If Sarah Mee sits on a chair, her miniature horse Magic has been known to fall asleep standing with her head in her lap.
Rosie, her American Quarter Horse is “really something else,” especially when Sarah sets up hurdles. As soon as they began riding, Rosie’s instinct to go as fast as possible and to jump as high as possible kicks in.
Though their personalities may differ at times, they’ve each fostered a bond with Sarah who will take the horses to their fourth consecutive 4-H Pennsylvania competition after winning at the district level.
“I’ve grown with them,” Sarah Mee said. “I’ve been with them since I was 11. I really do it to have fun.”
Expectations are high for Sarah and Magic who will compete in the Miniature Horse Trail and Miniature Horse Drive Junior competitions for 14 to 18-year olds. They’ve combined for three state titles in as many years and were a half second from winning two titles in 2018.
Magic, who stands 32-inches tall and weighs nearly 400-pounds, has gotten more practice this fall than one year ago at Parkview Riding Academy in Wexford.
“There’s a little more pressure, but I just want to keep doing well,” Sarah Mee said. “Once we get to the show, Magic will kind of perk up. She knows what we’re there to do and gets very excited.”
Rosie, who dwarfs Sarah by more than 3 feet and weighs 1,200-pounds, won the Hunter Under Saddle competition at districts to advance to states.
“I ride a lot with her, usually twice a week and up to three hours,” Rosie (OK, it was Sarah) said. “Soon I’ll be out every day for practice with her.”
Before showing the horses, Sarah usually gives them a pep talk.
“I always tell them they’re going to do great,” Sarah said. “Whatever happens, happens, and I’ll be proud of them.”
Sarah is a second-year student at A.W. Beattie in the Veterinary Sciences program and plans to attend college to become a veterinary technician. She also competes with the North Allegheny track and field team.
“I wanted to go to Beattie when I learned they started the vet program,” Sarah said. “I really want to be a vet tech, and being here really helps me prepare to work with a bunch of different animals.”