Competitive equestrian sports require a person to possess mental sharpness, balance control, and muscle endurance so riders can connect harmoniously with their horses. Through years of horseback training, competition and the flexibility of cyber school, Achievement House Cyber Charter School 9th grade student Dashiell Hammett has mastered these skills.
Dash’s interest in equestrian sports began at an early age. His lessons paid off as he began to compete professionally, having participated in hundreds of events. Dash’s dedication to the sport grew even more when his family moved to a farm and acquired six horses.
Dash participates in equestrian riding competitions to test his horse’s overall abilities and himself against other competitors across the three disciplines of squaring, show jumping, and cross country. Squaring tests horse obedience and rider ability to control the horse. In the second event, the rider and their horse participate in stadium riding. The final event is a cross-country ride through fields and woods.
“I am most proud of is just being where I am and having a thoroughbred now, which has been a goal of mine for a while,” Dash said. “I am also proud of all the training that I have done with the horse I had before and the horse that I am working with now. It is great to look back on and see I did that.”
Competitions occur throughout the year, which means Dash’s schedule can become hectic. The flexibility that Achievement House offers Dash allows him to have the proper time for training and competitions while also setting him up for success in his studies. Dash spends two to three days at the barn, so he tries to attend class and complete his schoolwork in the morning. Attending school online enables him to jump right into training at the end of his live classes. Dash also credits his success to his AHCCS educators.
“Honestly, I look up to a lot of my teachers. All my teachers help me with whatever I need and are the most supportive teachers that I have had while attending cyber school.”
Dash hopes to attend technical school and possibly attend college after he graduates. Ultimately, he would like to own a farm to continue to ride horses and train others to ride competitively.
“Horseback riding is a big part of my life, and I think I will always do it,” Dash said. “I would either take over the farm we have now or start my own. One can be highly successful giving lessons, and I have already been giving lessons for about a year. It is not always reliable, so I would like to have a degree in something. I always want to have a backup plan, and I am open-minded to other careers.”
There is no question that the hard work and commitment that Dashiell Hammett has dedicated to his successful equestrian career while still realizing the value and importance of his education is trotting him down a path toward a successful future.