As 2018 begins and we find ourselves getting back out to the barn on a regular basis, here at Coat Defense we have been busy gearing up for a new year with our riders. We want to shine a light on these special equestrians and share their challenges, adventures and work with fellow riders and horse enthusiasts.
With that goal in mind, we present a new series for our blog, titled appropriately, Our Riders. First up in our series is a couple who not only rides together, but trains, shows and cares for Eventing and Show Jumpers, Bobby and Danica Meyerhoff.
Meyerhoff Show Horses
Bobby and Danica Meyerhoff run Meyerhoff Show Horses based out of Eight Bells Farm in Statesville, North Carolina, where they train and care for Eventing horses and Show Jumpers. Meyerhoff Show Horses works hard to provide world-class equestrian services to their clients and their horses, and Coat Defense couldn’t be more proud to sponsor a team who has such passion for their horses and barn!
We recently caught up with Bobby and Danica to ask them a few questions about how they got to where they are, and how they work to keep such a high standard barn running.
Bobby and Danica, can you each tell me about your own first riding memory?
Bobby: I was only 3 or 4, at my grandparents ranch in California, being led on a lead line in the tiny arena on a pony. And just walking, my grandmother raised POAs and that’s how we got introduced to them.
Danica: Mine was similar, we had a couple horses at my grandparents, so my sister and I took turns leading each other around on one of her little quarter horses.
So you were bitten by the horse bug at a young age?
Both chuckle and agree, that’s how it all started.
And how did you two meet?
Bobby: We were both working students in Middleburg VA, me for Stuart Black, her for Rebecca Howard. We were in the same town, doing the same thing, meeting the same people and hanging out as a group. That’s how we met, it ended up evolving from there.
So, Bobby you worked with 2 time Olympian Stuart Black during that time, and then the O’Connors. What were some of the most valuable lessons you took from those opportunities?
Bobby: I’d say, with Stuart, being the first Olympian I worked with, what stands out most in my mind was learning the way that the barn and horses were taken care of and how it was run. And how you manage when you look after 4 star event horses.
With the O’Conners, it was the difference in how to handle the horses, they do natural horsemanship so it broadened my education on how to train, how to perceive the horses and how they learn.
Danica, you took a riding position with Grand Prix rider Aaron Vale. What was one of the valuable lessons you learned from this experience?
Danica: For me, it was how to ride a lot of different horses in a lot of different ways. He had horses that required a different way of riding and I learned not every horse fits one glove, you have to adapt with different riding.
When I took the position I had only ridden event horses, most had gone in a similar way and fit in one box, when I started working there there were more levels and it required a broader spectrum of riding.
Bobby, what made you want to start Meyerhoff Show Horses?
Bobby: After learning the different ways of caring for and training horses in other barns, I wanted to run my own show and just be able to do things differently and better.
I was always thinking how can I do more, take better care of horses and progress in every way. So I wanted to have control and make decisions, and really make things better for the horses.
Danica, what made you want to join Meyerhoff Show Horses?
Danica: We were already together and joined up because our combined forces were stronger than separate.
Bobby: So we joined forces, we can cover much more ground together.
You have both teamed up with Coat Defense, what made you try the products and reach out to owners, Vince and Sandy Polentes?
Bobby: At first, we liked a powder product anyway, because with all the fungus, rubbing, chafing and everything horses get with boots and blankets, we used regular baby powder before. But when we saw they came out with a powder that was natural and could treat and medicate, we were really interested in that. Then we learned more about the paste and had success using both.
Danica: Like most barns, we would always have fungus problems and we had experimented with the main products but they can’t be used leading up to FEI, so this was really interesting because it could and it REALLY worked!
We want to thank Bobby and Danica for taking the time to talk with us and wish them the best of luck this upcoming season! Stay tuned for more interviews with riders from all over the United States and all disciplines including show jumping, dressage, reining, barrel racing, cutting and driving!