Amateur Natalie Rae Medlock and her horse, Luciano, are strong partners both in and outside of the show ring. The pair has been competing in the Green Hunter Incentive series in their years together and have topped the field at many shows. Medlock has had great success using the incentive program as motivation to get miles in the show ring for Luciano, and speaks highly of the program as a whole.
By also providing cash bonuses to high-achieving horses and a championship in the fall, the program truly does its job for her. Medlock also uses the classes to help train Luciano, while still getting a chance to compete in a real show arena environment. We asked Natalie Rae to tell us about her experience riding in the incentive program classes this year.
What was your incentive to buy this horse?
I just absolutely loved the feel of him and he was so much fun to ride. It was a fun process for us.
Did you specifically buy Luciano for certain classes?
I bought him as a prospect.
How do you think the incentive programs help the sport along?
I think it’s really done what you guys intended it to do. I think it incentifies us as owners and riders to support hunters, and it’s fun to bring them along. I think it’s something fun to strive for all year long.
What stands out to you about Luciano?
He’s just a good sport. He’s always happy and wants to try and do his job.
How long have you owned him?
I’ve had him now for 2 years.
What do you do when not riding?
Good question! Im either at spin, yoga, or at the beach decompressing. I hear stress will kill ya.
Who coaches you at shows?
Leslie Steele mainly helps me at shows but the few times she’s somewhere else Lee Flick will step in.
Where did you find Luciano?
I found him in Germany. I was at a show with a friend and we were walking around and saw his lady (who was a boarder at the property) hacking him around and inquired about him. I loved him as soon as I picked up the trot.
Do you train him entirely yourself?
I do most of the work myself but if either of us need a refresher Leslie is always there for me.
How has the incentive program helped with your goals?
It’s a fun class to add onto the greens and work towards for the end of the year. It’s always nice to have a goal to work towards.
What are your plans for the fall?
We are going to finish up the Blenheim shows and then off to Thermal Sunshine series. Lou is in contention for a few year end awards.
Are you looking to do this process again with another horse?
Yes! I love bringing along hunters and equitation horses. We already have another hunter and an eq horse that we are currently working on.