Now 13, the Willard girl said she learned to squeeze her legs “really tight and hold on.”
“She ran. It was the first time a saddle slipped and the first time something happened like that. I got really nervous and it taught me a lot — how to hold on, if something happens,” she said.
The experience also taught her to go with the flow.
“She’s the first horse that I have fallen off of though,” McClure said.
This week she and 5-year-old quarterhorse Mindi showed Tuesday and Wednesday at the Huron County Fair. The pair will be back in the ring Friday.
“This is my second time showing her and my fifth time being at fair though,” said McClure, who will be in the eighth grade at Plymouth Middle School.
“She learns very quickly actually. In the winter time we work on bowing, hugging — stuff like that whenever the pasture or arena is full of snow.”
Mindi stays at a neighbor’s house. McClure moved into that neighborhood about five or six years ago.
“We went over one day and she had a different horse than (Mindi) and I started riding. I’ve trained her since she was 3,” said the daughter of Tracy and Jesse Martin and Mark McClure.
That initial visit piqued Delainey McClure’s interest in showing horses.
The biggest challenge in riding Mindi is teaching to lope, which is similar to running.
“Because she bucks a little bit,” said McClure, who added the horse loves being ridden.
“In the morning I feed her one cup of pellets and then about 3 o’clock I feed her (again). She is out in pasture all day usually. When it’s raining or storming, I give her two or three flakes of hay,” she added.
Mindi has a mind of her own.
“Every time I put the bale of straw in her stall, she always like to spread it out herself.”