Friday, April 13, 2012

Lessons Learned From Amy Tryon

How shocking and sad to hear about two-time Olympic medalist event rider Amy Tryon’s untimely death yesterday. As I sit here writing I’m recalling all the times I interviewed her from this same seat. She was always humble, hard-working and focused on her horse’s happiness. Her talent, her knack for finding and shaping equine partners, and her tremendous dedication to the art of horsemanship have earned her well-deserved international recognition. And she made it to her first Olympics (2004) in her “spare” time while serving as a full-time job as a firefighter. She lived with her husband Greg and their horses in DuvallWA.

One quote that stands out from my interviews with Amy was about her about her plans for to qualify for the 2008 Olympics (she not only qualified, but won bronze), she told me:

It’s not like I’m going to quit riding if I don’t make the Olympic team. You’ve got to enjoy the day-to-day with these horses. The amount of time that you’re standing in the winner’s circle, versus the amount of time that you’re not is ten-fold. So, if you don’t truly love these horses deep down inside and get as much of a kick out of teaching a four-year old to do shoulder in as much as you enjoy galloping around at Rolex, then you’re in the wrong sport.

My advice to any rider is just to enjoy every moment, whether it’s spent hand-grazing your horse, bathing him, or all the time you put in to teach him to pick up the left lead canter. There’s going to be a time in your life when you’ll wish I could do it all over again.

Click here to watch a video of Amy walking the course with specators at the 2010 Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event. 

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