Amy Bowers quickly became a facebook sensation when a video of her and her horse Piper working at liberty went viral. I’m sure you’ve seen it, but if not you’ve gotta check it out.
I was lucky enough to be able to chat with Amy about her equine passion and pick her brains about everything from her career to how to get started in liberty. Check it out…
How did you get into horse riding and what is your riding background?
Horses have always been apart of my life, I grew up on a family farm that breed Belgian draft horses. I got my first pony when I was about 6. Her name was Frosty. She was supposed to be for all of the kids on the farm but she quickly became mine when I was really the only one that showed interest in her.
I started going to the Parelli ranch when I was 9 ( My uncle is Pat Parelli) When I was 12 my grandmother bought me my first horse because I had out grown my 11 hand pony. By the time I was 14 I would spend 2 months in the summer in CO at the Parelli ranch and a month in the winter at the FL parelli ranch. I graduated high school early and went to work full time for Pat and Linda Parelli when I was 17
Did you have a preferred discipline when you were younger?
I never competed when I was younger, but I loved anything that had to do with jumping.
Did you always know that you wanted to work with horses?
Yes, from the day I was born I knew I wanted to do something with horses.
And what spurred your interest in liberty work?
Growing up I was always surrounded by people that were amazing at Liberty with horses but I loved watching Hanza Blaha with horses and he really inspired me.
What was the process for you learning how to work at liberty?
I use the Parelli system. Developing a relationship online firs online and then testing the relationship at Liberty. Because when you take the halter off all you have is the truth.
What’s been the highlight of your career to date? Do you have a most memorable horse?
Hmmm. That’s a hard one. Truly the highlights of my career are the ones where nobody sees. The ones where a troubled horse finally trusts me or when a challenging and dominate horse becomes easy and playful. Those are the best moments that I am most proud of.
My most memorable horse is sapphire. She came to me very challenging and became my heart and soul.
What’s been the biggest challenge for you so far?
Horse wise, I had a 5 year old Warmblood that I had in training for a few years that was a huge challenge. He was 17’3 hands and had learned that he wanted nothing to do with people. He was very confident and push and at times very aggressive. If he wanted to leave he did. There was nothing I could do to stop him. Getting him to want to be with me was the only way to get any thing done with him.
As far as the biggest challenge for myself is my attitude was the biggest thing to overcome. When I would get frustrated I would get mad. And when you are mad at a horse no one ever wins. So getting to the point where my frustration became my fascination was a big change.
Do you have any advice for people who want to start liberty work or perhaps turn their horse riding passion in to a career?
For people that are starting to play with there horses at Liberty to keep it simple and fun. Don’t don just get caught up in the fun of doing the fancy things. Simply things done well is where excellence starts to happen. Practice the process not the product.
For people that are wanting to become a professional I encourage them to take there time. Work with as many horses as they can. Also I would encourage to seek out a professional that is good with horses as well as the business side of things so they can learn from them.
And last but not least never stop learning. Just because you are a pro does not mean you know it all. There is always a better way to do something. Be humble and the horse will teach you.
You can see more about Amy & her work on her website – www.bowersfarm.com
Or you can follow her on facebook!