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Carson girl wins overall champion saddle

Sandi Hoover
shoover@nevadaappeal.com

Lindy Lehman has been riding horses since she was 4 years old – and it’s starting to pay off.

The 13-year-old Carson Middle School 7th grader and her horse Doc recently won an Overall Champion saddle for excelling in the Western Nevada Horsemen’s Association Gymkhana during the 2010 show season against 25-35 other competitors of all ages.

Lindy also has won two state expo titles and a high point buckle at the Nevada State Wild West Fair this past summer.

“The two have been competing together for about three years now, and make a great team,” said her mother, Erin Lehman.

Doc, who is Lindy’s second horse, is a quarter horse and her 4-H project. Lindy is an officer and active member of the High Sierra Riders.

Besides competing in gymkhana events, Lindy and Doc jump and compete in English, Western Equitation and Western Pleasure.

The Lehman family has three horses including a pony named Black on which Lindy’s 10-year-old sister Brynn competes. She won champion in the 10 and under class, taking home a buckle, spurs and other prizes, Lehman said.

Lehman said she wanted her daughters to love horses as much as she does so they could all go riding together, and Lindy turned out to be very motivated. She also loves playing soccer, and she just made the volleyball team, Lehman said.

“She loves soccer, so on her off weekends, we do gymkhana, and our goal is to get her into junior rodeo so she can do barrels, goat tying, pole bending and breakaway roping in between her soccer schedule,” she said. “She is really dedicated – if she’s not practicing, she’s out on her horse.”

Lehman said she especially appreciates the 4-H program because it builds character and teaches great leadership to youngsters.

“She loves her horse and she’s a strong competitor,” Lehman said.

Lehman described Lindy’s competitive spirit.

“She’s really shy, and a studier. She watches and learns, but when I watch her compete, it’s funny because when that gate opens, she gets her game face on and she’s in it to win. I think she’s just really confident,” Lehman said.

Lindy explained that she loves competing.

“I feel great, and it was my second saddle. It’s a fun experience,” she said. “Riding horses is something where you can have fun with friends while doing what you love.”

With Doc, it’s an especially good relationship.

“It’s like he’s your best friend because we’re competing together,” she said.