Final Part of our Series on Fan of the Month Carolyn Cieciwa

Last week Carolyn told us how she came to own her mare Jazz and why she loves her, as well as what they have accomplished as a team. In our final segment of our interview, see what Carolyn’s favorite memory is with Jazz, what they have planned for the future, and finally what? love about H&R.

What is your favorite memory/experience with this horse?

A winning pair.

The first judged trail ride we ever competed in is my favorite memory with her. It was pretty much the first time we had done anything together; it was right after I first started riding her. I had no idea the judged trail ride was a competition. I thought that it was just for fun to see how well each horse/rider combination did each obstacle through the trails. We ended up have the highest score earning us our first, first place title and scored higher than some of the adults in the higher age divisions. Because of this experience, any competition we enter we go into it with the mindset that it is a test to see how well we can work together regardless of the competition. It has worked well for us as we have taken first place in that judged trail ride many consecutive times and second place once, advancing through all of the age divisions.

My other favorite memory (which is a close second) was the MSU Rodeo in 2007. I decided to ‘add to our list of accomplishments’ by entering in the Queen’s Contest. I had been in the rodeo club for a year by this point and loved helping coordinate the rodeo and working each performance. Queen’s contestants had to prepare the whole week before the weekend performances by taking a ‘rodeo test’, compete in a pageant, give a speech, complete a reining pattern with your horse, do a fly by, carry a flag, and ride in the grand entry of each performance. The best part was I got to have Jazz at school with me for a whole week. We won Miss Congeniality and I’d do it all over again. It was one of my best college/horse experiences. It was a great way to participate in the rodeo without having to compete in a rodeo event.

What are your goals for yourself and your horse?
Just to have fun and enjoy time together. As she is getting older we do less and less rigorous events and trails. Many pictures and video clips in my entry for the fan of the month contest are from when I was in high school all the way through college and after. Our goals mostly consist of finding relaxing time at the barn for grooming and spending time out on local trails for weekend rides. As a horse and rider team we have become very low key and relaxed.

Carolyn and Jazz

What was the day you filmed the video like? How was the experience?
The video was from the Extreme Cowboy Race in Swartz Creek, Michigan. That day the sun finally came out as it had been raining for days before. The ground was in horrible condition, there were ‘cowboys’ there from out of state that drove all the way there because it was a sanctioned event that actually counted for points towards Craig Cameron’s Extreme Cowboy Association. I was beyond nervous. We’d never been entered in a competition this serious. We were underdogs and there was no hiding it. It was an awesome experience. We ended up disqualifying our time because Jazz slipped and fell on the muddy ground and I decided not to continue so we could both get checked out for injuries. LUCKILY, since the ground was so soft we walked away unharmed. It was a definite bruise to our ego but we’d do it all again (minus the fall) because it was fun and we did it; we showed up, rode hard, and walked away with a lifetime experience – mission accomplished.

Who took the video you entered?
I made the video – I added the pictures and the video clip. But the clip from the Extreme Cowboy Race was filmed by my cousin Matt who came to watch us that day.

What is your favorite section of Horse&Rider?
I like anything about horse care. I double majored at MSU in Animal Science (with an equine concentration) and Marketing in the Eli Broad College of Business. I hope to have my own horse boarding business one day (reason for mixing business and animal science) and anything that advances my education on horse heath interests me. I love nutrition, anatomy, exercise physiology, and anything else that helps you understand “how the insides work, so you can keep the outside working”!

Check our Carolyn’s winning video!

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