Welcome to the new blog series “Kick On” by sponsored rider Lisa Barry.
It’s a sunny day in September and I’m standing at the edge of the show jumping arena in the Kentucky Horse Park trying to hold back tears. For those who know me, this isn’t terribly surprising lol. I’ve always been an emotional person because I love this sport so much and want success for others and myself. I’m invested deeply, maybe to a fault.
This weekend took it to an entirely different level. This is the weekend I had my entire Lisa Barry Equestrian (LBE) team competing at the same event. One of the girls was experiencing her hardest event at the level…on a baby horse; one was competing one of my ex-advanced horses for the first time AND moving up a level; one was gaining her last qualifying round for her one star, when a year ago she was struggling to go training; and one was attempting, through guts and sheer determination, to overcome what she thought was the end of her horse’s career in our wonderful sport. All of them were successful, and my heart is so full!!
As all of you know, eventing has its many highs and lows, and we all continually attempt to “gain character” by persevering, even when we think we simply can’t. You see, all of my girls have had their individual hardships, but each and every one of them accomplished a serious goal this weekend – a step towards their future and something to be very proud of.
While I stood there trying to hold back tears of profound proudness, I couldn’t help but reflect on where I was just a few short months ago. I moved my summer program from Middleburg, Va to Lexington, Kentucky, in April. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but let me tell you it has been nothing short of totally worth it! I started with a few students and maybe 5 horses. Now, I have a full barn and a solid number of loyal students, a new wonderfully talented little horse (that will be up for syndication shortly) and a fantastic new sponsor, Kentucky Performance Products. I am so unbelievably lucky!
I also found myself thinking about how silly it was for me to be fearful to teach, and about where I came from and all the people who influenced me growing up, whether it be my longtime coaches, or the girls in the barn who whipped me into shape when I moved to Virginia as a naive 17-year-old kid. I asked too many questions and had a lot to learn, but I have been inspired and bettered by all of them.
My girls now come to me with questions about various things and all I can do is smile and give them the answer, because I know that I learned from the best of the best. They joke and say that I have an answer for everything, but the reality is that it’s all because of the people I have been surrounded by in my career. Every lame horse or body full of hives or brewing injury has brought me here. Lord knows I have had my fair share of difficult or weird. But, I am so incredibly thankful for where my journey has taken me so far and beyond humbled that my past has allowed me to not only teach these wonderful girls how to improve their riding and their horses, but also how to become better horse people because I was lucky enough to grow up in such an amazing program; to progress through all the highs and lows; to persevere.
I’m beyond excited to watch these girls grow and accomplish their goals and I can’t wait to see where this town takes me! I am still taking on new clients and I have room for horses in training or students. Come join our team! Email me at email@example.com
This post is sponsored by Lisa’s product pick for the month: Summer Games® Electrolyte
“Summer Games is the only electrolyte I trust to properly replenish what my horses lose when they sweat. It’s properly balanced with trace minerals and low sugar so I don’t have to worry that it’s full of anything that is unnecessary for their top performance. From my young homebreds to my top level athletes, I wouldn’t use anything else!” Lisa Barry, FEI 4* Event Rider and Trainer
Summer Games is a unique blend of both electrolytes and trace minerals specifically formulated to replenish critical electrolytes in the proper ratios. Summer Games supports healthy electrolyte balance so horses stay hydrated, perform at optimal levels, and recover faster after exercise or in stressful situations.
Lisa Barry is a four-star event rider who has been riding and competing horses for 29 years, and has 16 years of international competition experience. Her horses have had top placings at many FEI events including at the Advanced/CCI3*/CCI4* level. Lisa has trained with Karen O’Connor for 25 years, and has worked for and ridden with Karen and David since she joined the O’Connor program as a working student when she was 17. Lisa competed at the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event aboard her beloved FIS Prince Charming, aka “Peanut,” a tiny, feisty New Zealand OTTB. Lisa is currently training and coaching out of Lexington, Kentucky and Ocala, Florida. If you have questions for Lisa or would like to learn more about her program email her at firstname.lastname@example.org