Schoming to compete in national competition


Photo contributed by Kylee Schoming

To make it to the national competition this year, Schoming had to place in the top two at a number of competitions.

Allison Huschak and Leila Usanovic

Ever since she was 4 years old, junior Kylee Schoming has been riding horses. On Thursday, she will be competing in a national competition against riders from the 49 other states.

To make it to the national competition this year, Schoming had to place in the top two at a number of competitions.

“I competed in five shows to qualify for regionals. Then I got two first places at regionals to get to the zones competition,” Schoming said, “Then I got second at zones to then qualify for nationals.”

Schoming said that a major part of her success comes from the support from her trainers, Chelsie Stair-Alter and Hayley Stair, her friends, and her parents.

Her mother, Heather Schoming, said the family has several goals in mind when it comes to Kylee’s riding.

“We encourage Kylee to keep riding and stick with her goals in going to nationals by instilling composure, perseverance and most of all to have fun,” Heather Schoming said, “It’s not too often that you get to do such a unique sport.”

Schoming appreciates the family support.

“My parents have helped me build confidence and they’re always at the shows,” Schoming said. “They are very supportive of me and my goals.”

Schoming and her teammate, Maddy Trebilcock, a senior from Pine-Richland, ride at Candy Lane Acres in Sewickley. Trebilcock admires Schoming’s persistence.

“Kylee and I were both captains for our (Interscholastic Equestrian Association) team this year and she is always there to help,” Trebilcock said. “She takes on so much responsibility around the barn and works hard in her practices.”

When Schoming competes, her mother said she displays a great deal of sportsmanship and is fun to watch.

“My favorite thing to watch when she competes is the connection she has with her horse. Watching her control this 2,000 pound animal with just her legs and three fingers on each side of the rein has been amazing,” Heather Schoming said, “It’s never about what color ribbon she could win, but what she can do to improve her performance.”

Trebilcock agrees.

“Kylee is always very humble when she does well, but also gracious when she doesn’t come out on top,” she said.

Schoming has faced some criticism from other kids about horseback riding.

“One of the biggest struggles for someone who does this is that they sometimes don’t like to talk about their experience because a lot of people and kids don’t think that it is a sport. They think that the horse does all of the work,” her mother said.

Heather Schoming admires Kylee’s mental toughness while riding.

“Kylee has to be physically and mentally tough. She has to control the horse with her legs and count strides, negotiate turns and angles to get to the jump correctly. She doesn’t just get on the horse and charge a jump,” her mother said. “Kylee has to be physically and mentally tough.”

Schoming is looking forward to the nationals competition, where the judges will consider several factors.

“They judge you on your body position and how smooth you look,” Schoming said. “It consists of jumps that are in a course, and you must do that course correctly while managing your horse and looking flawless in a way.”

Schoming must ride a horse she has never ridden before for this competition.

“Riding a new horse that I have never ridden will be a challenge, but I am excited to compete in this competition,” Schoming said.

Schoming will be competing on Thursday in South Carolina’s Tryon International Equestrian Center. The livestream link for the competition can be found here: