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Linda K

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Let me start out by saying, It is not my intent to "bash" anyone for comments made about Erica. I also want to thank Pam, Mominis,Lisa,mindylee,Leia, and anyone ealse who knows Erica and the hard work and love she puts in each of her horses. Thank you for your kind words, it means alot.

Those of you who do not know my daughter, let me share with you a little somthing about her.

First of all , Erica graduated at the top of her class, graduated with honors, not only academics, but recieved many awards in sports, was named whos who amoung high school students, was homecoming queen, Miss C.H.S. , voted prettiest smile, most cooperative, and the list goes on.......... Why am I telling you this???? Because I want you to know that whatever Erica tries to do, she tries to do well. And that includes her horses.

We started out getting Erica a horse when she was around 8. I believe it was a fox trotter. Although he was a very gentle boy, She was thrown from it when he got stung by some bees and landed in the hospital with a severly broken arm. Her dad and I knew she would be mad at us, but we decided then until she was older, no more horses.

We took Erica to the state fair in Little Rock, and it was there that we first laid our eyes on a miniature horse. We didnt even know there were miniature horses. We thought that might just fit her need to have a horse. It was at that moment miniatures became a part of Ericas life forever.

We got to know a few people who owned minis and were invited to show at some fun shows. It was addictive!!!

Next thing we knew we were invited to area shows and soon learned we needed to learn more, starting with the quality of our horses.

You see, when Erica first started showing she wasnt winning blue ribbons. In fact , we were happy to get a ribbon.

Remember, Erica was very young when she started showing. We were be-friended by Belinda Bagby at some shows, and I would like to think Belinda saw somthing in Erica. Soon she asked her if she would like to show with her in the youth divison.

Erica was always watching, asking questions, learning. Thats how you get better. I'm sure there were times when people ,including trainers would think..... leave me alone, quit asking questions.

What I am trying to say is,..... this is one BIG learning experience. There is always somthing to learn. If you want to be good , it takes hard work. Find what you need to do , ask questions you need to ask, and find people that are doing what YOU want to do and work on doing it. We didnt start out with the best horses for sure, but Erica looked at what was winning and tried to breed that into her program. Its worked for her, but she is now 26, so thats alot of years . Years of hard work.

Erica graduated college, and now works at a college. Its a full time job. She comes home and heads up to the barn, where she is most of the time. She works them, baths them, clips them, doctors them, cleans stalls, and has figured out a feeding program for each of them, she works very hard at somthing she loves.

You can buy the best horse there is, but if you dont put the effort into making it the best it can be ( and love doing it) you will have nothing.

In closing , I again want to thank everyone for the kind words. And for those that havent had such kind words, I have to believe you just dont know my daughter..... Yes she did excell at nationals this year, and yes , I am so proud of her and all her hard work. I am proud of the time she took on the weekends to help her cousins with teaching them to show. We now have to youngsters who are excited to show minis, and they did an awsome job at nationals. Way to go, Clementine and Liston!! There are lots of roll models out there in the world, lets support them instead of trying to bring them down.

We have met wonderful friends in the miniature world, and without them Erica wouldnt be where she is today.

Linda Killion
 

Leeana

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That was so emotional to read - Linda I think only the highest of Erica
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God Bless!!!!
 

ShaunaL

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I wasn't at Nationals so I guess I missed all the grumbling (and glad to!) but I watched via webcast almost every class that Erica was in and she worked her butt off for every one of those wins. While I can understand there would be some frustration when one person does a clean sweep, at the same time, it IS a competition... may the best horse/handler/groom/etc combo) win and Erica has worked hard to be that in a lot of cases. Although I don't know her well it is clear from every time I've talked to her that every moment she is not at work she is working hard on her horses, conditioning, training, carefully choosing her breeding program to produce the quality she wants. Her horses are nothing short of amazing, her breeding program is one I admire greatly and have based much of my own small program on. My stallion, bred by Erica and Belinda (not handled at the show by either one), was shown in only 2 classes and came home with two halter Reserve National Championships, one of which was behind her stallion. I say this not to brag in any way but to say that she produces the quality that the judges are looking for and when you add to that a strong work ethic and hard-won knowledge of feeding, conditioning, grooming and presenting gained over years of learning to groom and present a horse to its best advantage. To me, Erica is an inspiration and a driving force to try harder, be better. To see her do so well as an amateur makes me feel like I can do that do someday, if I work really hard at it.

