Finding His Stride and Joy
With loving parents, an outgoing twin sister, an always full house of dogs, and oodles of built-in friends and second families on Cerney Circle, Ryan Wight grew up surrounded by all things good. He moved to Castle Pines at the ripe age of 3.
Wight recalled lining up behind the firetrucks with his decorated bike in the HOA 2 Independence Day parades and shared that his neighbors on either side, the Sandlins and Mays, were instrumental and influential, always giving him unconditional support and encouragement.
Over the years, Wight found a passion for volunteering and helping others. He also tried every sport imaginable, but nothing really fit. At age 10, everything changed when he took a horseback riding lesson.
Wight has always been on the quieter side, and these beautiful and gentle creatures were quick to recognize his thoughtful nature and kind heart. The bond he has made with these animals has been life changing and will be life lasting. Wight rides English style: “hunter jumper” (being judged on precision) and “hunt seat” (judged on speed).
His first pony was named Mimi; he then leased Clifford and Argent before becoming the proud owner of Roo in 2017. Wight’s eyes light up as he shared about riding Roo.
“Ryan’s riding has given him the maturity and confidence to be able to make decisions and take actions, both on and off the horse,” said Jennifer Hulkko, Wight’s trainer at Winsome Farms in Castle Rock.
After graduating from Rock Canyon High School in 2021, Wight headed to West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) in Canyon, Texas, where he hoped to make the junior varsity equestrian team – but instead made the varsity team. “I was completely overwhelmed and so excited,” said Wight.
At WTAMU, Wight competed in several shows before heading to regionals and zones, where he earned first place recognition. In May of this year, his team competed in nationals in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where they placed eleventh overall.
“WTAMU Equestrian has a long-standing tradition of success by helping students with a passion for riding achieve excellence in the classroom and in the arena,” said Coach Amanda Ellis. “Ryan has been a fantastic addition to our team over the last two years; not only is he a talented equestrian but also a thoughtful team member.”
Wight frequently travels the six hours back and forth between college and family. Roo stays at the barn at Winsome Farms, and Wight visits him nearly every day whenever he is home. When Roo sees him, he nuzzles his big head right up to his favorite boy who he will never forget.
Wight aspires to finish his undergraduate business degree and combine it with his love of horses in some way. For now, he is happy to have found his place, his people and his stride.
By Elean Gersack; photos courtesy of the Wight family