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In 2008, 26–year–old Tik Maynard faced a crossroads not unlike that of other young adults. A university graduate and modern pentathlete, he suffered both a career–ending injury and a painful breakup, leaving him suddenly adrift. The son of prominent Canadian equestrians, Maynard decided to spend the next year as a “working student.” In the horse industry, working students aspire to become professional riders or trainers, and willingly trade labor for hands–on education. Here Maynard chronicles his experiences–good and bad–and we follow along as one year becomes three, what began as a casual adventure gradually transforms, and a life's purpose comes sharply into focus.
Over time, Maynard evolved under the critical eyes of Olympians, medal winners, and world–renowned figures in the horse world, including Anne Kursinski, Johann Hinnemann, Ingrid Klimke, David and Karen O'Connor, Bruce Logan, and Ian Millar. He was ignored, degraded, encouraged, and praised. He was hired and fired, told he had the “wrong body type to ride” and that he had found his “destiny.” He got married and lost loved ones. Through it all he studied the horse, and human nature, and how the two can find balance. And in that journey, he may have found himself.
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Tik Maynard began riding with the Vancouver Pony Club, in Southlands, British Columbia. After achieving his ‘A’ rating, he began competing in Modern Pentathlon, where he represented Canada at three World Championships, and the 2007 PanAmerican Games. In 2008, Maynard began a journey to improve his riding. From Germany to Florida, from Alberta to Texas, and from Florida to New Jersey, Maynard was willing to go wherever he had to, to learn from the best. Along the way he discovered something more important: horsemanship. It is that idea that continues to motivate him. Today, Maynard searches out knowledge from many sources, but his most important mentors are his parents and his wife. He is married to US Eventing Team Member Sinead Halpin. Together they run Copperline Farm in Citra, Florida. Maynard has always been a passionate book lover. He has written a children's story, published by REAL magazine, has won the Malahat Review Open Season Award, and has twice been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards for his nonfiction works.