by LIZ ONUFER | photos by Alicia Jeanne Photography

Finding Her Niche

student4Between riding horses and maintaining a 4.0 GPA, you can expect to find Elizabeth Carruthers in one of two places when she is not at home. A San Elijo Hills resident all her life, Elizabeth prioritizes her time as a student at San Elijo Middle School and an equestrian at Pathfinder Farm in San Marcos.
At school, Elizabeth is earning her perfect GPA in Advanced Placement classes. “This fact is especially pleasing to me because I have always struggled in the subject of math,” Elizabeth said. “I have now managed to bring that grade up to an A as well.” She credits her teacher, Miss Schmid, for the improvement. “She is always willing to give her students extra help when they need it,” Elizabeth acknowledged. “It is because of her that I am actually really growing to enjoy math.” With her 4.0 GPA, it may not be all that surprising that Elizabeth considers herself a perfectionist. “It really bums me out when I don’t do things well.”

“I remember the feeling of freedom and pure joy.”

student5Outside of the classroom, Elizabeth explained, “I am sure that I have loved horses since the day I was born.” Starting at the age of seven, when she finally talked her mom into it, she began riding lessons. “The most rewarding part of horseback riding is when you have been struggling with a certain skill, and then you are finally able to translate it to your horse in a way that is understood,” she shared.
As for potentially growing out of this “horse phase” as her mom expected, Elizabeth does not predict this to happen any time in the near future. She described her favorite memory on horseback as the time she learned to trot. “I remember the feeling of freedom and pure joy. I never wanted it to end,” she said.

Elizabeth’s inspiration to continue working hard and aiming high come from both her horse family – Pathfinder Farm trainer Patty Morton and rider Alycia Burton – and her own family – mom, dad, grandma, and aunt. “I am inspired by a lot of people for various reasons,” she said. Elizabeth’s future plans include earning good grades and attending college at Cal Poly.


Name: Elizabeth Carruthers (13)
School: San Elijo Middle School
Grade: 8
Parents: Kent and Mary Carruthers
Sibling: Danielle Carruthers (11)
Favorite Place in 92078: Pathfinder Farm

student3 student2 student1