"Some of the very best conversations I’ve ever had needed no words. I have been carried through my biggest struggles by a trustworthy and fierce friend. I have loved with all my heart and been loved back just the same. My eyes have leaked more tears of joy and pain into that chestnut mane then Id like to admit. No true passion comes without emotion and sacrifice."
In loving memory of St. Patrick's Gold
Heather's love of horses started back before she can remember. Beginning regular riding lessons at the age of 8, Heather's foundation was based in Classical Dressage and Center Riding. She rode at a local farm in Bucks County, Pa. under the guidance of accomplished horseman and USEF multi-discipline Judge Earlen Haven. Through her early years of learning Heather was taught that horsemanship was the first building block of a solid foundation and the start of a strong relationship with your horse. As Heather's skills on and off the horse developed, she had an edge through her expansion into the jumping disciplines from her classical dressage foundation. She quickly picked up navigating through a course of fences thanks to her strong foundation of flat work. Heather started competing in her early teens, showing mostly on local circuits and when she could afford it, would participate in rated shows.
Heather continued to work hard but was unable to afford a horse of her own through her junior years. She took every opportunity offered to broaden her knowledge of the different facets of the horse world. Confident and eager, she would take catch rides on young or difficult horses in order to gain any saddle time she could. Riding any horse that was offered to her, she started to develop a sensitive feel for all types of horses. Heather found success in the repetition of her rides and ground training. At age 16, she could be found working numerous roles in and out of the saddle on the backside of Parx Race Track. There she learned a great deal about the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Industry, horse fitness, health and maintenance from the top trainers she had the privilege of working with. By the age of 18 Heather was teaching beginner lessons, taking young students to local shows and assisting with breaking horses. Heather also found success that year in retraining and showing her first owned off track thoroughbred in the Hunter and Jumper Rings.
Heather spent her first year at college as a high point rider for her IHSA team before taking a riding internship with Willy DeLayer. While working for this legendary horseman, she assisted with importing young warmblood horses from Europe. With Heather in the saddle and Willy advising from the ground they would break, train, show and sell the high end sport horses. Willy continued to mentor Heather for years following her internship until his passing in 2014. To this day, Heather remains in touch with Willy's family.
After her internship, Heather found herself going back to her roots and went on to work as a stable manager and assistant trainer at Schocharie Ridge Farm, a dressage facility. She assisted with the breaking of upper level prospects from top US breeders while teaching and coaching in her spare time at other local lesson facilities. After returning to her dressage roots, Heather spent some time with her next young Ottb, St. Patrick's Gold, progressing through the trials of Eventing under successors of Pleasant Hollow Farms, Jane Cory. After years of riding competitively in multiple disciplines, Heather saw the effectiveness and success of combined training. She realized her passion was strongest for teaching and training. It wasn't long before Heather was offered a position to instruct and train at one of the top show stables in the country, Hunter Farms.
During her time at Hunter Farms, Heather absorbed everything she saw, heard and was taught. After expanding the Hunter Farms lesson program, Heather realized her passion still remained strong for developing and training of young sport horses. See sought out a riding position where she could spend more time developing horses on the national Hunter Jumper Circuit. Heather chose a riding position at another international facility, Chester Riding Club. This position allowed her to spend ample time working and competing on the AA Circuit alongside a World Cup team rider, thus expanding her experience into the highest level of competition.
At the young age of 25, she decided to introduce her own brand of equestrianism. HM Equestrian and Sport Horse was opened with the objective to produce “unicorn” sport horses and riders who have the understanding that horsemanship comes first. HME’s combined training program strengthens not only the communication but also physical capabilities between the rider and sport horse.
Heather looks forward to using her lifetime of horse experience to help you get better connected with your equine partner. She aims to create a willing and confident bond, in and out of the show ring. She is motivated to help bring a competitive spark to those who are ready to set the bar a little higher with their showing and at home goal setting.
"PASSION is defined as a strong and barely controllable emotion. I can’t think of a better way to describe how I feel about these truly amazing animals. I do this because I want to share with you the opportunity to experience something so incredibly special and so rewarding."
~~ Heather Metz