Making a Difference

Along with her competing, training, teaching and breeding, Charlotte finds time to pack in other activities. In her “spare” time she enjoys tennis and her passion for ballroom dancing. For about two years, Charlotte owned and operated a ballroom dance studio. Unfortunately she couldn’t find anybody to mange it, and decided to close it down. There are only so many hours in the day. Charlotte is also a Big Sister and mentor to several children.

“I think there is nothing more rewarding than to know you have made a difference in somebody’s life, especially a child,” Charlotte said of her mentoring work. “I encourage all other horse people to mentor a child. Even just spending time with a child two-to-four times a month can make a profound difference in that child’s life. Our son Zachary came to us as a foster child through our local social services and eventually we became guardians. I also have mentored a wonderful girl, now 10, since she was 5 years old. She lost her mom before I met her and lives with her grandparents.”

More recently Charlotte got involved in an Inner City riding program in Compton, Los Angeles. She met a wonderful lady named Mayisha Akbar, who bought a small horse property in the middle of the city and started this program. She now has 15 donated horses and around 25 kids, who come and ride for free.

Charlotte went to visit and after watching the program for an afternoon, decided to get involved. June 10-11 she invited Mayisha and her volunteers to bring 8 teenagers and three horses for a weekend at her and Joel’s ranch. Charlotte did some demonstrations on her horses and then taught all 8 teenagers both days. They had spent a lot time on bare back pads and had good seats. Charlotte and Joel put everybody up at a motel down the street and friends of Charlotte’s hosted a BBQ. It was a great weekend and the kids were very appreciative.

More kids will be back the weekend of July 22. Charlotte is encouraging those in the equestrian community to get involved. "If anybody wants to get involved or help out with the horse expenses (non profit 501c3), please call me, and visit their website Compton Junior Posse. It is a great program and gives the kids an alternative to gangs."

Despite her tremendous success in the world of dressage, Charlotte remains philosophical about it all and admits that as passionate as she is about dressage, she doesn’t let it overwhelm her life. Her broad interests are what make her such a fascinating person.