Memi Pearsall is a 17 year old and from Richmond, Virginia. Her mother is Robin Johnson of Virginia and Harbor Springs, Mi. She has been riding since she was 7 years old and she started riding in Virginia and continued to Chatham Hall, an all girls boarding school in southern Virginia. At Chatham Hall she was able to expand her experience from the Hunters into Equitation by joining the school’s IEA team. Each year she moved up a division and started showing in the intermediate division of IEA eventually qualifying for Regionals. She also competed in a Jumper show in Sedgefield, North Carolina.
Memi does not own her own horses, yet every day she is assigned to ride one or more of the 30-40 school horses available at Chatham Hall. The girls ride five days a week, which allows the students to grow as riders and athletes. This summer was her first year working for Brek-n-Ridge Farm as a working student for Kate Etherly and Karin Offield.
Brek-n-Ridge went on the road this summer competing in shows in Sutton’s Bay and the Leelanau Peninsula. Brek-n-Ridge student Mckenzie Becker joined up with Memi and Andrew Figures in Dressage competition. Memi competed in the jumping shows with the Brek-n-Ridge jumping horses Boxcar Annie and Redstar. Memi won an important flat class with Redstar, a pretty chestnut mare new to the stable and trainer Karin Offield. “ Memi successfully accomplished many of my goals for the summer. I am grateful that she joined up with us and worked so hard.I appreciate working with these young students and looking at their riding from their point of view and discovering how I can teach them to reach for more in their equestrian dreams. ” Karin says.
When it comes to dressage Memi had this to say….”I learned a lot this summer about a type of riding I was totally unfamiliar with, to begin with. Although the hunter/jumper world is about achieving perfection, dressage takes this concept to a whole new level. I was surprised and knocked down a peg when I tried dressage for the first time and realized that all this time I couldn’t even ride a proper circle. The beauty of dressage is working to make everything perfect and having harmony with your horse. The thing I learned abut dressage this summer will and already has translated into my work in the hunters. It’s been a very interesting experience to be judged by the eyes of people who see riding in a whole new way in which doing something “good enough” won’t suffice. In dressage, nothing is ever perfect, you always need more flexion here or to be more geometric with your patterns or any number of other things a judge could find. However, I’ve found that the beauty lies not in the achievement of this perfection, but in the journey with your horse to achieve it.”