EAGLE RIVER -
Mandy Murphy looks at the young girls riding on top of the Great Northern Riding Club's horses and sees her childhood.
"I see myself when I'm timid," Murphy said. "I see myself when I'm game for anything. I see myself as when these girls help each other out all the time."
When you've run a horse jumping competition for 20 years, there's a lot of opportunity for reflection.
"Growing up, I wasn't the trainer," Murphy said. "I was the student. And now me being the trainer and seeing it from a different point of view, I love watching our girls grow and compete and succeed."
Horses jumped and trotted their way around a well-worn course all weekend long, all so the riders on top could get the ribbons for which they've worked so hard.
"I'd say you really have to have a good connection with your horse to do well in shows," equestrian Gabrielle Doyle said. "You just have to spend time with them even when we're not riding."
The Great Northern Riding Club offers a unique opportunity; a chance for riders to compete at an affordable price.
"Our circuit certainly does offer a lot different than other ones because we only do four shows in the summer versus some who go year round, traveling to different states," Murphy said. "Ours is very local."
Some of the area's youngest kids are taking full advantage.
"I just have been having so much fun and learned so much," 11-year-old Carlie Pudlowski said.
That's just what Murphy wants to hear.