Sparkles and Sunshine: Rider Interview Series - Kristin Montero

Rider Interview Series - Kristin Montero

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Happy Wednesday!

All equestrians know, that balancing riding and horses is hard with all of the many aspects of life. I know I'm still trying to figure out how to make time for my riding, blog, Diesel & Felix, and of course Chandler. Some days I feel like it can be impossible. But, there's someone who can help! Today I am excited to introduce Kristin Montero, founder of The Equestrian's Edge. From her everyday inspirational posts to her one-of-a-kind program, Kristin is a total boss babe! I hope you all enjoy getting to know her better today!

1. How long have you been riding?

I have been riding since I was 5 years old. My dad is from South Dakota and he spent a lot of time on horseback at the cattle ranches and had that love of horses in his blood. He put me on my first horse at 5 years old and I was instantly hooked.

2. How has riding made an impact on other parts of your life?

Because of horses, my entire career path has been focused around them. I've worked at a tack shop, I was a working student for a top dressage trainer, I was a riding instructor, I managed a large racing and equine rehabilitation center and now, I have my own business The Equestrian's Edge. Riding also taught me discipline - getting up early, staying at the barn late, missing events - in order to reach my equestrian goals!

3. Have you always ridden dressage or have you experimented in other disciplines?

With my dad's roots in western/back country riding, I started off doing a lot of western pleasure/trail through 4-H. I then transitioned into some basic English Equitation and a little bit of jumping and then eventually, by my early teens I was fully into dressage and never looked back! 

4. Tell us more about your horse(s)! How did you find them/how long have you had them? Height/age/breed/quirks? :)

I am currently riding a horse named, Bonito VR. He is owned by a retired UESF "S" judge, Pam Nelson of Villa Rosa Dressage. He's a 6 year old Andalusian gelding who is schooling Second Level. We've developed a strong bond in our short three months together. He's a total goofball. He loves to stick his tongue out and goof off in the cross ties - his expressions are priceless with that big tongue. One of my favorite things about him is he loves to cuddle and when he hears my car pull up at the barn, he nickers and is waiting by his stall door for me when I arrive, it's the sweetest thing.

I'm riding him right now because my last horse, whom I purchased as a foal, decided he wanted to be a jumper and so we sold him to a wonderful jumping home and now I am horse shopping for my next dressage partner. I'm considering purchasing a 3 or 4 year old to develop and bring up the levels. I love building that partnership from an earlier age and working with young horses is challenging, fun and so rewarding.

5. What are some of your riding aspirations/goals for 2019?

To show Bonito First Level and possibly Second Level. I would also love to get some clinic rides in with Johann Hinnemann when he comes to visit our barn. My trainer has been having me ride a few of her sales horses here and there and I'd love to continue doing that as well this year. It's such a great way to improve our skills in the saddle by riding several different horses - we are forever learning!

6. What is your show schedule like for the next few weeks or months?

Currently there is nothing on my show schedule due to some heavy travel the next few months but I'm hoping to get some shows scheduled for late July, August and September!

7. What are some of your favorite show tips/show hacks? We've love to know!

Great question! You know the old saying, fail to prepare then prepare to fail? I believe this is so true with our horses too. Practice, practice, practice so that when you trot down that centerline or enter that show ring, you feel confident in yourself and your horse. For me, that means really focusing on my dressage geometry so I don't lose points over silly things like a 20 meter circle! Also, focus on why you're there. Don't worry about what other people are doing or saying Put your blinders on and show for yourself and your horse! After all, this is all about the partnership with your horse, the ribbons and prizes are fun, but at the end of the day, it's you and your horse and that's all that matters. Have fun! 

8. Tell us more about your program! How did The Equestrian's Edge come about?

The program really started about 10 years ago when I was getting ready to do some heavy competing in dressage and I was exhausted, overweight, and had low self esteem. I was tired of feeling this way and after trying countless fitness and weight loss programs and failing, I knew I had to figure something out that wasn't so extreme or else I wouldn't stick to it. I taught myself how to eat a balanced diet on an 80/20 plan, I designed at home workouts for myself (I wasn't confident enough at the time to step into a gym) and started diving into mindset work. In 3 months, I lost 30 lbs and fast forward ten years to today and I have kept all of the weight off. I was approached by several fellow equestrians about my sustainable success with my health and asked to develop it into a program and with that, The Equestrian's Edge was born!

It is a 10 week at home fitness program designed specifically for equestrian women. There are four weekly 24 minute workouts that are HITT and yoga/barre focused to give our bodies the best opportunity to build stamina, lean muscle, and flexibility. In the program, you are given an abundant amount of nutritional resources to really dial in your nutrition and I do weekly live calls in a private Facebook group to discuss mindset success. It's truly a passion of mine to combine the equestrian world with my love of health and fitness and the women I have met through it are absolutely incredible.

9. What are some of your top tips on balancing riding with other aspects of life such as fitness, other animals, relationships, etc.?

This is a common problem in the equestrian world, horses are very time consuming and between balancing our careers, social life and relationships, we're often left wondering where did all of my time go? What helped me the most was pre-planning my weeks. Sitting down and not leaving my weeks up to chance. Every time I "winged it" my weeks would be way too busy and I'd feel stressed and exhausted.

Do a quick timeline of your week, where you can fit in a few extra hours? The question is never, how do I find more time, it's how do I use the time I already have? Do you need to sacrifice something like less time watching Netflix or scrolling social media in order to get that workout in or to have a night out with your friends? Is your schedule populated by things that will make your life better or is it dictated by everyone else's wants and needs? Find those free hours and add in riding, fitness, cuddling and playing with your other pets, date night with your significant other or friends. Now that you found those free hours, protect them fiercely and don't allow other things to get scheduled in place of them!

10. What is one thing you would love my readers to know about your program?

That it's not just a fitness based program. To live a truly healthy lifestyle, we cover the importance of having a good balance of eating well, having fun, self care, mastering our mindset AND working out. All of these things together will help you live your best life where you are healthy, happy, and enjoying life with your horses!

Thank you all so much for reading! I hope you loved getting to know Kristin better and don't forget to head over to her Instagram account to learn more about her program and to follow along her journey with Bonito and her future friend once she finds him/her!

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