Curious about the human face behind C&C? You’ve come to the right page.
I wish I was one of those bloggers that could insist I’ve been jumping three-foot courses since the age of six, but I started riding at 10, one week annually at summer camps. My parents probably thought, hey, a great way to get the nightmare child out of the house for a while. Little did they know it would trigger a rapid spiral into monthly lessons, then weekly. It quickly transformed from a passing pleasure into a raging obsession at age 12 and I took continuous lessons through 14. By then I was fixated enough to insist I needed a lease horse to progress in the eventing world, but a little snafu on the trainer front landed me smack in the middle of hunter land.
With a lease on a 6-year-old KWPN called Danny.
It started out wonderfully for about a year. Near the end, though, he was dirty-stopping at flower jumps at shows and at home, bolting after jumps. Even though I was jumping the height I’d hoped to reach in the lease (3’6″) I was losing confidence quickly and felt like I couldn’t handle him any more. So I dropped the lease after 2 years and sought out a more dependable, but still challenging horse for me to compete on over the summer before college. Along came Charlie.
Still, I learned an incredible amount from both Danny and Charlie. Charlie had a number of other quirks for me to deal with that (usually) didn’t involve falling into jumps, and he didn’t have an ounce of stop in him. We showed over the summer at Sonoma Horse Park, and it was a (very expensive) way for me to learn that hunters just wasn’t for me. I’m an adrenaline junkie of sorts and the steady, pretty, finessed rounds necessary for hunters just didn’t suit me well.
Off I went to college and joined the university’s Hunter-Jumper team. I suppose I was in denial about what I wanted to do, but did a short term lease on a horse called Gatsby.
When the lease ran its course, and the next quarter threatened returning to pony-kick rides and crossrails, I decided to quit the team. Unfortunately this signaled the start of a less-pretty time in my life which won’t get any blogtime, and I think it was due in part to not riding.
Cue a year of studying abroad, during which I rode infrequently (as much as I could afford) for Edinburgh University’s equestrian team. It was a wonderful experience aside from the minor frostbite from lessons taken without gloves! Riding in the UK is just a whole lot of cold and layers, but I’d still take it over 100 degree days (which is totally why I returned to NorCal in the summer……).
And then I returned to eventing. After a summer of dressaging and jumping, I went back to school to finish my very last quarter and get my degree. And mentioned to my trainer I might casually look for a horse over the winter. And then a little redhead ex-racehorse fell into my lap and, as crazy horse people tend to do, I fell a little bit in love.
And that’s pretty much where we’re at– with a graduating 20-something, a redheaded 3-year-old, some big plans, and very little money. And a blog.