My parents began indulging my love of horses at the age of 4. Little did they know when they signed their toddler up for weekly lessons that it would become a lifetime passion and be the reason they still jokingly say they have no money.
At 7, we moved to England and my horsey habit got more serious. I was lucky enough to ride at the queens stable and spent hours galloping and exploring Windsor Great Park. This is also where I learned to jump. Back in the USA, I continued jumping in the form of 3 day eventing until college when I decided cross country produced way to much adrenaline for me and I switched to hunters. I rode hunters locally and showed on the West Coast on many different mounts over the years. I also served in different administrative capacities for most of the last 10 years on the Southern Oregon Hunter/Jumper Association board.
It was about 2 years ago that I made the move to stay closer to the ground and began learning dressage again. Michelle Woollard took my hunter, Cashmere and myself and turned us into respectable dressage show partners. We spent the last 2 seasons showing at Training and First level and had a blast. Unfortunately my sweet mare passed away this fall so I found myself a new partner. Rudy is the newest love of my life and he, along with Michelle, is teaching me what it’s like to ride an upper level dressage horse. I am looking forward to taking him out this year at First and maybe Second level (if I can learn to sit the bounce!).
Horses have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My indulgent father bought me my first horse at the age of 2. Growing up in rural Mississippi, my early riding experiences involved long cross-country rambles over hundreds or thousands of acres that often lasted all day. In 2002, I became interested in carriage driving but there was no one nearby that could provide training. So I ordered a cart and harness online and with the help of a few books and videos taught my very patient Anglo-Arab mare to drive. It was a blast! I have owned several different breeds of horses in my lifetime, but it was my purchase of a half Andalusian mare in 2009 that truly changed the course of my life with horses. I fell in love with the Andalusian breed after seeing a classical dressage exhibition. Realizing that a trained purebred Andalusian greatly exceeded my budget, I eventually bought my current half-Andalusian mare “Xena” as a 6 month old filly. Within a couple of years, Xena and I began hitting the breed show circuit in Texas and Florida. Next was professional driving training followed by a few years competing in carriage pleasure driving shows. It wasn’t until I retired and moved to southern Oregon that I was able to pursue my interest in classical dressage. I met our current President, Karen Piper, when I served as a volunteer at one of the local shows. After almost 3 years of working with trainer Cassi Soule, Xena and I had finally progressed to the point where were ready to compete in our first dressage show last year at First Level. I am an avid student of dressage and am continually working to improve my knowledge and skills. I especially enjoy reading some of the older texts from classical masters. I look forward to continuing the progress Xena and I have made over the last few years.