Getting Horseback Ready is a Part of Everyday Life for Beckhardt

Audrey Beckhardt shows us what it means to care for a horse and why she does it


Megan Geisler

Audrey Beckhardt takes her horse Cobalt around the arena during practice.

Megan Geisler, Reporter

Imagine you are driving down a long winding road through the country and you pass by a beautiful green pasture full of horses.  Amazed, you yell at the top of your lungs, “Look horses!!” before continuing on your way.

For the average person this is about the most you will ever see of horses but for junior Audrey Beckhardt this is everyday life. You see, Beckhardt has been riding horses for almost eight years and for the past few years has spent most of her time in a barn as she trains for competitive dressage.

“It’s weird because whenever I bring people out to the barn they act so amazed and I’m always so confused because I mean this is just normal for me,” Beckhardt comments. “I see these horses almost every day.” 

Three times a week Beckhardt drives out to her barn in Stonegate Stables to practice with her horse Cobalt and get some training in before big competitions. It’s a lot of work and training usually lasts about 45 minutes. 

When asked why she puts in all of this effort, Beckhardt said, “Cobalt has so much personality in hand and in the saddle and that’s one of the biggest reasons I love riding. He’s a tricky horse so riding him is both frustrating and rewarding. It’s about give and take and at the end of the day it’s always worth it.”

Audrey Beckhardt puts a bridle on Cobalt in preparation for their ride. (Megan Geisler)

Not only is training a lot of work, but caring for a horse is no easy feat. Not only do you have to make sure they are properly cared for and eating right, but you also have to make sure they are healthy. In Cobalt’s case, this means taking medicine regularly, getting just the right amount of food each day, and having good clean hooves.

You also have to have the right kind of equipment in order to ride at all. Before each ride, Beckhardt puts a bridle on cobalt and then saddles him up. For dressage and training she uses an English saddle instead of the usual western ones that you see on TV. These saddles are a lot more sleek and lightweight which allows the rider to feel closer to the horse while competing. 

Lastly, horses require lots of love and time. And for Beckhardt this is the easiest part, “I love Cobalt. He is my baby and I don’t know what I would do without him.”