I have been looking forward to this milestone event for several years. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined riding my Century Club ride in the middle of a global pandemic! I am grateful to the Dressage Foundation for allowing me to complete this ride in a safe and modest format.
I fell in love with horses as a child when my Russian, immigrant father from Brooklyn took me and my sister for a few pony rides near our home in Atlanta, Georgia. It wasn’t until I was in my mid 40’s that I began formal riding lessons in my chosen home of St. Louis, Missouri. I had patient instructors and safe horses to learn on. My first equine partner, my beloved Shadow (“In the Shadow of the Creator”) carried me safely over jumps, through miles of gorgeous trails, decades of lessons and clinics, and into dressage. Our partnership lasted several decades, and he died peacefully at the age of 30 ½ years old. Shadow transformed both my personal life and my work path. I am a licensed clinical social worker in private practice for 40 years. In addition to my clinical training, I trained in and taught T’ai Chi and Qigong for decades and integrate mind-body approaches into my clinical work. Shadow and I participated in Centered Riding® clinics based on Sally Swift’s work (heavily influenced by T’ai Chi). I went on to train with EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association). For many years, I partnered with an equine professional and her horses to provide this powerful, experiential form of psychotherapy to clients.
This Century Club ride would not be possible without the patient instruction from my long-time trainer and friend Marketa Matthews who alongside her husband Charlie, established Quarter Line Dressage in 2014. Shadow and I began our dressage journey under her capable instruction, and she was “the bridge” to Dr. Ava Frick DVM and my current equine partner, Tre Awain Medelago (“Mellie”). Mellie is “co-author” and model for Dr. Frick’s book Fitness In Motion. Mellie is a Connemara, bred by the late D.J. Moore and her daughter Laura Carpenter Balding of Three Creek Farm, pioneers in introducing and breeding Connemaras in the U.S. Mellie and I have been partners since 2014. His athleticism, easy temperament, and solid mind make him a wonderful ambassador for the breed. His daughter, Cedar’s Savanagh continues his influence on the breed both in the U.S. and Canada. In his 26 years, Mellie has herded cattle, evented, and covered miles of trails. We now enjoy dressage, various clinics, and relaxed rides around the fields of Quarter Line Dressage where we board. Mellie’s favorite activity remains sampling Missouri’s flora and fauna! His favorite treat is fresh fruit salad topped with cinnamon!
Blue ribbons to Marketa and Charlie Matthews and the staff at Quarter Line Dressage for their impeccable care of our horses and creating a fun, educational, and inclusive atmosphere. An accomplished polo equestrian, Charlie keeps fences mended, hay hauled, pastures tended, and on and on. Gratitude to Mellie’s vets Drs. David Hunt, Ava Frick, and Andria Cogswell, to our farrier Brandon Stubbs, and Jacobsen’s Saddlery for perfectly fitted tack. Heartfelt thanks to my large, beautiful tribe of family, friends, colleagues, and healers for their ongoing care, love, and support. Special thanks to Rabbi Randy Fleisher for his beautiful funeral for Shadow, his blessing ceremony for Mellie, and my 70th birthday celebration at Quarter Line. We all know it takes a village and I am deeply grateful for mine! Mellie and I thrive in a supportive and caring barn community. I salute my equestrian “home tribe” at Quarter Line! The Connemara community locally and nationally is endlessly generous in their advice and support. Thank you to the American Connemara Pony Society for awarding me the 2015 Deb Busta Amateur Scholarship which helped me further my dressage training in preparation for this ride.
Mellie and I completed our Century Club ride on October 31, 2020, at Quarter Line Dressage for Justin Hardin. It was Halloween, the full Blue Moon, and the last day of daylight savings time! I dedicate this ride to my father Morris Entin and to my Shadow, both of blessed memory.
You can view a video of Harriet and Mellie's ride here. Password: Mel
Video created by Jamie Lamprecht.