Former ‘city girl’ earns first buckle at Moffat County Fair horse show | CraigDailyPress.com

Former ‘city girl’ earns first buckle at Moffat County Fair horse show

An unlikely cowgirl earned her first trophy belt buckle at this year's Moffat County Fair horse show, proving that "city girls" can ride.

Being called a "city girl" during some of her first riding lessons didn't sit well with 11-year-old Arianna Anderson.

"They have been riding for as long as they can remember. I have only been riding for three years," Arianna said. "I laid low. I wanted to show everyone that I could do it."

A trophy buckle, marking her as a serious rider, was among the prizes that Anderson brought home from Open competitions held over the weekend and 4-H competitions Monday.

Arianna lives on the edge of the city with her parents Ann and Ed. She rides a Pony of the America's named Too Lee that she borrows from 4-H leader Glenda Bellio.

"I signed her up for lessons, and it just took off from there," said mother Ann Anderson.

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The couple didn't have horses growing up, so the experience of riding is new for the entire family.

The inherent dangers make Ann Anderson a little nervous for her daughter. "Not growing up on a ranch, you hear of the dangers and some stories, it makes me nervous. Ed is really excited about it," she said.

Arianna often wears a helmet when riding. The Andersons have also relied on a team of mentors to help their daughter.

At the top of the list are three women: Samantha Pearce and Tiffany Schulze that provide mentoring and friendship and 4-H Leader Glenda Bellio who knows just when to push horse and rider to the next level.

"For horsemanship, it was a really hard pattern. She (Bellio) made us get off our horses and walk the pattern to memorize it. She's the best teacher in the world," Arianna said.

Now that the shows are over, Arianna and her family have an important decision to make. She's saved enough money to buy a horse and Too Lee is in contention for a permanent place with the family.

"We have a lot in common. We are both small, we like being protected, we are both spoiled," Arianna said when explaining that she now has to share bottled water when the pampered pony refuses to drink from a bucket.

There's a very good chance that the pony and the unlikely cowgirl will share many more rides together.

"It has opened up a whole new world to me," she said. "I never thought it would go this far."

Complete results for the 2017 Moffat County Fair will be shared in a special section of the Craig Press later this year.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com