If there was ever a time I didn’t love horses, I can’t recall it. Although my parents couldn’t afford a horse for me, I was fortunate to have riding lessons and get off to a good start. Outside of the stable and saddle, I obsessively read everything I could about horses–perhaps that’s why I was destined to wind up working for a horse magazine! Many wise, patient instructors of both the two- and four-footed variety have continued to teach me about horsemanship since then.
I hope you find yours, too!
My first horse was an adorable gray 14-hand pony. She came to my barn when I was in high school, and I remember thinking she was precious.
Almost a decade later, I still love my 14-hand pony, Gabby Giggles. We’ve jumped fences, done western horsemanship patterns, and gone on relaxing trail rides. She was my pal throughout high school and college–I always visited her at the barn when I cam home to Texas over the holidays.
She’s a personable horse and makes everyone smile. She has taught me the importance of patience and trust.
I can’t wait for the day when I own a house and some land. Gabby is going to be my best friend that lives in the backyard!
I first got involved with horses during my junior year of high school, when I began helping a neighbor with her horses. Eventually I started taking lessons and worked on a couple of local farms. It didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to make horses a part of my everyday life. I attended Centenary College in New Jersey and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies with a concentration in communications. Believe it or not, my goal was to work for Horse Illustrated. Although I’ve owned a couple of horses in the past, I am currently horseless. However, after a three-and-a-half hour trail ride through the Irish countryside on a Connemara pony named Merlin, I find myself eager to enjoy the trails and parks of Kentucky on one of my own.
I’ve loved horses since I was old enough to hold on to the horsey ride in front of the grocery store. When I was 9, that love really took off when a friend of mine started taking riding lessons at a nearby barn and helped me get involved there. After several years of lesson horses and leases, I was ready to own my own horse. At a local tack shop, we found out about Bush Pilot, a former A-circuit hunter whose “mom” had gone off to college. He had spent a good bit of idle time on her parents’ farm growing very out-of-shape. He was 13; the same age as me. He taught me a lot in the years I owned him–mainly how to “stay out of the horse’s way” while jumping because if I tried to do all the work, he would just stop!
I got my current horse, Zephyr, off the track when he was 4. He’s now 11 and we compete in eventing. Every horse I’ve ridden, whether it was for a paycheck or just for fun, has taught me an incredible amount about just how different each individual is, requiring different riding and sensitivity to each personality.