Horseback riding is one of the oldest sports in the world, and Lexi Ferguson, an 11-year-old Winters resident, puts in countless hours a week learning the art of it.
Ferguson has been riding horses since she was four years old; however, in the past three years she has taken it upon herself to dedicate the countless hours that it takes to properly care for and develop the skills needed to take the sport of horseback riding to the next level.
“Lexi has loved horses since she was one year old. Every time we would drive by horses she would want to stop and pet them,” said Jillian Ferguson, Lexi’s mother.
Ferguson currently rides at Pleasants Valley Riding Arena three to five times a week, and has grown and learned extremely valuable skills over the past three years. In addition to developing important skills as a rider, Ferguson has undertaken the various responsibilities that it takes to ensure the well-being of the horse.
For the past three years, Ferguson has worked primarily with a horse named Pixie. Ferguson has learned how to properly groom, saddle, document records of her shoeing and shots, and observe for various illnesses. Ferguson has also learned how much work and commitment it takes to be a responsible horse owner. For the past three years, Ferguson has helped out at the ranch with feedings, exercising horses and helping train younger children.
“Lexi is very fortunate to have amazing trainers and friends at Pleasants Valley Riding Arena. They have gone above and beyond to train Lexi and make her a part of their family,” said mother Jillian.
While Ferguson has loved working with Pixie, her dream has always been to have her own horse. Ferguson worked tirelessly and committed herself to Pixie and the other horses at Pleasants Valley Riding to prove that she was dedicated and prepared for becoming a responsible horse owner.
“Lexi purchased her first horse, Fancy, six months ago,” said Jillian.
Fancy is a three-year-old Spanish Mustang with a lot to learn. Luckily for Ferguson, Spanish Mustangs are known for their affectionate disposition and desire to learn, bond with and please their rider. While Ferguson has competed in cow sorting, barrel racing and gymkhana events with Pixie, she now has to use her skills and knowledge to teach Fancy everything she has learned over the years.
“Being that Fancy is such a young horse it’s been a huge learning curve for Lexi on how to train her. Lexi has worked tirelessly on researching and teaching her new things every day,” said Jason Ferguson, Lexi’s father.
This new adventure has become a family venture. Ferguson relies on her dad, Jason, to drive her out to the ranch three to five nights a week and has developed a very special relationship over their mutual love of the sport. Ferguson’s mom and brother also love to go and watch Lexi ride as much as possible.