Erika grew up in the beautiful horse country of Hunterdon County, NJ. At the age of eight years old she discovered that special passion created by the bond shared between horse and rider. After some years of taking lessons and lots of stall cleaning, she finally saved enough money to fulfill her girlhood dream of owning her very own horse. Auslander was an off the track Thoroughbred with whom she would begin her life long career of riding and training horses. Together they would compete throughout the East Coast winning local and national titles in the Hunter and Equitation rings. With the guidance of trainer Jack Benson of Briarwood Farms Erika continued to advance. After finishing college, with a degree in Business Management, Erika decided to dedicate herself to the equestrian profession.
Shortly after relocating to the West Coast, Erika acquired her current Grand Prix jumper Nelson T. As a four year old they successfully moved up through the levels together. Erika knew that Nelson was of Grand Prix caliber and trained him through the years with this goal in mind. At the age of ten Nelson and Erika began competing at the Grand Prix level on the National Show Circuit.
Erika has had the opportunities to train with many of the top names in the sport. Susie Hutchison, Jen Hannink, Colin and Toni McIntosh, Mariano Alario, Donna Cheek, Kristin Hardin, Helen McNaught, Anne Kursinski, Ronnie Freeman & Denny Ashe, who have all been influential in Erika's development as a Grand Prix rider, dedicated equestrian & focused athlete.