Dec. 3, 2009
It hasn't always been a straight path to Equestrian for Auburn senior rider Kylie Miller.
"My sister has always been riding, but I was dancing when I was younger," said Miller. "Then, one day I decided to stop dancing and started riding when I was 10 years old."
Besides the late start, her hometown of Scottsdale, Ariz., isn't a hotbed of competitive riding. Equestrian was never more than a hobby, but there was the Appaloosa Horse Club. The AHC is a national organization of riders both competitive and non-competitive. They hold an annual youth championship in which Kylie won a championship in five straight years form 2001-2006.
She felt that participating in these events were very important in the years to come saying, "It gave me the confidence to go out there and compete with the best in the nation. Whenever I struggle in practice, I just remember those rides. It has helped me get through a lot of struggles while I have been riding here."
Even with all this success, Kylie never thought she could be riding for a college, let alone one as decorated and prestigious as Auburn.
"It wasn't till my junior and senior years of high school that I found out that you could ride for a college," said Miller.
Armed with this new knowledge she began to `market' herself to schools across the nation including Auburn, but again even her path to Auburn was also not straight.
"It took a lot to convince my parents to even let me come on to Auburn for a recruiting visit because it was so far away from home," said Miller. "Once I talked them into to it, we came down and we all fell in love the second I got on campus, and I have been here ever since."
During her four years at Auburn, she has been successful riding for the top ranked equestrian team and also has excelled in the classroom. In her first year on campus, she was named to SEC Academic Honor Roll.
She is also apart of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor society, in which you must maintain a 3.5 GPA to stay a member. Her excellence in academics and her great work ethic will sever her well when trying to enter the workplace.
"I want to be a physical therapist and to get into Physical Therapy school, you need to have high grades," said Miller. "I have always tried my hardest to do well. Also, school has kept me focused and made me unafraid of hard work which helped me succeed in my riding."
It's been a long winding road for Kylie Miller
to get to where she is today. Being a star rider for a championship caliber equestrian team and a great student with aspirations of being a physical therapist have all been made possible by her incredible work ethic and perseverance.
All that is just the beginning for Kylie Miller as she prepares to leave Auburn and hopefully be as successful after Auburn as she has been in every other venture she has taken on throughout her life.