When I was very small my parents said I could either keep the fish that I'd won at the County Fair or take riding lessons.
Who needs a fish when you can ride? So I started taking lessons once a week at the local barn, Holly Hill Farm. I rode a horse named Clicker in my first lesson and was hooked.
I participated in the summer camps which taught us all the fundamentals of horse care. Birthday presents and Christmas gifts consisted of a private lesson with Hollie. As I grew a little older I would half lease a horse in the summer.
Gifter, Photo, Buttons, Bugs, Gotcha, Country, Peter Pan, Legend, Snickers, Favor, Big Guy, Chip- I still remember their faces, where they were stalled in the barn. Obsessed?
Favor was my partner in crime. Once a year Holly Hill held a schooling show. Favor and I entered the Open Hunter class. Open Hunter meant that anyone regardless of age or skill level could participate. And we won! Best day ever!
I rode intermittently through college and beyond, but it wasn't until Luke that I realized again that true partnership between horse and rider. He and I made an unlikely pair- we were both afraid to jump! I was fortunate enough to have a very patient trainer, and now friend, to prod us along. Luke and I spent our last week together showing at the Trader Point Charity Classic.
It has been a long three years in California. My poor husband. I have cried, cajoled, reasoned to no end. I need to own a horse again. Luckily I had a great interim partner in Ben. And was again fortunate enough to find a great trainer who always made sure I had something to ride. The 2012 show season far exceeded any expectation I had ever dreamed of. True, Ben and I were only showing in the 2'3" Hunter divisions. But we won everything. Champions at almost every show. I had never been a Champion before. I hadn't won a blue ribbon since I was 12 years old. Ribbons don't mean much, but it was the validation that I needed to continue to pour my heart into the sport.