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20161027-janae-shew-002Courtesy of Janae Shew

Janae Shew, ’20, has been riding horses since she was eight years old.

Janae Shew enjoys unique pastime

Many students across the country involve themselves in extracurricular activities. Some commit themselves to sports while others play an instrument. However for freshman Janae Shew spending time with horses is a favorite pastime.

Shew became interested in horses at a young age. However, within the past few years, she has taken her hobby to the next level. The freshman student currently competes in dressage, an equestrian sport in which both the horse and rider must be perfectly in tune with each other in order to succeed.

In her free time, Shew began riding horses at her neighbors house. Although this started as something she did only for fun, it soon became a passion for her. While her family always supports her, she enjoys this hobby mainly to herself.

“When I was eight we used to live on two acres and my next door neighbor had horses,” Shew said. “I had always loved them. That was about six years ago, and I have been riding pretty much since then. It (riding horses) is more unique to me, but my mom has gotten more into horses as we have gone along.”

Shew is the first in her family to become interested in horses. Ann Shew, Janae’s mother, loves that her daughter involves herself with horses and helps out whenever she can.

“Janae is the first to develope such an intense passion for horses. I believe it all started with the many books she would read as a young child,” Ann said. “It started with occasional western lessons until about three and a half years ago she decided to give English a try.

When I was eight we used to live on two acres and my next door neighbor had horses. I had always loved them. That was about six years ago, and I have been riding pretty much since then. It (riding horses) is more unique to me, but my mom has gotten more into horses as we have gone along. — Janae Shew

“It was a difficult search for a local trainer who liked to train kids in our area,” Shew continued. “We came upon Meghan (Flores), and now there is never a day that passes that horses are not talked about in some fashion at our household.”

Now, Janae Shew spends much more time with horses, often going straight from school to practice with them. She spends five to six days a week practicing, usually for around three hours each time. Although this is not easy, her hard work and determination are paying off.

In just her second full season of competition, Shew has already won reserve champion at Junior Championships, and first place at CDS State Championships. Shew credits her trainer, Meghan Flores, for helping her get started in showing horses.

20161027-janae-shew-003Courtesy of Janae Shew

Shew’s hectic training schedule prevents her from being a part of the FC equestrian team.

“My equestrian trainer, Meghan Flores, really encouraged me to start showing, and we did,” Shew said. “I think I was 11 or 12 when I started showing. I compete all over the state of California.”

When she is not with her horses, Shew enjoys reading, writing and listening to music. She also loves spending time with friends and cousins. Even when she is not training, Shew spends many hours at the barn for fun.

This year, FC is currently building an equestrian team. Although Shew would like to be a part of it, the team wants to focus on jumping, whereas Shew competes in dressage. Shew has a very demanding training schedule. She will not be part of the team this year.

“Unfortunately, the FC equestrian team training hours conflicts on most days with her current training schedule,” Ann said. “In addition, my understanding is that the FCS equestrian team will focus on jumping. Janae’s passion is dressage.

As Shew continues to follow her passion, she is sure to have the support of friends and family behind her. Be sure to congratulate Shew on taking first place in the CDS State Championships!

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