Holding her horses

Snadon progresses on equestrian arena


Snadon competes with horse Loara at Texas Rose Horse Park

Alexa Muñoz

Sweat dripping from her forehead, mud splattered on her pants and hands, cradling buckets of hay, a 4-year-old Lilly Snadon strolls through the barn on a blazing Texas summer’s day. 

This was her primary role at an equestrian camp in Prosper owned by a friend of her mom: feeding older riders’ horses or cleaning the barn stalls. One summer, she developed a hankering to learn to ride and began catch-riding lesson ponies. 

Little did Snadon know she would eventually compete at a national level to win season champion awards and be ranked fourth in the North Texas Hunter Jumper Club division. 

Equestrian horseback riding, a team and solo sport, can be further classified as Western or English riding. Snadon, a sophomore who competes in a “hunter/jumper” division, specializes in English riding with her horse Loara. 

“We got to watch Lilly do her first shows with Loara and admire how quickly they bonded,” said coach Susan Horn, who trains Snadon at Prospering Farm. “Loara is such a sweet and kind horse and incredibly athletic — a perfect match for Lilly.” 

Snadon finds herself grateful for the bonds she has created through equestrian riding — not only with her horse, but also with her teammates, who drive her motivation for the sport. Despite competing against each other, their similar passions have made the sport enjoyable and worthwhile for Snadon.

“We all travel together, work together, and ultimately all want the best for one another, which has produced some really rewarding and close friendships,” Snadon said. 

Her teammate, Bella Zaremba, has been riding with Snadon for years and appreciates her contributions to the team’s atmosphere. 

“She’s a great friend and always makes me laugh,” Zaremba said. “She has the magical ability to make people feel better about themselves when their performance was off that day.” 

Snadon takes pride in how far she has come as an equestrian rider. 

“Looking back on how all the hard work I’ve put in has paid off, and the amazing people I have met and bonded with throughout the years makes it all worth it,” Snadon said.