Ever think the yellow pages could change your life? Oh, wait, and change the course of it before you even were born.
Yeah, me either.
But it changed the course of Holland Stevens life!
“The reason I happen to be involved in the Arabian breed was completely random. My mom promised to find somewhere where my older sister could take lessons, so she opened the yellow pages and put her finger down randomly on the page, and it happened to be an Arabian barn,” explains Holland (that older sister being Madison Stevens, who many of you in the Arabian community probably also know). “She [Madison] always loved horses and took lessons here and there, so when I was born I was just thrown into it as well.”
Riding at three years old, she began showing at 8, and since then has kicked some serious booty.
At this year’s Youth Nationals she took home many titles, including
- National Champion with Capt Jack Sparrow (aka ‘CJ’) in the H/A Western Pleasure 14-18 JOTR
- National Champion with Capt Jack Sparrow in the H/A Western Pleasure 14-18 JTR
- National Champion with GR Khliedescope (aka ‘Khylde’) in the Arabian Ladies Sidesaddle 18 and Under
- National Champion with Khontroversey PGA (aka ‘Khontro) in the Arabian Western Pleasure 14-18 JTR
- Reserve National Champion with Apollos Cary Grant (aka, ‘Moose’) in the H/A English Pleasure 14-18 JOTR
- Reserve National Champion with Maverick Afire (aka ‘Mav’) in the Arabian Mounted Native Costume 18 and under
- Reserve Natonal Champion with Wildfire LPR (aka ‘Willie’) in the H/A Country English Pleasure 14-18 JOTR
Learn more about this Show Season fashionista –
Show Season: Describe your riding fashion style.
Holland Stevens: I would say I like to keep my riding outfits clean cut, and not too distracting. It is important to stand out in the ring, but you don’t want to take away from your horse. It is also important to reflect the horse’s features and color into an outfit that makes the over all picture more pleasing to the judges.
SS: What is your favorite head-to-toe riding outfit?
HS: It is my day coat I wear for Half Arabian English: The jacket is black with a small blue oval pattern running through it and the pants are black. I wear it with a white or black vest, shirt, and tie.
SS: Do you wear anything for good luck in the show ring?
HS: I wear a small gold pin that I was wearing when I won my first national championship.
SS: What is one thing you never go in the ring without?
HS: Hair spray. Although it can be a sticky mess to put in, and it leaves your hair feeling like a rock, it is essential for having a nice clean-cut look that will only benefit you in the show ring.
SS: How would you describe your non-horse show style?
HS: My style ranges when I am not at a show. I live in Sun Valley, Idaho so it can get pretty cold during the winter, which definitely affects my style. But my go-to outfit all year would be a skirt and shirt – its comfortable and classic.
SS: What has been your biggest accomplishment as a rider?
HS: I would say my biggest accomplishment is just the fact that I love riding so much and have fun doing it. No other sport (that I have tried thus far) has ever made me want something so badly, or made me want to try and work for something so hard. To me that is the greatest success.
SS: What are your riding goals for the future?
HS: My goals are just to grow with my horses and find new things to improve on. I would like to become a better rider in general, as well as find ways to better myself in and out of the ring.
SH: Who has been the most influential in your riding career?
HS: There have been many people that have influenced me as a rider throughout the years – past and present trainers, family, friends, supportive teachers… Everyone really plays a big part in influencing my riding career, so it is hard for me to pick just one.