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“We Mourned and Celebrated”: Unfortunate News About Her Father Changed 23-Year-Old Equestrian’s Relationship With Horses

Published 06/09/2023, 10:30 AM EDT

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Germany, renowned for its mastery of dressage, holds an impressive record with 8 out of 9 Olympic medals. Many esteemed American horses have roots in this country. At the heart of it, all lies the unparalleled Bereiter program. This rigorous two-to-three-year curriculum, often accompanied by schooling, sets it apart from any other.

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In July 2021, Juliette Cain embarked on her German adventure, eager to commence the Bereiter apprenticeship and become a true horse trainer. However, a highly competitive stable awaited her, where winning overshadowed the understanding of horse psychology. How did an unexpected turn of events reshape this 23-year-old equestrian’s bond with horses?

The equestrian journey heals amidst life’s loss


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On Noëlle Floyd’s Facebook page, Juliette Cain a talented young lady, candidly shares her transformative experience with horses after the loss of her father. The caption accompanying her story describes her as a successful 23-year-old dressage rider, chronicling her equestrian journey and relocation across continents. Reflecting on her father’s life, she reveals, “My dad didn’t start his career until he was in his 40s. He spent a lot of time figuring out what he was truly passionate about before he picked his thing.”Sharing a poignant moment, she opens up, “We mourned and celebrated and laughed and sobbed. It seems crazy.” 

Before her father’s passing, she was set to attend university full-time in Germany, she had accepted the opportunity to pursue a “normal” path and leave behind a full-time involvement with horses. However, everything changed. Shortly after her father’s death, she sought solace at Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding, where her mother worked. Interacting with the horses, including a newcomer to therapeutic riding, proved to be a profound healing experience. Juliette found solace in the horses’ empathetic presence and their ability to guide her through the depths of grief.


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Juliette’s equestrian journey transformed through personal introspection


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In the spring of 2021, Juliette Cain had the opportunity to organize a clinic with Courtney Crane. Recognizing the admirable qualities of great horse people, she appreciated their emotional fortitude and unwavering steadiness. Courtney shared a simple yet powerful saying, “Not this, that!”, which resonated with Juliette and reinforced the importance of emphasizing desired behavior instead of punishing the wrong behavior during horse training. This approach effectively eliminated the emotional aspect of the training process.

During a moment of introspection, while walking a horse, Juliette realized she had been navigating through the days by dissociating. She concealed her true self and mechanically went through the motions, contemplating how horses cope. Observing a tall mare grinding her teeth, she wondered, “Maybe this is how they make it through the day…” However, Juliette acknowledged the stark difference: she had the choice to go home, while the horses did not.


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This realization highlighted the absurdity of the situation, leading her to emphasize the importance of listening to horses who are innocent bystanders. While exploring various paths in the horse industry, Juliette yearned to delve deeper and uncover hidden aspects. Her passion to understand horses, from the cellular level onwards, drove her to seek knowledge in unexplored territories. Now she’s a successful dressage rider, dedicating her patience to her father. 

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Written by:

Gincy Abraham


One take at a time

Gincy Abraham, an accomplished sports news writer at EssentiallySports, has a profound passion for surfing and a talent for covering the latest developments in sports. With expertise in Olympic news, Gincy captures the essence of the global sporting event. With a bachelor's degree in journalism and years of experience as a news reporter, Gincy is always in pursuit to deliver accurate content religiously.
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Edited by:

Brandon Gabriel