Anyway, it's not like me to talk like this, esp on a message board but I think she does define amateur, just maybe at a higher level than the rest of us. She does it all on her own, even down to showing horses she bred herself, all while holding down a "real" job. That IS an amateur, just a really good one, and it's the really good ones that should be winning. Maybe the answer is to split the Amateur classes into levels, add AOTE, I don't know but again... it's a National level competition and the best of the best should win.

That said, I thought the classes were VERY impressive and many of you showing should be very proud of yourselves and your horses. I know I am not good enough to compete as a handler even in Amateur on a National level but, encouraged by the successes of people like Erica, who have other jobs and other obligations besides just the horses, I will work hard at it and I'll get there too someday.
 
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JWC sr.

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Linda,

As you know I am very impressed with Erica also, she does a great job of showing, fitting and handling her horses to say the least and it was never more evident than at the Nationals this year. To put it into just a few words, she is awesome.
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But with that said without your help, encouragement & dedication to her, she would not me near what she is today. Your husband and you should be patted on the back for all of that plus the financial help she has received over the years.
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All in all just an awesome family that has put it all to together, Be careful over there in the middle east if you will. We can't afford to lose folks as committed as you two are to your daughter, the miniature horse and life in general!!
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uwharrie

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I am sorry that some folks have bad mouthed her for doing so much winning. From what I could see watching online she deserved those wins, especially since she does all the conditioning, grooming, training and showing. Her horses are always stunning and well presented.
 

CharlesFamily

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Linda,

I want to applaud you for such a well-written post!
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You have every right to be proud of your daughter! You don't know me, but I have admired Erica's horses for years - and I was shocked when years ago I found out how young she was/is!

For her to have built what she has, with your support, and at her young age is a HUGE accomplishment. When you are at the top, you will always have those that try to tear you down.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for Erica and I loved watching her show in the classes I was able to watch. I've never been to Nationals, doubt I will ever go, but to me she epitomizes what this business should be about. What I am going to say next, I don't mean to belittle anyone's accomplishments - BUT, it takes more hard work and dedication to do it all yourself like Erica does than to pay a trainer to fit/train/show your horse. She should be commended for all she does to add to the breed rather than have to listen to those who would take away from her.

It's sour grapes - plain and simple. Tell her to keep her head up because there are many more people who admire her than those who want to tear her down!

Barbara
 

hunterridgefarm

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Linda

We have a 6 year old that Erica could take him under her wing anyday to make him the best lol. Her hard work pays off. There is so many people that feel threaten by her and someothers that kick butt out there this year...

We have seen someone take a horse out of the barn and take it to a show and thought they should of got blues but they did not if you dont work that horse you will not get it.

Just like Erica my son works his butt off with a horse that is not the best. We was at a sale and he picked him out and paid for him. The horse is a stallion but my son feeds him walks him and works with him since we got him.. We got him on a saturday and on sunday our little one had him jumping.

The point is this Erica loves loves her animals and she does it all by herself she works her butt off and should kick butt out there. and yes you should be very proud of her too.

Congrats to you all
 

sfmini

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Linda, while I have never met you and Erica, I have come to know you via LB and watching the webcasts at the shows. Erica has earned every ribbon she has and then some. She is a remarkable young lady, I don't know how she keeps it all up like she does.

Congrats to her for her great year at Nationals. I don't begrudge her a single win.

On the flip side, there is a person who shows AMHA that I have to say makes me want to give up. This person has loads of money, can buy the best, hire trainers and people to work, groom, clean stalls, etc. A pro in every sense of the word but the legal. This person dominates the shows in open and ammy and you know when that person is there, count on 2nd as the best you can do. Sad to say, that does discourage people from wanting to show as it can be a waste of our money just to provide a head count for points for that person.

I am guessing that is how the grumblers might feel as well, but don't know how hard that young lady works and how she has worked to get where she is today. Quite different than moneybags in AMHA.

I know we are reconsidering our options with the horses. AMHR may become our main focus or we may just quit altogether.
 

Jill

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Linda, I think everyone who knows me knows how much I think of Erica. Erica's one of my in my prayers each night friends because she's just such a special person and has been an important person to me over the years. I love her like family.

I do not know how she does all that she does, but I know a BIG part of it is her dedication and hard work. She's got a real gift, as well, for seeing horses for what they have to offer and bringing the best out in them.

In getting to know her, not only does she know so much, but she's been so willing to help me understand some things better. She gives constructive criticism when you ask and explains things so they make sense. She has gone the extra thousand miles to help me and I will never forget it.

Erica's such a good person and in all our conversations, even when I know someone hasn't done as well by her as they should have, she just does not have a bad word to say about anyone. She's a text book class act.

