The ride of her life

Senior finds confidence in horseback riding


Jordin Baker

Senior Isabel Turner practices the two-foot jump with Chevy on Aug. 17. The two-foot jump competition typically consists of eight jumps.

At the young age of 7, senior Isabel Turner found her passion: horses. Since then, others have seen her growth and think she has potential to pursue a career through this passion. 

 “It takes a lot of making myself do things because I’m busy almost all the time so I don’t really get a lot of free time,” Turner said. 

While being very involved with the debate team, volunteering at places like the Humane Society of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Zoo, Turner excels in school. She takes AP classes, is a member of National Honor Society and is at the top of her class. She does all of this while actively riding and competing in equestrian events. 

Turner displays work ethic and responsibility in her everyday life, according to her fellow equestrian, Mikalya Adkins. She says she looks at Turner as a role model.  

“It amazes me that she is able to volunteer and ride horses in the same week as well as being the top of her class,” Adkins said. 

An average day of horse riding for Turner consists of a 40 minute drive to the horse barn, Hunter’s Pointe Farm, located in Cicero, Indiana. While there, she works with her trainer and the horses. She usually doesn’t return home until around 9:30 p.m. 

Turner also competes in northern Indianapolis at Wild Air Farms. Along with the competitions at Wild Air, she will travel to competitions all over the country in places such as Florida and Ohio There are competitions year round. Turner competes about two to three times a month over the summer, twice a month in the winter with the Interscholastic Equestrian Association team and almost monthly during the fall and spring.

Jordin Baker
Turner practices going over the fence with Chevy on Aug. 17.

One upcoming competition that Turner has to look forward to is a competition called Hill Top Summer Horse Show Series at Wild Air Farms. Held on Labor Day Weekend, this will be the first competition she’s competed in since she switched to Hunter’s Pointe Farm about two months ago. This will also mark her first competition with a horse new to her, Chevy, a Welsh Pony with a light gray color. 

On a competition day, Turner arrives at the competition site between 6 and 7 a.m. The horses are already there because they are taken to the place of the competition a day in advance. This is to help the horses refrain from getting agitated from all of the travel and gives them time to get used to the location. 

Around 7 a.m., the horses get fed and brushed to make sure they look presentable. Next, the horses get warmed up by their rider, riding them before they have to be shown at 8 a.m. 

Turner usually does the two-foot jump competition. She is given 20 minutes beforehand to memorize the jump patterns before executing the jumps in front of judges. After the jumps are completed, they circle the ring and then exit. Once the jump is over, the horses go back to their stable. A few hours later, Turner goes to the building where the scores are distributed to see how she did. 

Turner’s new trainer, SHS graduate Robin Lawrence, admires her work ethic and sees potential for Turner to ride horses as a profession. From an individual standpoint, Lawrence looks at Turner as a very conscientious person. She cares about the well-being of the horse, including how to take care of it and what it eats. Lawrence says that she sees this in Turner more so than she sees in any other kid she has worked with.

“Her mind’s in the right place to do this for a living,” Lawrence said.

Turner’s former trainer Kaitlyn Wheeler says she sees a shift when Turner begins to work with horses.

“She seems to let go of her anxiety and calm down,” Wheeler said. “Horses help her escape from her everyday life. She always seems much happier and more confident with horses, especially when she tries something new.”

Jordin Baker
Turner walks Chevy around the outdoor arena.