Meet Forest Franzoi

Photos and Story by Clayton Evans

-  Forest Ann Franzoi, 24, is full time graduate student at Marquette University

-  When she isn’t working or  studying, Forest spends her time riding horses

-  Forest was once ranked as the leading adult jumper rider for the state of Wisconsin and has received several national awards for her prowess.

-  At the age of 19, Forest became the youngest board member on the Wisconsin Hunter & Jumper Association

Forest has given back to the sport by using her horses as therapeutic riding animals, helping autistic and disabled children and adults.

Forest Franzoi is real life example that a girl’s dream of having a pony can come true.  The 24 year old native of northern Wisconsin, fell in love with the animals early in life and began riding at the age of five.  Her passion for riding grew steadily over the years would eventually take her to the competition level.  For now any thoughts of competing are on hold until receives her masters degree. 

     A full time graduate student at Marquette University and a part-time employee of a local law firm, Forest is limited in the amount time she can spend with her horses.  However, years of experience has made her a master of time management.  Forest gets out to the barn to ride her horses at least four days a week.

     She typically begins her day around 6:00 a.m. in the home she shares with her Golden-Doodle, Scooter, in Brookfield, WI.  Her workplace is nearby and offers her a flexible schedule that works well with her school hours.  On days she doesn’t have evening classes she will make the twenty minute trek from home to the Wild Wood Farm in Hartland where she boards and trains her horses.  After tacking up her horse Rudolf, and her pony Sparky, Forest will spend the next few hours riding and grooming them.
     A normal day of riding will consist of an hour or more on each animal. On weekdays she works on different types of lateral movements and conditioning. It is very important that her horses stay in top physical shape in order to meet the demands the sport requires of them.  On the weekends Forest will work with her trainer, Kristin Jungbluth, to improve her jumping skills and learn new techniques that help to make her more effective in the show ring. 

     The class of riding Forest does is called Hunter/Jumper, which consists of the horse and rider being judged on its movement, speed, and way of going, while jumping fences.  This type of riding is a branch of the hunt seat style that is popular at American horse shows.  Beginning competition at the age of eight, Forest has competed in shows across the nation and once earned the title of Leading Adult Jumper Rider for the state of Wisconsin as well as several national awards.  By the age of 19, Forest became the youngest board member of the Wisconsin Hunter & Jumper Association
     Her riding skill landed her scholarships to the University of Kentucky as well as Georgetown College of Kentucky.  Unfortunately, her dreams were cut short due to injuries she received while riding in competition.  Not one to give up Forest continues to ride and train with the hopes that she can get back on the circuit after she graduates.  Forest has also parlayed her passion into helping others.  As a way to share the joys the sport had given her, she certified her pony Sparky to be a therapeutic riding animal, which allowed her to help people suffering from a variety of disabilities.

     Forest is uncertain of her career choice after graduation this spring.  She will have received her MA in Advertising and Public Relations.  Forest has been toying with the idea of following her father’s footsteps by going into law.  She is scheduled to take the LSAT in the near future and will apply to Marquette in hopes of receiving her third degree from the University.  Regardless of the choices she makes, Forest feels horses will always be a part of her future.     
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