I'm thankful she's my friend and I am so proud of what she's done this year, and in years past. She works hard, she has talent, she's as honest as they come, and a true friend.

Linda, you and Mickie should be so proud of your daughter! I think no matter what Erica decides to do in the future, she will be successful at it. Her hard work and ability to work well with everyone, the way she can inspire others, how VERY smart she is -- it all seems to be an always there part of her.

I may be about 20 years older than her, but Erica is absolutely one of my heroes, and not just for all her horse success but for her attitude, loyalty and outstanding character. She is one in a billion.
 
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Linda K

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Linda, while I have never met you and Erica, I have come to know you via LB and watching the webcasts at the shows. Erica has earned every ribbon she has and then some. She is a remarkable young lady, I don't know how she keeps it all up like she does.

Congrats to her for her great year at Nationals. I don't begrudge her a single win.

On the flip side, there is a person who shows AMHA that I have to say makes me want to give up. This person has loads of money, can buy the best, hire trainers and people to work, groom, clean stalls, etc. A pro in every sense of the word but the legal. This person dominates the shows in open and ammy and you know when that person is there, count on 2nd as the best you can do. Sad to say, that does discourage people from wanting to show as it can be a waste of our money just to provide a head count for points for that person.

I am guessing that is how the grumblers might feel as well, but don't know how hard that young lady works and how she has worked to get where she is today. Quite different than moneybags in AMHA.

I know we are reconsidering our options with the horses. AMHR may become our main focus or we may just quit altogether.


Jody, dont give up. We've been there too. I can understand getting frustrated when you walk into a ring and feel like the best you could get would be 2nd because of someone else on the lead of another horse who seems to always win. Been there too. But then again, I have to admit, they have really nice horses too. I try to keep an open mind, be its hard sometimes. Just always try to remember its an opinion, my opinion may be different then the judges, but I'm a mom too !

I want to thank all of you for such kind words. I really wasnt looking for anyway to brag on my child, I just wanted to point out a few things since there has been a few people saying some not so nice things. Erica has worked hard, as do alot of people. I know it can seem a little intimanating to walk in a show ring with someone who wins alot, but you keep trying. Erica shows in open classes also, and although she can hold her own, she does not win every class. I do feel like she has consistantly gotten better each year in placings, and yes she did win some open classes this year. One more reason to keep trying.

I know there are people out there who just dont want to, or cant seem to get over the nerves of showing. Thats why trainers have the horses. So , my hats off to them also. I know the hard work it takes to win, and trainers still have that hard work to do if they are going to win. Like I said, you can have the "best" horse around and still if you dont work that horse , it wont win. Trainers work hard too, and watching them and applying it, is what has worked for Erica. Again, thank you all for your kind words, and understanding.

Linda
 

txminipinto

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Linda,

Like I've said before, Erica should hold her head up high for what she has accomplished! She is an amazing horsewoman with a god given talent that she has perfected over the years. Any time anyone wins consitantly rumors start flying and people start bad mouthing. Its unfortunately part of the game we have to rise above. And frankly, anyone who can speak ill of Erica or her family has never met them.

Don't let the sore loosers get you down!
 

little lady

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Great job Erica!
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I do not know her but with what you are saying admire her. Coming from big horses and showing them I can tell you what you are saying is so true! Nothing pays off like dedication and hard work and she evidently does both. Be very proud of what she has accomplished and don't dwell on the bad words it just comes with the territory. Wish her continued sucess!
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Anne ABC

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Linda, you should be so very proud of Erica and all she, with the help of her family and friends, has accomplished in her few short years.

 

My husband and I have shown against her many times for years and she is so accomplished and her horses are always such nice quality, so well groomed and well trained you know going in she's going to get you again, ha!!

 

People that do not know you all have no idea how dedicated all your lives are to her passion. She is a great girl and much to be admired.

 

If they couldn't beat her this year maybe they should train harder and try again next year.

 

She came up through the ranks, took her losses along with her wins, and has learned by them. What is not to be admired??
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Reble

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CONGRATULATIONS Erica and Linda

I watched the Nationals on Line and was so proud to see her do so well.

It is hard to hear your daughter being put down, do not know the gossip but shame on them.

I love to see young people accomplish their dreams and Erica sure has worked hard to get where she is.

I know it is hard to ignore people's gossip but they have a big problem.

God Bless

Erica hold your head high you are one terrific Lady

Should add do not let them take your joy out of your winnings.
 
