Reserve Champion National Dressage Pony Cup 2017
by Jennifer L Carcaci-Trumble
Martina Coppola is the daughter of Pasquale and Jean Marie Coppola, owners of County Line Stables in Amsterdam, NY. Martina has many wins under her belt since she started riding at the age of 2. At 3 Martina won her first Blue Ribbon in a lead line competition. For the 2017 show season, Martina earned Reserve Champion National Dressage Pony Club.
In order for scores to count toward Year End Awards, riders must be a United States Dressage Federation member and must compete in any of the USDF sanction dressage shows.
For her age she ranked 7th over all at Dressage 4 Kids. Eleni Econopouly invited Martina to ride on her team after Martina rode at Eleni’s clinic in Middleburg, NY. Eleni said, “I was blown away by Martina’s passion to be a horse woman. It is something missing in today’s riding… Working with Martina is a breath of fresh air. At a very young age she has the “Horse Sense” that takes most people a lifetime to develop. At age 8, her desire to learn and ability to listen has given her a gift to be able to work with horses that will bring her very far as a rider and as a horse woman.” Eleni has asked Martina to ride for her again at this year’s 2018 Dressage 4 Kids (D4K). For two years in a row Martina has been invited to the annual National Dressage Pony cup show held in July. This is held at Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY.
Martina is passionate about riding many other disciplines, not just Dressage. Martina received Reserved Champion NEBS Winter Series 2017. She won the Buckle series for 2017 and Youth Champion at the 5D Youth Series NBHA 2017 District 2. Lucy is her Barrel Horse. She has trained Lucy herself, with the help of her father Pasquale. Her dad has taught her the importance of listening to the horse. The horse will always be straight with you and they will let you know if you are pushing them too far. Martina says you can’t ever trust any horse 100 percent. They are not video games or dirt bikes. They are living and have brains of their own. Never forget they are prey animals. In her life animals come first.
Her parents brought her two untamed Shetland ponies at the age of 2. She learned to ride on them. At first Vladamire used to bolt and Mr. Fredericks used to buck. Now they both can be used to trick ride, Roman ride, do barrels and Dressage. Mr. Fredericks is used in Dressage and Hunter Pace with her parents in tow.
The first horse bought for Martina was a Mini called Romeo. “He didn’t like much in the beginning. He would buck, but my Dad helped me train him.”
Martina’s riding preference is bareback riding and going fast. She rides at a walk pace with her little buddy Chase, her dog. Yes, that is correct, Chase gets on Mr. Frederick and goes riding with Martina.
Martina says her most prized possessions are her parents and the animals, as she put it, “everything here”.
Martina idolizes Guy McLean. They correspond on a regular basis. When she has a break through with her horses she sends out an email and he quickly replies back to her. When Mr. McLean was asked if he had any message for Martina, he wrote, “Dream big, work hard. Enjoy every second of the ride.”
Martina’s goal for this year is to win D4K. She cannot go to the National Dressage Pony Cup annual show because her Pony, Sadie, is with foal. She’s determined to win on her mother’s 16.3 hand horse, a Friesian-cross named Pretorian.
“When I graduate I want to train horses,” Martina said.
When she has down time she plays with her animals and her Breyer horses. Martina taught Roxy, her Bernese Mountain Dog, to pull a sleigh for her. She didn’t have a pulling harness so she used a draft horse halter backwards. She also uses her cow Rosie to ride and to round up the horses.
Martina doesn’t have days where she can just go and do absolutely nothing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a holiday or bad weather, the first thing she must do is go out and take care of the animals on the farm. She rides five to six times a week, different horses and different disciplines each and every day. That includes Christmas morning when all other children are opening up their presents. She first has to get her chores done.
Her parents have been doing a lot of the training with her. Her father has been teaching her how to train horses and he has told her, “It’s best to learn the proper way the first time rather than having to relearn it. Being heavy-handed teaches horses to be afraid. Yes, they will do what you want but not because they want to. They do it out of fear. We do not work that way here. We are earned partnerships with the horses.”
Both parents are so proud of their youngest daughter. They cannot wait to see what the future holds for Martina. If you would like to follow Martina, like her on the family Facebook page County Line Stables. www.facebook/countylinestables.