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vHORSES continued from page 19 Michelle & Jake Jen & Family with Jake or hooked onto the carriage. The groom also helps if there’s any equipment malfunctions or difficulties with the horse. They are not allowed to talk to the driver during the competition however. No one is allowed to compete in carriage driving without a groom. Both sisters emphasized the importance of regular training, not only for the horse but for the human as well. As the weather gets warmer, a minimum of three or more days a week is ideal. Jen recommends that a rider be in decent physical shape. Having a strong core, feet, and legs is important, because “riding a horse is all about feel.” A rider uses almost their whole body when on horseback, and a lot of that use is to communicate with the horse. After talking to both sisters individually, it was endearing to find how much they resembled each other in mannerisms, laugh and lingo. After my discussions with Michelle and Jen, I came away with a huge appreciation for horses, the sport’s aspects, and the sisters’ devotion to them. Being a child of big-city-suburbia, I didn’t have many opportunities to experience horses up close. When I got home from my visit with Michelle, I raved about my ride in the carriage with Jake. While my husband was extremely relieved I wouldn’t be begging to buy a pony, I didn’t divulge I’d be willing to muck stalls anywhere for some more horse time. n Expert health care FOR ALL AGES Amanda Duxbury, MD, Heather Kleeman, DO, Mary Jo Olson, MD, and Anastasia Searcy, DO, Family Medicine; Chan Park, MD, General Surgery Make a personal, lifelong connection with the physicians at Sanford Vermillion. Our team specializes in preventive care, diagnosis and management of chronic conditions as well as general surgery. Call (605) 677-3700 to schedule an appointment. 018027-00342 6/17 22vHERVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2018

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