COLUMBIA — After spending most of her life on horseback, Kris Maloney now spends her days helping others perfect their technique.
Maloney, the owner of Columbia Equestrian Center on Route E, spends three to six hours each day giving riding lessons. She also spends several hours riding and taking care of the horses that live at the barn.
Maloney spent her childhood showing horses in the Arabian circuit in New York. She moved to Missouri to attend William Woods University, which had an equestrian studies program. She graduated from college in 2005.
When Maloney could not compete at the same level she used to physically, she started giving lessons and opened her first barn on Route J. The center moved to Route E in 2007.
Although she competed in national shows during college, Maloney primarily takes her students to local shows to keep costs down. She usually brings about 25 students and 10 horses to each competition.
"Any type of show to me is important," she said. "I kind of like the lower level versus the higher level because I'm not about the politics that they have at the higher shows."
While she misses competing, Maloney said she's grown accustomed to the lifestyle of a trainer. She takes particular pride in watching the students she's trained since 2005, when they were about five years old.
"Watching them compete, it's pretty incredible to watch what seven years of instruction can do to a kid," she said. "Just to watch the young adults they're becoming and their participation in the barn environment and how they relate that to their schoolwork, it's very rewarding as a trainer."
Supervising editor is Kellie Kotraba.