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sundaymom

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As a mother and grandmother I completly understand where Linda is coming from. Funny how with age things do not have the same power over you as they once did, especially ya ya talk. However mention my children or grandchildren and I rise to the occasion. Ha!

The following story is one I have repeated many times, the last couple of years, due to the fact it was one of those moments that had a lasting impression. As the saying goes the apple does not fall far from the tree.

I came late to miniatures but they filled a need and I have loved having them. A desire I had was to show but due to family life situations, was never able to travel to any. A couple of years ago a miniature horse show began coming to our town. Ignorant but excited, I prepared to take a couple of fillies. I arrived with two fillies, straight out of the pasture and about the only thing done was a clip, wearing ebay halters. I wasn't there long before realizing my horses were just not on the same level, grooming wise.

Looking down the asile I saw all these horses lined up, must have been five or six, being worked on by two women. I walked down, apoligized for bothering them but asked what should I have done to better prepare my horses. The older of the two said to bring one of my horses down. She then went to work on my filly and about 15 minutes later, including painting the hoofs, presented me with a different horse. That woman I found out later was Linda...Erica's mother.

Since then I have shown against Erica and yes, Erica always won. But you know what...I got close. Ha! The closer I got, the better the win. There always has to be a bar to reach for or we would never strive to improve. If not Erica it would be someone else, just the way life is.
 

sfmini

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Erica is a true ammy and I have no problem losing to her. As you said, she sets the bar high, but does it through her own blood, sweat, and tears instead of hired help. I can compete with my own blood, sweat, and tears, but never with money....
 

~Lisa~

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Linda I have to tell you Erica is what Raven strives to be - Raven has been showing since she was about 2 I think we do not have top horses and I am able to admit that. However we love the horses we have and find what they are good at and go from there. We have done both are fair share of winning and losing -

but really until about 3 years ago she only had me as her teacher (the champion doofus)and managed to do pretty well- win or lose she loves her horses and can see room for improvement. S he is now able to truly learn and has improved so much thankfully cause like Belinda did for Erica - Raven has found a wonderful mentor in Lori G

No matter what anyone says no one can take away the success Erica has acheived. And she is a role model I can say my honor roll student- 13 yr old daughter pretty much wants to be Erica when she grows up. (minus the hunting Raven is a vegetarian lol)
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and as a mom I am really more then ok with that being Ravens goal!

And lets not forget to mention while I am across the country and do not go to Nationals with Raven anymore I do look forward to November every year when I can spend some time with Erica and I look foward to hanging out and having some down time with her and everyone else!
 
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Aristocratic Minis

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Erica does an awesome job with her horses. From the time we met her, we both remarked that she is wise way beyond her years.

She is such a hardworking person with her horses. She breeds them, feeds them, foals them, picks them, conditions them and trains them. A lot of ammys don't know how to "do it all" like Erica does. Plus, not many people, ammy or pro, have her work ethic. She doesn't take any shortcuts with the horses. For Erica it is a love and a passion, not just a weekend hobby to go show a horse or two.

She has had all that family support you all have provided, and now she is helping and inspiring the younger members of the family and other youngsters. She is giving back to others.

One of the most touching moments I've ever seen is when I caught a Mare Stare feed when Erica was foaling a filly. She efficiently and tenderly foaled the mare, introduced her to the filly and loved on them both in an experienced and calm and loving way. She was so skilled at tending them, but she did so with such tenderness and love that I'll never forget it. You can't teach that. Love and caring comes from within.

We are proud of Erica and you have every right to be proud!
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Her horses looked amazing. They were fit and trained and they showed well. Give credit where credit is due!
 

Mominis

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That post is the epitome of the grace of the Southern woman. Linda, you know how much respect I have for Erica and I just love listening to you talk about her. Though, one of my favorite moments from Nationals this year (other than Shake getting his Top 5 and buying our new horse) was when you bumped into my husband and I in the main aisle of your barn and told your story about the birth of Squirt. You guys are just so great and I'm proud to call you horse show friends.
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palsminihorses

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<quote>

One of the most touching moments I've ever seen is when I caught a Mare Stare feed when Erica was foaling a filly. She efficiently and tenderly foaled the mare, introduced her to the filly and loved on them both in an experienced and calm and loving way. She was so skilled at tending them, but she did so with such tenderness and love that I'll never forget it. You can't teach that. Love and caring comes from within.<quote>

I don't know Erica personally.......never wanted to bother her to introduce myself the few times I have been at Nationals. I love watching her through MareStare and seeing how much she truly loves her horses! I couldn't have said it any better than the above quote. Congratulations on all of her Nationals wins!!

Pam C.
 

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