straps about 10 times at this show this past week alone. everyone is always complementing how well my bely matches my outfit and I love how cute C4 belts make any outfit. I think everyone needs a few buckles and straps to add to their wardrobe. I personally think it is mandatory to complete any look!
Sydney's Advice for Fellow Riders
The best advice I can give anyone at any level of this sport is just few few simple words. HAVE FUN! horseback riding is about having fun. Although winning is nice think about why you started in the first place. Was your first thought when you first wanted to sit on a horse "I want to win" or was it "I want to ride because it seems fun"? No matter how the day goes just think about why you started in the first place. I promise you the person is last place had just as much fun riding as the person in first, whether they admit it or not. I also want to stress the importance of horsemanship and sportsmanship. Your horse is a living creature with thoughts and feelings. Praise him or her for all the good they do. spend some time with them. share secrets, sing to them, read to them, be a dork with them. the closer the bond between horse and rider the better! They aren't just a horse, they are in-fact the best friend you will ever have! and for sportsmanship, be kind to others. congratulate and wish luck to your fellow competitors. Most importantly, be a gracious winner and an even more gracious "loser" even though there is no such thing as a loser in this sport as long as you're having fun! :)
I am an equine photographer! I take photos at all the local horse shows with my co-photographer Chanelle Martin. We own Soundproof Photography!
Nathalie's Riding History
I've been riding for 4 years, I started off volunteering with a therapeutic riding program and soon moved on to lessons. After a year of lessons I started training a 3yo mare as a jumper. I trained her for 2 years and was sold to a hunter/jumper barn. I now ride/train/coach at my current barn, I do eventing at the Training level, jumpers at the 1m/1.10m, and first level dressage!
I work for 2 leases, my eventing/jumper horse is named Cruz he's an 19yo Thoroughbred gelding. And my dressage horse is named Allie and she's a former young rider mount, she's competed in 2* eventing, 1.30 jumpers, and 4th level dressage, she's 21 and has had 9 babies.
Nathalie's Favorite Accomplishments
Getting to eventing championships this year, and being in first in a local eventing point system.
Why Nathalie Loves C4 Belts
They are long lasting, have lots of use for them, and colourful!
Nathalie's Advice For Fellow Riders
If you want extra time in the saddle, work for it! Best thing that's happened to me, I've never had to pay to ride any horse.
Nicole's Riding History
I started riding in late September 2011 at Misty River , when I started we rode western but fast forward a couple of lessons the trainer asked if I wanted to try English. As much fun as I had western, I fell in love with English from the first time I tried it. so I decided that I wanted to ride English full time, and in May 2012 I made the switch to a eventing trainer-- I had no clue what eventing was, so she invited me out to watch /help her at Mill creek pony club horse trials and instantly I was hooked. In June 2012 we started a lease on my first horse Maximus, he ended up being my birthday present on July 27! Then my family and I moved far away from Misty River, so max moved with us. In October of 2012 I joined pony club and in November I passed my D1. Max moved to my house with me in January, so I started riding all the lesson horses. On January 26, 2013 I went to my first horse show on lazer ,In February I passed my D2 HM. I went to two more horse shows that spring on Ranger, then on Toby, attended my first USPC show jump rally on Toby. In October 2013 I went to my last show on Toby and won my first blue ribbon. In November 2013 this red roan Quarter horse who at the time was name Crawford showed up and I started riding him, needless to say it was not love at first sight but I renamed him Romeo. I passed my D3 HM and D2 riding on him in November 2013, then he ended up being my Christmas present in 2013. We spend all of 2014 and most of 2015 trying to figure each other out, going to local Dressage shows, riding bearback. Then finally in winter/spring 2015 we clicked and really started having fun with each other! Went to my first H/J show on Romeo in May 2015. Then in June 2015 my family moved down to the ozark. That fall I joined Heritage livestock Riding Center(pony club) and started taking lessons with Mariellen Raucher and Cynthia Wiseman. In January 2016 I passed my C1 HM with 7 exceed standards. That spring I started doing Dressage with Claudia Misner. And finally in May 2016 the dream was fulfilled and I got to ride in Mill Creek Pony club horse trials finishing on my Dressage score getting 3rd! I've gone to several local jumper shows this past summer and I'm looking forward to this fall.
I own two horses. Cape cod Grey aka Maximus, a faded dapple grey 16 year old off the track thoroughbred.Like A Boss aka Romeo a 14 year old red roan Quarter horse.
Nicole's Riding AccomplishmentsWinning the Wildfire award in Midwest region pony club for having the highest musical freestyle in 2014.Passing my C1 HM with 7 exceeds standardsGetting 3rd at Mill Creek Pony Club Horse trials in 2016.Winning my first Champion at the Heritage Livestock jumper show in 2016!
Why Nicole Loves C4 Belts
I Love C4 belts Because of all the awesome colors. They're super comfortable and adjustable and work perfectly for grab straps on cross country.
Nicole's Advice to Fellow Riders
My advice would be to just have Fun with it, because if your not having fun with it what's the point of doing it at all. Also never give up, stay determined and thing will work their way out.
Amelia's Riding History
I've always loved horses but it wasn't until I was 12 that I got my first opportunity to really ride. Since then I have been riding for 5 years. I've been in several different barns and have tried a few different disciplines. A year ago I fell in love with cross country. It was the most exciting thing I'd ever done and from then on I knew I wanted to event. This year we went Entry and are about to move up to Pre-Training with the hopes that by the end of next season we'll be going Training.
Throughout the past 5 years I've owned several young horses. As of right now I only own one. Rocket, is a 7 year old gelding, 16hh Oldenburg x TB, dun. I bought him when he was 5 and had to retrain him from being a hunter/jumper to an event horse.
Amelia's Riding Accomplishments
I feel that my riding abilities have grown hugely in the last year. I'm proud that I've helped train my horse and gotten to ride other youngsters along the way. My horse is extremely sensitive and is a hard ride for most so I'm very proud I've learned to ride him as well as I do. In one year we've gone from schooling cross poles and 2'3 to jumping 3'3 courses and 3'6. This spring we brought home a 5th place medal in an event we went to which for me, made me feel like all the hard work and training is paying off. I'm proud that we've done as well as we have since this is Rockets second year of Eventing. Most of all I'm extremely proud that we've been moving up the levels so quickly and by the end of this season we will have a Pre-Training event under our belt as well.
Why Amelia Loves C4 Belts
I love C4 belts because they are unique and fit to your body type! Before I tried C4 I never even wore belts because I didn't like them. Then I saw them in the store and new I had to try one! I loved them! I use them to match my cross country colours and I never ride without one!
Amelia's Advice for Fellow Riders
It's not always about competing! Sometimes you have to realize that it's better if you go to your events for schooling purposes and to have fun then to always be in the ribbons! Don't worry if your not in the top riders, every mistake you make is something that you can learn from. Focus on your own journey and your own horse and try not to get caught up in what everyone else is saying and doing. Always remember to have fun! Another piece of advice is: don't make goals that you or your horse can't accomplish. Set reasonable goals and then as you reach them you can make another goal and eventually you'll be able to make big goals that you know you can achieve!