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Enaya Carroll: Achieving Success at a Young Age

Enaya Carroll with her horse, Thor
Photo courtesy Enaya Carroll

We bought Thor (Berry Expressive XX) for my mom as a “putt-around horse.” We wanted my mom to have fun on a safe and gentle horse. My horse was an amazing Arabian named Spartan. We moved to a farm to live with our horses, and I decided to try out jumping.

One day we were going to a jumping clinic, but the day before, Spartan stepped on a nail, so we ended up taking Thor. Thor is an Arabian just like Spartan. What was a simple replacement for a clinic became “Team Thor.”

Thor and I went to the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show in February 2020. We won all our jumping divisions but did have a rough disqualification in the 2’6″ Hunter Derby. It was hard to get back from the tough loss, but we continued and won the next classes.

Going to Nationals

Enaya Carroll and her horse Thor after becoming National Champions at Arabian Sport Horse Nationals
Thor and Enaya were 2020 National Champions at Sport Horse Nationals. Photo courtesy Enaya Carroll

We trained hard in the winter and at 7 a.m. in the summer to beat the heat. We worked and worked, and finally we went to Arabian Sport Horse Nationals (SHN) in September 2020. We won the title of National Champion in Purebred Under Saddle ATR Hunter Type. I am the youngest at 11 years old to win at Arabian SHN.

I was so excited right after winning my championship, I couldn’t even remember my name. In the Under Saddle division, there were 34 riders. We made it through the semi-finals and were against 18 riders. Words can’t explain how scared and nervous I was. But we got ready and went out there.

I let Thor do his thing. One thing about Thor is that he knows how to pull himself together for a show. We’re both very competitive!

When Thor and I were learning to jump, I remember how many times I fell. But Thor tries very hard for me. Thor is a sweet, goofy boy and is my very best friend. He will listen to me whine to him and hug and kiss him all day. He never ceases to amaze me. He loves treats and always tries to reach in my pocket.

Lessons Learned

One huge impact on my journey with Thor was my trainer, Sara Kirby. She taught me to achieve and overcome. Before every show, she would always tell me, “Remember, we are here to have fun, not to win, not to prove anything. We are here to achieve our own goals.”

Sara taught me and Thor to be patient; that things can’t happen with the flip of a switch. That you don’t always need a groom or someone to do stuff for you. What makes a good team is helping each other out no matter what. Sara is an extraordinary trainer and has taught me so many life lessons.

A young girl jumps her horse
Enaya developed a super close bond with Thor after they started working together.Photo courtesy Enaya Carroll

Words can’t express how far Thor and I have come. I love Thor, and he has earned a special place in my heart forever. Whenever I’m sad, he nuzzles me and makes me laugh, and it instantly clears my mind. Thor is always going to live with me. And no matter what, Thor is always in my heart.

This article about Enaya Carroll appeared in the February 2021 Mini Digital issue of Young Rider magazine. Click here to subscribe!

Enaya Carroll


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