Dejah Valdez

Age: 9 years old-will be 10 on May 28th.

Where are you from: Rio Rancho, New Mexico

   

Riding, family and friends...

How long have you been riding: One year and nine months


What made you start riding: Was invited to attend a summer horse camp and had never ridden before. My parents and me thought it sounded fun and exciting so I joined Summer Horse Camp. It was so scary at first and then I fell in love with riding and the ponies and horses.


What was the name of your first horse/pony? Fudgie, a Tennessee Walker


What horses/ponies are you currently riding/showing: I am currently leasing Royal Woodhaven, “Woody” and riding and showing him


Does anyone else in your family ride? (If so, who) Do you have friends at school that ride? If not, do they think it's cool that you ride horses or do they wonder why you don't do more mainstream sports? 

Nobody else in my family rides. My mom would like to ride with me sometime soon though. My former third grade teacher rides and she also owns a young horse rescue called the Penny Lane Foal Rescue and I think that it pretty amazing. I really think she is doing a wonderful thing. My friend’s think that riding horses is cool but they always say that I am crazy for jumping them. I am always riding though so I do not have much time to hang out with friends.


School and time management

How do you juggle your time to include riding and other activities?  I try to do the best that I can in doing my chores, school work and ride. I try to take my time with everything and not to rush through things so they are done right.


For the people that are riding on the show circuits- do you attend traditional school or online/home school? Traditional school at Cielo Azul Elementary School.


What is your favorite piece of tack and why?

My Buffalo skin Voltaire saddle is by far my favorite piece of tack. I am so lucky to have one!!   

More...

Is there a horse sport that you would like to try that is different than the style you ride? Such as reining, eventing, mounted games, racing, etc. I would really like to try Dressage sometime. I really think that it’s neat and very different from Hunter Jumper.


Do you board or keep your ponies at home? I board my pony at Heartlane Farms with my trainer, Julie Luzicka. I wish I could have my pony in my back yard though.


Do you know how to braid? No not yet but this year or next year I will be learning how to. I think I will braid pretty good once I learn.


What you would like to accomplish as a junior rider? I would like to learn as much as possible and ride as much as possible. I would also like to have a much stronger leg and hopefully soon graduate to tall boots.


What are you most proud of as a rider? I am proud in how far I have come and accomplished in such a short amount of time. I also get to see horses and ponies daily if I want to. I also get to care for a loving animal and that makes me proud.


Do you see yourself riding after your junior years? (College, turn professional, other??) Yes of course!!!! I would love to get a scholarship to college and be in the Equestrian program. I would love to be a professional rider and hopefully be a Grand Prix jumper someday.

5 Fun Facts...

  

  1. I have had reconstructive surgery twice on my right ear drum.
  2. I wear hearing aids which can be hard in a show because it is difficult to hear the judges/trainer sometimes
  3. I have to focus much harder than normal kids because of hearing issues
  4. I haven’t been riding very long
  5. I am truly blessed with m parents, brother and grandparents