Introduce yourself, your horse, and your Camp Leaping Horn background!
My name is Katie Kashner, I am a full time faculty member at Delaware Valley University where I teach in the Equine Science and Management department. My background’s actually in carriage driving, so I compete in pleasure and combined driving, and the horse I took to Camp Leaping Horn is Frankie, he's a seven-year-old spotted draft cross. He didn't have a ton of side saddle background before camp but I've competed him in dressage and have done a little in the hunter ring with him.
How did you become involved in side saddle riding?
I actually became involved in side saddle riding through my mentor and boss Audrey Bostwick. She has a lot of history in side saddle and we actually had a friend that came up for a lesson and she kind of encouraged me to try doing it, and after trying it once I developed what I called my “long-term unachievable goal” of taking Frankie to Devon side saddle.
How did attending camp benefit your riding and what goals did you meet?
Attending Camp Leaping Horn benefited my riding because I quickly learned that my “long-term unachievable goal” was totally achievable, so I really enjoyed being able to ride with a lot of different instructors that had different backgrounds. Some of the instructors had more of a dressage background, some did a lot of fox hunting, some did the hunter jumpers, so it allowed me to get a well-rounded experience and I think the largest benefit outside of riding was all of the additional information. I learned a lot about saddle fit, the history behind side-saddle, how to fold a side saddle apron, so just all of that different information.
What was the sense of community you experienced at camp like, and how did it affect your experience then and now?
The sense of community was amazing. I didn't realize how big the community was, and it was very, very inviting. Everybody was happy to help out. If you were missing something, they lent it to you. Everybody was a personal cheerleader for you. It definitely opened my eyes to how friendly and inviting everybody is in the community and I've noticed since then that my Facebook friends have increased probably by a hundred, so I keep getting more and more people that ride side-saddle for networking.
Will you be attending camp in the future?
I would definitely love to attend camp again in the future. I think one of my long-term goals would be to have a lot of my students attend the camp and get more people involved in side saddle riding. And I would also love, again long-term, to potentially be able to be an instructor in the future as I develop my own skills and become more involved in the sport.