Horse-riding enthusiasts of all ages gathered Sunday to ride around barrels, weave through poles and participate in other timed riding events.
Sunday’s destination was Flying M Stables, a 40-acre complex off 113th Avenue Southwest south of Olympia with an indoor riding arena that hosts riding events throughout the year, including Sunday, the second of three events organizers call its Buckle Series (buckles are awarded as prizes).
The first event was in December; the next is set for Feb. 3.
Flying M Stables is run by the husband-and-wife team of Shannon and Sandie Pearson. Both used to have other jobs — Shannon was a Potelco foreman and Sandie was a manager at Twin Star Credit Union — but now they have devoted their energies to running the stables.
Flying M hosts about 10 events a year, including the Roger Musgrove Memorial, an event created in memory of Sandie’s father. Musgrove opened Flying M Stables in 1993, she said.
Around 70 riders took part in the day’s events, including Cindy Fuller, 55, of Napavine, who rode River, her 12-year-old palomino.
She had the fastest time in one race, taking home horse treats and a brush, she said.
Fuller said she was 3 years old when she first saw her neighbor’s horse and fell in love. She now owns seven full-size horses and seven miniature horses and rides every weekend, sometimes riding in as many as three events in a weekend. And when she’s not taking part in an event, she goes trail riding in the mountains, Fuller said.
Fuller works as a waitress, choosing to work the early shift – 5 a.m.-1 p.m. – so that she can have the rest of the day to ride.
“I just love horses,” she said.
Another competitor was Heather Rush, 16, of Tacoma, who keeps her four horses in Puyallup.
With Rush on Sunday was Rebel, a 6-year-old horse known as an appendix, a quarterhorse crossed with a thoroughbred, she said. Rush and Rebel participated in the December Buckle Series event. Rush was looking for a better result Sunday after saying that Rebel was “OK, but not very responsive” last month.
Rush enjoys riding for the bond that develops between rider and horse.
“We trust each other to take care of each other,” she said.Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 email@example.com theolympian.com/bizblog @rolf_boone