The Cast And Crew

The Back Story:
I've been riding since I was old enough to sit up straight in a saddle. I started out riding Western, then somewhere along the way I discovered dressage. It's been my obsession ever since.

In 2005, I had a nasty fall from a horse and broke two vertebrae in my lumbar spine.  That same year, I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.  Little did I know that the Crohn's Disease was going to throw a huge wrench in my recovery from the fall.

Crohn's is an auto-immune disease, and my body soon began to attack my spine.  By 2009 I had 4 herniated discs.  In 2010 I was diagnosed with degenerative scoliosis and three more herniated discs.  In 2013 an MRI showed that my lumbar spine was beginning to fuse, and I was formally diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a complication of my IBD.

In spite of all that, I continue to ride.  In the saddle, I'm not broken anymore.  In the saddle, my horses lend me their bodies and I am whole again.  Together, we're helping each other be better every day because that's what dressage is: a training system that makes the best of horse and rider.

The Characters:

Spider: Spider is my current show horse. He's a 18 year old Thoroughbred something or other. I say TB something or other because, honestly, I have no clue what he is. He was sold to me as a "Thoroughbred Sporthorse". He doesn't have any papers, no tattoos, brands or any other markings that could tell me what he really is. But honestly, his breeding isn't important. What he is is a good boy, and that's all that really matters. Spider is currently competing at 3rd Level and the reigning King Of The Farm.

Vinny:  Vinny was my FEI Schoolmaster.  He was my first "real" dressage horse and the horse I learned to ride the upper level movements on.   And did I ever learn!   Vinny was one of those horses that made you work for everything you got from him.  I retired him many years ago and he spent his golden years enjoying a life of idle luxury and tearing shit up here on my farm.  We lost Vinny in 2014 at the ripe old age of 28

More about the wily old beast here.

Matilda:  Matilda was my little miniature mare.  My husband thought I bought her for the kids, but really I just wanted an adorable little pony.  I got an adorable little pony and a generous helping of pony mare attitude to go along with it.  She was my kids' first horse and ended up being absolutely wonderful with them.  She was force to be reckoned with for all the adults in her life, though! We lost our little Matilda too soon in December of 2013.  She is sorely missed.

Matilda's adventures can be found here.

Jack: Jack is my 2010 OTTB and the farm's resident goofball.  As a racehorse, he had 3 starts as a two year old and came in dead last every time, which is why he came to live with us and begin a new career. He is absolutely the slowest creature on the farm, and would probably be best suited to Western Pleasure, but I'll eventually make him into a dressage horse.

Spots: Spots is a 2007 Pony of the Americas and my husband once again thinks he's the kids' pony.  Ha! Well, he is technically for the kids, but somebody has to keep him trained, right? Spots just joined our family in the spring of 2014, but he's already made a big impression by being just about the best all-around pony you could ask for.

If you're interested, you can read some of my training philosophies and general ramblings here.


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