Left to Right: Roommate Georgia Phillips, Mickie, Macy, and the author

by Isabella Fabiano ’20

Today, a fraction of what I have worked so hard for is finally paying off. I sign the papers stating my mare that I have spent the last year refining has found her next home. This victory is making tomorrow’s challenges slightly more encouraging. I have spent my recent horse riding days wondering if there was going to be a moment of relief, and today, I received that answer. The best part about selling your own self-trained horse is the confidence it gives you to begin your next riding project. I have learned so much just from this horse, this year, and this opportunity. I will use this to achieve more goals I have planned for my future equestrian career.

I only have five weeks left studying in Florida. There are only a few more horse shows to compete in for the year, one of them being the world famous event “Land Rover” which takes place in Kentucky at the end of April. Looking ahead, I can’t wait to head home, but at the same time, looking back at somes of the memories makes it a little sad to leave. Leaving the warmth, the natural tan skin, the ground that is sand, the year round green grass, and the smell of acres of horses puts an ache in my heart. However, after this year away, I miss the cozy feeling that no other place can provide but Maine.

The training I do here can vary between a range of different activities; either from stadium jumping, cross country jumping, gallop sets, dressage work, or even hands on horsemanship skills. My favorite educational gain from this experience is being able to put the job into perspective of owning and running a facility, what to do and what not to do. Working with and for different professionals has given me different choices and ideas of training and caring for horses. I am really looking forward to using what I have learned this year to progress my equine career.

Surprisingly, my roommate Georgia and I manage to keep a social life outside the stables. Some nights we’ll go out to dinner or go shopping. Other nights, we’ll watch the local rodeos or go rollerskating. Last Sunday, we jumped the fence to watch equestrians compete in the Great American Million Dollar Grand Prix, while also getting autographs from the best of the best riders! Georgia and I also have to take care of our own horses, which means driving around six bales of hay and eight bags of grain in my station wagon. There is never a dull moment being an intern student!

As I count down the last five weeks of this journey, I reminisce of the last seven months of an unforgettable opportunity. I am thankful for everyone who has made this year possible for me to explore learning outside a schoolyard. I am grateful for my employers, parents, teachers, friends, and supporters who have spent the time to help me experience this adventure. When I get back to Maine I am excited to start planning my next big goals, and look forward to the new people I will meet on the way and the old friends who will come along for yet another journey.

Isabella Fabiano is a junior at Lincoln Academy, currently spending the school year in Ocala, Florida with Joe Meyer’s Eventing Olympic Training. She is the daughter of Benedict Fabiano from Westport Island, and Cassandra Van Wickler from Damariscotta.