Taylor Foster, Indiana Quarter Horse Association

My name is Taylor Foster, and I am proudly representing The Indiana Quarter Horse Association.

I am from Aurora, Ohio, a small suburb of Cleveland. Growing up I never had less than two dogs, a cat, and an indoor rabbit named Flower. The horses came later. I lived a short, 5-minute drive to Sea World Ohio, where my mom happened to work, and my love for animals only matured. I grew up on a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood, playing kickball and capture the flag with my neighborhood friends. The lady who drove the ice cream truck had one of my school pictures hanging inside; we were on a first-named basis. I like to think that I was her best customer. Every morning in the summers I rode my bike to the neighborhood pool for swim team practice, following swim practice my dad would drive me to my Jr. golf league where I learned to play golf. My dad’s favorite hobby is golf, so he would take me to professional golf tournaments and we would get autographs from the pros such as Jack Nicholas, Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson. When I finally got old enough, I started going to a horse camp during the day where we got to brush horses, feed horses, clean stalls, and trail ride. I came home and would tell my parents that I thought the horses smelled so good. This is where it all began. Before my Freshman year in high school, we had to relocate to Zionsville, Indiana due to my mom’s new job opportunity. This is also the year that I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer (I have been in complete remission for almost 9 years!). I attended high school in Zionsville where I played on the basketball team, ran track, and was a peer in the Best Buddies program. After high school my family moved to Lebanon, Indiana in order to attain more land for our favorite pasture ornaments, horses. Even though I reside in Indiana now, I am still a die-hard Ohio State fan… go Bucks!

Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do. After getting involved with the Indiana Quarter Horse Association, I became an active youth member and was on the NYATT team for multiple years. I remember sitting in the stands in the Coliseum at the Congress with my fellow NYATT members, waiting for the NYATT awards presentation to begin. Before the awards took place, they would roll out a long red carpet, where an enthusiastic advocate from each association was about to gracefully walk down. As each individual award was presented to the candidates, their supporters would cheer for them from the stands. Finally, they would crown the next All American Quarter Horse Congress Queen. That’s when the chills would hit. It was at this moment, that I knew that I would want to be an advocate for my association one day-I just didn’t know when. Last year at the IQHA year-end banquet, I had multiple people approach me, telling me that I should run for Congress Queen and that I would be an outstanding ambassador for the Indiana Quarter Horse Association along the way. I felt honored that people would want ME to represent the association, and the amazing breed that we all have grown to love. I’m forever thankful to those individuals that had faith in me, and gave me that extra assurance. With that, I started studying, and talking to past queens about their experiences. The impact that they have made on the youth, the Congress, and the breed as a whole, is like nothing I’ve ever seen. So, here I am, with the help and support of my family, friends, sponsors, and furry companions, 6 years later after watching those presentations in the Coliseum, I’m proudly representing the Indiana Quarter Horse Association at the 51st All American Quarter Horse Congress. I’m finding out who I am, and I’m doing it on purpose!

I currently have a full-time job at The Dermatology Center of Indiana, working as a Patient Service Representative. I also work part time as a waitress at Parky’s Smokehouse, a family-owned barbeque restaurant. I never had any interest in traveling far away for college, and being away from my family and furry friends, but I knew that I wanted to continue my education. I am now a part-time college student attending Ivy Tech Community College, where I am able to take all of my classes online, which has allowed me to continue doing what I love, showing horses!

My favorite horse memory actually has nothing at all to do with me. We all have that one special, “once in a lifetime” horse. For me, she came early on. FSF Hot N Sonny, aka Mocha. As a youth, I showed her in walk trot, and then in 13 & under. When a friend asked me if her 7-year-old son, who is a challenged rider, could show her, without hesitation, I knew Mocha would be the horse for the job. She quickly taught me the positive impact that horses can have on peoples lives. As soon as he would take the lead, she would drop her head to his level and she knew that she had to take care of him. She gave him purpose, she gave him confidence, and I will never forget how his face would light up as he would trot into the arena. When I think back on my favorite horse memory, this one tops the charts. Mocha is 22 years young, and has more than earned her retirement and endless amounts of grass. And as for her forever friend, he is still involved with horses to this day.

I feel blessed to have followed in my mom’s footsteps, as she was the 1978 Indiana Quarter Horse Queen. I’m also an avid dog lover, I enjoy long walks down the barn isle, and I believe that wearing a strong piece of jewelry gives you extra armor; which is why I only wear jewelry on days ending with “Y”.