Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath accomplice Brittney Yocum poses along with her horse, Bob. (IL photograph/Katie Stancombe)

Sitting in a saddle with intentionality and quiet expectation, Indianapolis legal professional Brittney Yocum mentioned being current along with her horse is greater than a stress reliever — it’s a partnership.

“I think lawyers have extremely stressful jobs. I think we all need something to get us away from the stress,” Yocum mentioned. “Riding itself, it’s just very freeing feeling, and I really like the partnership that you end up having to develop with the horse to predict what they’re going to do.”

The horses must be taught who you’re as properly, she added.

“My horse is always paying attention to what I’m going to tell him what to do,” she mentioned. “So it’s almost like a dance between the horse and the rider. And I really like that part of riding.”

Taking care of and driving horses has been a longtime ardour for Yocum, a accomplice who practices mergers and acquisitions at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.

As a child, Yocum begged her mother for horseback driving classes for years, however it wasn’t till she moved to LaPorte throughout her center faculty years that she bought to place her ft within the stirrups.

Relatives close by had horses that Yocum ultimately realized to experience and present in 4-H competitions. She continued driving horses by means of highschool however couldn’t persuade her dad and mom to purchase her considered one of her personal.

However, attending faculty and legislation faculty saved her busy, so horseback driving was grudgingly placed on the back-burner. It wasn’t till Yocum turned the tassel and started practising legislation that she bought again within the saddle and realized how a lot she missed it.

One path experience with a good friend in Bloomington spurred in Yocum a need to rekindle her love of horses and get again on the path.

Taking the reins

In 2015, Yocum purchased her first horse, Bob, who’s now 18 years previous. Since then, she and her husband have introduced house seven horses, two of which they usually compete with. The couple additionally personal Long Range Stables, a horse farm in Danville the place they board and practice horses, in addition to supply driving classes.

Yocum hops within the saddle at the very least 5 days per week, coaching along with her present horse, Mario. The pair competes collectively in reining competitions — aWestern driving competitors for horses the place the riders information the horses by means of a exact sample of circles, spins and stops.

Likening reining competitors to elements of the TV present “Yellowstone,” Yocum mentioned her favourite a part of the competitors is the sliding stops.

“The horses will run really fast and then when you stop them, they stop but they kind of put their butt under them and then they’ll slide,” she mentioned. “There’s dirt that goes flying. It’s actually really cool.”

Before December, Yocum competed in a special self-discipline referred to as Western Pleasure, a slower-paced efficiency by which horse and rider make three gaits a technique within the area, reverse and do the identical three gaits the opposite means, in addition to again up.

She switched final 12 months to reining, which has been a studying curve for each her and her horse, a 4-year-old black quarter horse. The two compete practically each weekend, touring out and in of state.

WATCH: See Yocum compete in a reining competitors with Mario.

“It’s been challenging because it forced me to get out of my comfort zone,” Yocum mentioned. “But as a result of that, I’ve been really proud when I’ve been able to do things that I thought I wasn’t able to do before; things that I was afraid of. So it’s been very exciting and then rewarding.”

Yocum and her horse Mario compete in a reining competitions. (Photo courtesy of Brittney Yocum)

With web and air-con, Yocum mentioned she’s in a position to make amends for work emails throughout the downtime of her competitions within the workplace portion of her horse trailer. Working a hybrid schedule on account of COVID-19 has allowed her extra free time to work whereas on the highway to and from competitions in Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky.

“Usually that horse trailer is my office for Fridays,” she mentioned with fun.

In July, Yocum and her husband are headed to Ocala, Florida, to compete in a weekslong western horse-riding competitors. For a group to be in one of the best form for competitors, Yocum mentioned there should be a stability of coaching, observe and days off for each the horse and rider.

Spending time collectively is vital, she added.

“The more trust you have in your horse and the more that the horse trusts you, the better you’ll compete together,” she mentioned. “I also spend a lot of time with my horse not riding him.”

Yocum and her horse Mario compete in a reining competitors. (Photo courtesy of Brittney Yocum)

That consists of grooming or just sitting in his stall with him, she mentioned. Mario, who acts like a pet canine, will typically lie down within the stall, relaxation his head in Yocum’s lap and go to sleep.

“He’s honestly the sweetest horse I’ve been around,” Yocum mentioned.

Lessons realized

Practicing legislation and taking good care of horses are two equally demanding and intensive components of Yocum’s life. In every, she mentioned she’s realized abilities and classes that may simply translate to the opposite.

“Both in law and with showing horses, you need to be constantly learning new things,” she mentioned. “The law is always changing and evolving. Even though I’ve been practicing for 8½ years and doing mergers and acquisitions that whole time, there will always be a new issue that comes up in a deal that I haven’t dealt with before.”

The identical is true with studying a brand new horse-riding self-discipline. It’s induced her to develop and stretch her showmanship.

Humans and horses will be very comparable, Yocum added in reference to shopper relationships. Every shopper wants a barely completely different strategy “in terms of the best way that I’ll be able to serve them and not only do really good legal work for them, but also make the client trust me and look to me as their adviser more so than just the lawyer that’s drafting the contracts for them.”

Slight adjustments should even be made for various horses in on a regular basis duties like saddling or giving them cues whereas driving, Yocum mentioned.

Finally, she acknowledged the laborious work put in every single day is probably the most comparable facet of each worlds.

“Lawyers work really hard, especially at large firms. It’s wired in me to work hard and overcome obstacles and things like that,” she mentioned. “It’s very similar with the horses. You also have to work hard and spend a little time a lot of time. So it can be a lot to balance, sometimes.”•

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