Maya Black Returns to the East Coast with Big Dreams & A Hopeful Heart

Maya Black and Mowgli at the Ocala Jockey Club CCI2*. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

After a year spent in the Pacific Northwest, we are excited to welcome Maya Black back to the East Coast. After a rollercoaster of emotions and achievements in 2016, Maya spent the last twelve months on her home turf to reflect and reenergize her career ambitions. Now she’s back and ready to make 2018 her own.

2016 was a whirlwind year for Maya: between winning the Fork CIC3*, earning a top three finish at the Kentucky Three-Day Event and being named traveling reserve for the United States Olympic Team, all aboard Dawn & Johnathan Dofelmier’s quirky Holsteiner Doesn’t Play Fair, the sky was the limit.

A few months later when it was announced that “Cody” would be returning to the Dolfelmier’s where Dawn would take over the ride, Maya decided it was time to go home. “Losing the ride on Cody, and an even longer friendship with the Dofelmiers was certainly a life-changer and the biggest reason for me returning to the West Coast,” she recounted.

“It made me question the path I wanted for my riding career and life. It wasn’t my riding ability which I doubted. It was more my ability to hold my own in this world as a professional, living within the hub of the sport, while working and competing for that chance to one day represent my country.”

So she brought her operation back to the West Coast where she set up shop at her family farm and reconnected with old students family, and friends. “Anyone who has ever had a chance to visit Whidbey Island knows that it is a very special place. My family farm, while nothing fancy, has been a place where I’ve enjoyed and had success bringing along young horses over the years,” Maya said.

“I really wanted to spend time with my family who I hadn’t seen much in the past few years. I also wanted to reconnect with the Area VII eventing community. I really enjoyed the opportunity to teach students old and new during my year back in Washington,” she continued. “I am excited at the prospect of returning on a monthly basis for clinics. It means a lot to me to be able to give back and pass along what I know to those willing to learn.”

One of my favorite things over these past few months has been the opportunity to help others learn- horses and people. I love learning; the specific subject doesn't really matter. But when it's about my passion, which has anything to do with horses- I'm all in. I got the opportunity to ride my horse Mowgli in a super clinic last week with Erik Duvander. I loved it. So simple and basic in so many ways, which made it so challenging and successful. Riding with him, reminded me of why I love teaching- For the love learning and having something I can give. I've had so much pleasure teaching more over these last 6months. There has been some wonderfully consistent weekly students, regularly scheduled days around the Seattle area and afew away clinics with completely new faces. Thank you to everyone who makes my passion fun and rewarding. If anyone is interested in having me out for a clinic or lessons, near or far- contact me. (potentially room for 1-2 more horses in training as well). I have had afew weekends come available to teach over the next few months, so let me know and we can try to work it out! Thanks to Volte Farms for the use of some of these pictures. #cwd #ecogold #customsaddlery #charlesowen #airowear #revitavet #phoenixbodyworks

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 Her homecoming gave her the chance to regroup, refocus and reconnect with the local community – and now she’s back and more driven than ever.

“I thought long and hard about this over the past year. After a lot of self reflection, I realized that the only thing I could do was to continue to strive to be the best person I can be – a person who is kind, honest and genuine, and over time I hope [my career] will come full circle again,” she explained.

Aside from personal reflection, Maya admits that she also misses the thrill of competing at the highest level. “Being away from the top level made me want to come back east. I missed working toward a big goal. This led me to my decision of returning to the East Coast, this time wanting to make a go of it and establish a proper business. I am moving forward doing this the only way I know how – by being me.”

Maya Black and Mowgli. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Maya has touched down at the beautiful Mardanza Farm in Ocala, Florida alongside Brian and Sara Murphy. With her she’s brought her own off-the-track Thoroughbred, Mowgli. This promising young horse capped off his successful Intermediate season with a top ten finish at the Ocala Jockey Club CCI2* last month.

“I’m really looking forward to what 2018 has to bring, especially with my up-and-coming horse, Mowgli. He’s a beautiful mover with a careful jump and is an incredible cross country horse. As talented as he is, he is also such a trier and the most cuddly horse I’ve ever had. He’s got the biggest personality,” she smiled. “He knows to smile for the camera as soon as he sees my phone out and is quick to pin you up against the stall wall with his head to demand that you rub his ears. I think he is the real deal. I’m hoping to syndicate him so that I can afford to continue on with him, as I think he could have a very exciting future.”

Maya is open for business! She shared with EN that she’s eagerly taking new students and new horses in for training and sale. In addition, she is looking to build her string of horses for the future. Interested parties should email Maya for more information. We are looking forward to following her journey.