Senior Isaac Schreiber has for years trained and shown horses. Junior Marisa Dellatto sat down recently with Shreiber to ask him about his unusual life goal.
How and when did you start riding horses?
When I was 5 years old I started taking riding lessons and have been doing so since. I loved it and didn’t stop. I started at Ironstone Farm in Andover.
What’s an average week like for you?
My average week changes throughout the year. In the summer I ride six to eight horses a day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Also, in the summer I travel on a regular basis to horse shows on the East Coast. It is a full time job, so during the school year I go to the barn every day after school, until 7 p.m. and then I have my regular schedule on weekends.
Do you ever have trouble balancing school and horses? What comes first for you?
I do not have any trouble. I like to stay busy and I am used to being exhausted all the time. For me, horses are my life; I want to be a full time professional horse trainer in the near future. Horses come first to me; I have an apprenticeship with my horse trainer, Chuck Patti, and I am showing his horses and his clients’ horse professionally for him now. I believe that school is important too, but I would rather ride instead of doing chemistry homework, hands down.
So you want to continue with horses. Will you go to school for that? Where are your top choices?
Yes, I am planning to go to college. You used to be able to get by with not going to college but this way if I get hurt I will have a back up. This is the one regret my trainer has, because he is falling apart at the age of 50 and they can’t fix him. I have already applied to the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio. It is the number one horse training school in the country and the only school I am interested in. I am 99% sure I will get in because they know me very well and asked me to come look at their school. [Editor’s note: Shreiber has since been accepted.] At Findlay I will major in equestrian science with an emphasis in Western horse training, with also a degree in equine business management. At the school I will be given eight horses a semester and learn everything from new training techniques to breeding and being a farrier.
What’s the best experience you’ve had from riding horses? Or an opportunity you’ve been given because of it?
My best experience would not just be showing. It’d be showing and training my trainer’s and clients’ horses. It has allowed me to realize what I actually have and put me into perspective about what I have to work at. Most of all though I am most proud of being able to say I have trained my current horse, Danali, who’s only 4, and show her competitively for the past two years in events from reining to jumping. I am also most proud and honored to get the opportunity to train my own horse. I don’t know any other kid that I show with that can say this. It really makes me unique.
Is your family supportive? Do they come to shows with you?
My family is very supportive of what I do. My mom and dad have always wanted me to do what I love. They help me out financially because without them, even with the money I make at my job, I would never be able to do this. I am extremely grateful of this. Usually one of my parents meets me at a show.
What is your main goal right now?
Currently I am preparing for the Paint or Pinto Worlds next year. I qualified this year and I am practicing and training to prepare for it in the spring of 2013. The Paint Worlds is in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Pinto Worlds is in Tulsa, Okla.
That’s an amazing accomplishment. If you do place high there, what will you do after that? Will you feel accomplished? Or like there is nothing else to work for?
When I go to the Worlds, I will be competing against the best people and riders in my division. Hopefully I will do as well as I am doing this current year; I have a good chance at a Worlds title. I will feel very accomplished about this, and this is just the beginning of my very long road in horses.