Beginning a New Chapter – with Linda Coakley

by Dixie Lee


Linda Coakley with Rockstar N The House

Watching this top Select Amateur ride at the Arizona Sun Circuit is always a bit magical, her composure & riding skills are just that great.  I thought it was a great time to catch up with Linda and ask about her new horse and goals for this year.

Linda rode Patsys Royal Secret (Charlie) over a 14 year show career earning 2 Champion Select World All Around titles, 1 Reserve Champion Select World Show All Around, 1 Reserve Champion Showmanship Select World title and more circuit awards & titles than she could recount with accuracy.  In spite of the impressive World titles, this amateur was quick to remind me that all those smaller shows are absolutely significant to the journey upwards.

Rockstar N The House (Wyatt) is the new ride for Linda these days.  Purchased as a yearling, this now 5 year old gelding seems to be well on the way to filling Charlie’s footprints and her goal of heading back to the AQHA Select World Show in 2018. 

Every rider will, it seems at some point, need to change their mount and the adjustments to the rider’s skills, emotional attachment and overall commitment can be challenging.  Linda & her trainer, Kip Larson, have been building Wyatt’s skills & fitness over the last couple of years and Linda shares some inspiring tips for others going through the same process.

“Focus on the positive,” says Linda.  “Today, I made a big fix with Wyatt in showmanship and it was a great accomplishment.  Sure, there were other little mistakes but that one change made the class a positive experience for both of us.”

Developing a young horse is a step by step process that takes a tremendous amount of time and Linda emphasized how building the confidence along with developing a winning team partnership are daily goals measured in very small successes.  She described how even the change of movement from Charlie to Wyatt was a huge adjustment.  While Wyatt is a bolder, more confident horse than the retired Charlie, he still requires a ton of patience and encouragement as he learns his job.

“It’s a mental game,” says Linda.  “I focus on what I need to improve each class.  I never focus on the titles, the judges make that decision.  It takes a lot of miles for both horse & rider to develop into an All Around competitive team and that’s what we are doing, one day and one show at a time.”   

I asked Linda what message does she want to give to riders coming up with new partners:

“Support, learn and teach with patience.  Build your horse’s confidence!”

We wish you all the best Linda!

Leave a Reply