HomeNewsArticle Display

For the love of horses

Staff Sgt. Katrina Rubisch, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament systems technician, pets her horse, March 24, 2016, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Rubisch is the president of the Equestrian Club at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson/Released)

Staff Sgt. Katrina Rubisch, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament systems technician, pets her horse, March 24, 2016, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Rubisch is the president of the Equestrian Club at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson/Released)

Staff Sgt. Katrina Rubisch, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament systems technician, shows her child how to groom a horse, March 24, 2016, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Rubisch encourages her child’s passion for horses by letting her ride, help feed and groom the horses. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson/Released)

Staff Sgt. Katrina Rubisch, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament systems technician, shows her child how to groom a horse, March 24, 2016, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Rubisch encourages her child’s passion for horses by letting her ride, help feed and groom the horses. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson/Released)

Staff Sgt. Katrina Rubisch, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament systems technician, socializes with her child and horses, March 24, 2016, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Rubisch often brings her child to the stables to share her love of horses with her child. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson/Released)

Staff Sgt. Katrina Rubisch, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament systems technician, socializes with her child and horses, March 24, 2016, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Rubisch often brings her child to the stables to share her love of horses with her child. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson/Released)

Staff Sgt. Katrina Rubisch, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament systems technician, feeds her horses, March 25, 2016, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Rubisch owns two horses whom she interacts with and feeds twice a day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson/Released)

Staff Sgt. Katrina Rubisch, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament systems technician, feeds her horses, March 25, 2016, in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Rubisch owns two horses whom she interacts with and feeds twice a day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williamson/Released)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --

A five-year-old girl roams the carnival grounds with her parents until she approaches a vendor who has ponies for children to ride, excitement and wonder light up her face as she rides a pony in a guided circle.

Sparked from her mother’s love of horses, Staff Sgt. Katrina Rubisch, 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft armament systems technician, developed a passion for horses that grew throughout and beyond her childhood.

Rubisch’s childhood enthusiasm for the equestrian world led her to become the president of the Equestrian Club at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

Rubisch got her first pony, Colby, a cream-colored miniature horse with blue eyes, when she was 10 years old.

“He was quite the spunky little horse,” Rubisch said. “He taught my sister and me the basics of horse ownership; from grooming, to cleaning hooves, to teaching him some tricks. He definitely taught us a lot.”

Eventually, Rubisch’s parents bought her a gelding, a neutered male horse, named Bandit. The two grew close as partners, learning from each other. Using natural horsemanship techniques, she and her family broke him to ride.

“We showed together for a couple of years at local shows, but he absolutely hated to show. Eventually, he became just my trail partner. I sold him when he was four years old, and I still regret that decision to this day,” Rubisch said. “I never wanted to own another gelding because of the special bond that Bandit and I had shared.”

In October of 2012, Rubisch was riding a two-year-old horse that belonged to a stables owner. Suddenly, the horse began bucking frantically and took off running at full speed. When the colt took a hard left turn Rubisch flew out of the saddle in the opposite direction, landing on her shoulder and arm.

Rubisch got back in the saddle, but never rode the horse again. She was nervous to ride any horse after the incident, her confidence in the saddle was shaken. In an instant, the trust she built with the horses she had mastered riding was severely weakened.

She didn’t quite recover her full confidence until she met Bucky.

While trying to find a horse of her own, Rubisch had recently discovered female horses didn’t quite match her personality as well as Bandit had. So, Rubisch found a buckskin quarter horse for sale and decided to give the gelding a try. She felt a connection with the horse, purchased him and named him Bucky.

“I remember when I climbed on top of him I had a reassuring feeling wash over me and I knew I could trust him. He took me on a two-hour trail ride and crossed through water and ditches with ease,” Rubisch said. “He was so calm and so confident; he reminded me of my Bandit. I was so sure I was never going to own another gelding again, but I am so glad that I decided to try out Bucky that day; that two-hour trail had changed me and made me confident again.”

Today, in the dark and early hours of the morning, she gets up and ready for work while helping her two-year-old child prepare for the day, but it’s not the only thing she does every morning. Rubisch heads off to the stables to take care of her horses before and after work each day.

In January, Rubisch found out about the Equestrian Club and wanted to become a part of it. She became president of the club after an interview with the previous president. Ever since, she has been trying to garner attention for the club.

“It has been mainly an informational club, but I really want to turn it into something where the members can go trail riding or show together,” Rubisch said. “I want this club to be open to all horse enthusiasts, not just for the people that own horses. I welcome all disciplines to the club and am looking for new ideas to improve it.”

Though Rubisch doesn’t have the opportunity to ride her horses as often as she would like, she enjoys taking her horses to Buckhorn Lake in Wilson, North Carolina on weekends. She also likes to find organized trail rides with other horse enthusiasts.

“My daily life with the horses consists of feeding them twice a day, mucking stalls, picking paddocks, grooming and just spending quality time with them,” Rubisch said. “I usually accomplish this all after work, it's my way of destressing from the work day.”

Rubisch sometimes brings her child out to the stables to help feed and care for the horses. She allows and encourages her daughter to ride the horses while Rubisch guides the horse and keeps her child steady; inspiring a new generation to foster love and respect for the equestrian world.

If you are interested in joining the Equestrian Club, please contact Rubisch at (919) 722-5790.
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.