We’ve all heard the saying, “If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse”. This couldn’t be more true than in the case of Teagan Burton. Twelve years old and from Brainerd, Minn., Teagan has shown incredible dedication and strength of character in pursuing her dreams and finding a way to achieve her goals with Arabian horses with limited financial resources.
Under the instruction of Sarah Paripovich and Dustin Freiheiht, Teagan has been taking lessons for almost three years, and recently acquired her very first horse - a beautiful Half-Arabian, MS Elegance (Elle). Where Teagan’s story differs than that of many our Youths, is that she purchased Elle with her own hard earned money.
Teagan’s aunt, a fellow rider at Sarah Paripovich Training, shared “This is a very deserving kid who always works hard and keeps her chin up despite every other kid showing all year around her. This is the type of kid I root for. She has worked so hard and saved up money. She goes to shows just to watch and never once had a pity party that she’s not showing like all the other more privileged kids.”
While the other young riders at her barn have been attending shows to compete all year, Teagan has been helping out in exchange for lessons, and saving up to buy her first Arabian horse. At Region 10 Championships Teagan cleaned over ten stalls every day, and at the MAHA Spring Classic and Sahara Sands shows she helped out with prep and grooming to earn some extra money to put towards her dream.
In a world where education beginning and ending at the mounting block is becoming alarmingly common, Teagan’s work ethic, dedication, and thirst for knowledge is inspiring.
When asked what makes all her hard work worth it, Teagan replied, “It’s worth it because I believe that good things come to those who work hard and never give up. There have been some days that were harder than others, but I finally got there and have my own Arabian horse now.”
Proud mom and single parent, Kellie Burton helps Teagan as much as she can, and supports her Arabian horse dreams. Teagan will be attending Canadian Nationals this year to clean stalls and help out while her friends show. She plans to use her earnings to attend the only show she will compete at this year, the Minnesota Arabian Horse Association (MAHA) Fall Classic, where she hopes to show twenty year old Elle in Western Pleasure and Showmanship.
When asked what her goals are now she has her own horse, Teagan replied, “My goals are to go to Youth Nationals, Canadian Nationals, and be Champion in Western Pleasure.” We think she will be achieving these goals sooner than she knows, if she continues to work hard and keep such a wonderful attitude.
The Arabian Horse Association magazine - Arabian Horse Life, is excited to give Teagan a complimentary subscription in recognition of her hard work and dedication to follow her dreams with Arabian horses. We will be rooting for her as she continues her Journey with Elle towards an undoubtedly bright future.