Heather McWhorter is the explosive leader behind Dynamite Riding Academy. She truly believes horses can help heal and change lives. But who is she?
Heather is originally from Georgia (in case you couldn’t tell from her accent). She basically grew up in a barn, riding horses. She still remembers the first time she saw an Arabian. It was love at first sight. Heather was eight years, and the horse was all white (grey) & her name was Lacy. She was the most incredible & perfect creature. Lacy was kind & personable; regal & bold.
It was this moment she realized life was going to be dedicated to those incredible creatures.
She was the poor kid at the barn. Her parents couldn’t afford the kind of money horses required, and she had to work her butt off. Heather was cleaning stalls, scrubbing buckets, feeding, lunging, grooming, whatever was needed just to be there and learn. Eventually, her trainer hired her on as a groom. Instead of spending her hard earned money on CDs (remember those?), or going out with friends, Heather invested her money into additional lessons and clinics to learn from other trainers.
Often times, Heather had to travel over four hours to take lessons with other trainers. Eventually, she left high school and went to work fulltime for David Mikosz. He was the best trainer she had worked with and wanted to study his ways better.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly what she had hoped for.
Mikosz told her she would never show any of his horses. At this point, she decided to go back home. Heather spent several years working outside of horses in the mental health field before finding her way back to them. Lucky for us, she found her way back to horses.
Now Heather’s dream is to make sure that everyone who wants to ride gets that chance.
She believes horses saved her and give her life meaning. She wants to share that with others. Heather’s focus is on beginners because she knows how hard it is to see the superstars while you struggle to even get on your horse. She knows how essential the basics of proper form are. No one needs to feel stupid or down on themselves for learning. Students are trying something new and different and should be free of judgment. We all have attempted something new and failed. But what matters is getting back on the horse (figuratively and literally).
To quote Heather, “Horses taught me never to give up. They taught me to keep trying even when you can’t possibly think of a solution. Just keep working; keep going to the barn, keep taking care of the horses, keep striving to be better today than yesterday… as long as you do that, you’ll be ok… just don’t STOP. Even if you can only move at a snail’s pace, just don’t give up!”