I was sooooo excited to interview Melina. Most people know her as MPMSporthorses and follow her daily journey with her main 4 legged squeeze, Zini (short for Caraszini). I love her account because it is honest, brave and it motivates me to just do better. Melina treats Zini like a teammate and I love that.
Melina’s love for horses started at the age of 4. She rode her entire childhood in Arizona at Crossroads Farm, until in 2011 at the age of 16, she underwent reconstructive hip surgery for an injury unrelated to horses. The recovery time took months and her doctors advised finding a new hobby. Melina did fully recover, but school and work forced her to put showing on hold.
Today, at 23, Melina is married and residing in Tampa, FL. With her husband’s support and encouragement, Melina was able to fully return to riding and fully commit to pursuing her equestrian dreams. By the end of 2016, Melina had purchased a new show partner, Caraszini.
Caraszini, aka Zini, is an 8yr old KWPN Dutch Warmblood out of Carambole. His grandfather is the great Cassini, hence his name. Melina currently trains with Haley Robinson out of Salt Creek Stables.
HG: Can you describe your riding style in 3 words?
Melina: Effective, Conservative, and Committed.
HG: Biggest equestrian wishlist item?
Melina: If we are allowed to shoot for the stars, my own barn is number one on my wishlist.
HG: If you could ride another INSTA friend’s horse, who would be the lucky horse?
Melina: I would love to ride Lillie Keenan’s jumper, Super Sox.
HG: If you could change one thing about the equestrian sport, what would it be?
Melina: I wish there was a way to crack down on “professionals” in this world that jeopardize the horses well-being for the sake of performance / winning. It breaks my heart hearing about some of the methods people will use to train these top-level horses. These animals deserve so much better.
HG: What do you remember about your first pony/horse?
Melina: The first horse I owned was Missy, and I still own her to this day. My parents bought her for me on my 10th birthday, and I have owned her for 13 years now. She is, and always will be, my heart horse, which is why I have promised her the best retirement possible. She is one of the kindest, most gentle horses I have ever come across. I have always told everyone that she has a heart of gold to match her beautiful golden Palomino coat.
HG: What is the most important thing Zini has taught you about yourself?
Melina: Zini has taught me that I am more capable of doing things than I give myself credit for.
HG: What is your horsie goal for this 2018?
Melina: My goal was to move up to the 1.20m / 1.25m Low JR/AO classes and I am proud to say that we did so at this last horse show.
HG: Tell us the secret to the Zini shine!
Melina: I credit the shine to the endless hours of currying. I am obsessive with my grooming routine, and always start there first. I limit his baths with shampoos/soaps, and try my best to use only waters, damp rags and brushes during our grooming. On top of that I am very particular about my horses feed/supplements. I have also recently started using equine sunscreen as well as UV protection fly sheets, which have worked wonders for protecting his skin. I noticed last year the sun really took a beating on his skin and it resulted in a much duller summer coat.
HG: Do you have any pre-show rituals or superstitions?
Melina: Before heading to the show ring I always have to wear my “lucky bracelets” and place my “lucky lady bug” in my jacket pocket.
HG: What are you thinking about 1 stride before your last jump on course?
Melina: How excited / proud I am going to be making it through the end timers.
HG: What is your biggest (current) riding struggle?
Melina: I struggle with severe anxiety. At times it can be crippling, especially with the horse show nerves. When I let it have a hold of me, it almost always negatively affects my riding. I am working on staying calm, remembering the plan, trusting myself and not panicking on course if this does happen.
HG: Tell us what is packed in your show ring tote!
Melina: My helmet, hairnet, gloves, spurs, lucky bracelets, sunscreen, water, PEScience Amino IV ( electrolyte /hydration product) and always some sort of cookies for Z!
HG: We know you love black/grey for your show colors…but if you had to add one pop of color what would it be?!
Melina: I recently incorporated “baby blue” in my newest show set with black/grey. But if I had to pick a different color I would probably go with a bright red!
HG: What are you bingeing on Netflix right now?
Melina: Currently binge watching Billions and Greys Anatomy.
HG: Approximately how many pounds of treats do you think Zini consumes per week? Do you think it is more than Donny from The ECE? 🙂
Melina: I think he eats more than his weight in cookies per week (haha). He always has peppermints, flax cookies, Pony Pastries and fresh carrots stocked in my trunk/fridge. I would say Donny & Z are at least tied on the cookie consumption. 😉
Thank you so much Melina and Z!! You two are the cutest!