Q&A With Audrey Littlefield


Audrey jumping Renan at one of their competitions.

Amanda Gardiner, Staff Writer

Riding horses isn’t one of the most common sports, especially eventing. It’s not like you can just go to Dicks Sporting Goods and get a soccer ball, some cleats and shin guards. What makes a young girl decide she wants to go ride a 1200 lb animal that at any moment could decide to leap into the air, what makes a young girl want to jump solid 3.6ft tables while galloping on a horse. Today we are talking to 17 year old eventer Audrey Littlefield, to figure out how and why she got into the sport of eventing. 

When did you first know you wanted to be an Eventer? 

It really all started when I was 10 years old and went to my first ever pony club meeting with my old pony Mattie. I had no clue how to ride so my mom signed Mattie and I up to be members in the small local Pony Club. It was an eventing club so I learned how to jump and figure out what eventing was. Amanda was the only girl in the Pony Club who left during the winter to go to Florida. My mom and I decided to go down and visit Amanda and her mom in florida. That’s when I really fell in love with it. We went to a big event and I thought it was just amazing. I wanted to grow up and be an eventer and ride the crazy horses. 

Do you ever find yourself on a crazy horse and wonder why in the world you decided to make this your life?

All of the time, my horse is a bit of a hot head and he is coming back from an injury so pretty much every time I get on him something exciting happens. It’s either a buck, spook or him just deciding to run away with me, but I really wouldn’t change it for the world. We really just learn to embrace the spooks and laugh about the bucks as long  as they aren’t super serious. It’s all just part of this amazing life we live. 

What is your favorite part about eventing? 

Aside from the horses, it’s got to be the people. My best friends are all eventers and we have some close bonds. We are all there for each other, we do a very tough sport and we have some bad days but we are always there for each other. For instance if one of my friends won her division at a show but I fell off she isn’t going to come up to me and say how happy she is, she would give me a hug and jokingly tell me to stick on better. I would tell her how awesome she is for winning. It’s all about supporting each other and I love that. 

Working at a barn is a lot of work and long hours. Do you ever just work at a normal job like some of your friends? 

On the days that we start at 4:30 a.m. and don’t finish till 8 p.m. it’s hard and I sometimes wish I could just go home and take a nap but at the same time, those long days are spent working alongside my best friends so it doesn’t even feel like work sometimes. We are always laughing and making jokes so time really does go fast, so no I don’t wish I worked a more normal job for a 17 year old. 

What is the hardest part of your lifestyle?

I think the hardest part is really my lifestyle. It’s not like I can just leave work for the weekend and then start back up on Monday; it’s a 24/7 thing. It’s all I do day in and day out. Even when I have a really bad day and just want to go home, I can’t, horses will always need to be taken care of and things at the barn will always need to get done regardless if I’m having a bad day or not. 

What do your parents think about horses and eventing? 

They absolutely love it. My mom grew up riding a little bit so she loves the horses and helps me out at shows and taking care of the horses at home. My dad didn’t grow up with horses so doesn’t know too much but he has been around them long enough that he has grown to love them and learned how to take care of them a bit. Their favorite part is definitely coming to all of my competitions to watch and help me, the shows are really so much fun. They understand the dangers and obviously want me to be safe but they know this is something that I love. 

Do you eventually want to become a professional?

Yeah, I think in the future I will want to have my own program and upper level horses, but I definitely want to go to college first and take a couple years to slow down with the horses a little bit and focus a little bit more on school and making myself a backup career but I know I will definitely come back to the horses full time after college. 

What is your greatest success in eventing? 

I think it was finishing my first Preliminary on my horse Renan. He had done much higher levels before I got him but he is not easy to ride. The moment I went through the cross country flags and saw my parents, friends and coach waiting for me I teared up a bit and so did my parents. Preliminary is a big deal it’s a difficult level to move up to and it was just such an amazing feeling to gallop through the finish flags. 

Eventing is extremely dangerous, how do you deal with hearing the bad things that sometimes happen?

It really gets to me sometimes when I hear of someone having a bad fall or something but honestly it’s an addicting sport and you just have to have faith in yourself and your horse. People get into bad car accidents but you still drive, it’s kind of the same thing. 

What keeps you coming back to the barn everyday? 

Definitely seeing my beautiful horses, they are really like big goofy dogs. I just love them with my whole heart. 

Audrey Littlefield is ready for a lifetime of long days spent at the barn with amazing animals and people. Littlefield is currently in Florida with her horses, Renan and Pumpkin. She is an aspiring young rider eager to move up the levels with her horses. If you ever need encouragement to stick at a challenging hobby or job Littlefield is the one to talk to.