An unlikely cowgirl earned her first trophy belt buckle at this year’s Moffat County Fair horse show, proving that “city girls” can ride.
Being called a “city girl” during some of her first riding lessons didn’t sit well with 11-year-old Arianna Anderson.
“They have been riding for as long as they can remember. I have only been riding for three years,” Arianna said. “I laid low. I wanted to show everyone that I could do it.”
A trophy buckle, marking her as a serious rider, was among the prizes that Anderson brought home from Open competitions held over the weekend and 4-H competitions Monday.
Arianna lives on the edge of the city with her parents Ann and Ed. She rides a Pony of the America’s named Too Lee that she borrows from 4-H leader Glenda Bellio.
“I signed her up for lessons, and it just took off from there,” said mother Ann Anderson.
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The couple didn’t have horses growing up, so the experience of riding is new for the entire family.
The inherent dangers make Ann Anderson a little nervous for her daughter. “Not growing up on a ranch, you hear of the dangers and some stories, it makes me nervous. Ed is really excited about it,” she said.
Arianna often wears a helmet when riding. The Andersons have also relied on a team of mentors to help their daughter.
At the top of the list are three women: Samantha Pearce and Tiffany Schulze that provide mentoring and friendship and 4-H Leader Glenda Bellio who knows just when to push horse and rider to the next level.
“For horsemanship, it was a really hard pattern. She (Bellio) made us get off our horses and walk the pattern to memorize it. She’s the best teacher in the world,” Arianna said.
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