In the Magazine: A Girl, A Horse, and A Neck Strap

Excerpt from the February issue of Heels Down Magazine:

By Sally Spickard

Photography Brendan Wise

When the lean, dark Dutch Warmblood gelding entered the indoor arena at the Washington International Horse Show in 2017, it suddenly got quiet. All eyes were on him and his rider, 25-year-old Melanie Ferrio-Wise, who was about to pilot the scopey jumper over a course of 1.20-meter fences in the $10,000 Adult Jumper Championship with nothing more than a rope around his neck.

Yes, you read that right.

The round wasn’t without flaws. Melanie picked up a refusal at the second fence, but she gathered up her bridleless horse and her courage and continued on. There were a few long spots, where she was jostled out of the saddle. A couple of rails fell as Wings’ ankles rubbed them on the landings. But when Melanie and Wings completed the course, she collapsed onto her horse’s neck in an emotional display of gratitude, and the spectators cheered from their seats.

Read the full article and much more in the February issue. Download the Heels Down Magazine app in the iTunes AppStore: or Google Play for Android phones and tablets: Subscribe for a year and get two months free!

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