I started riding at 12 years old, begging my parents for lessons at the US Marine Corps Base Stables, in Quantico, Virginia, where my father was stationed, in 1979. Any time we moved, the first thing I would do on arrival was find a horse to ride. Traveling around the world as a military dependent, and later as an adult, I rode horses in Africa, England, France, Costa Rica, Germany, and Puerto Rico, riding English, Western, or bareback! When I met my husband 20 years ago, he knew from the start that horses were inextricable from my life, and he has lovingly supported my “horse habit” as long as we’ve been together.
I took lessons throughout the years, leased, catch-rode, borrowed, and bartered to ride anything I could find. My background and training is informal by most standards. As an adult, I have learned to appreciate the technical side of riding, and I read as much horse training material as I can find. Being a catch rider most my riding life, in the past I would usually get the free crazy horses no one else wanted to ride, for one reason, or another. On one hand it has benefited me by riding literally almost a hundred horses in my lifetime; but on the other hand, I have yet to develop that long-term bond with just one horse.
I started as a Hunter/Jumper; and rode a year of Dressage when I lived in Africa. Only recently, I discovered Eventing. I love the mental part of Dressage, but I am also an adrenaline junkie, and I love cross country! Today I lease a horse, with a goal to compete in local shows. I competed as a young rider, as well as on my college riding team. I also volunteer as much as I can at local clinics, shows, and horse trials.
I made the transition from being an International Development Program Manager to being a stay-home Mom, 13 years ago. We have two children: a son, 13, a daughter, 9. After working at so may barns—in part to barter work for riding priviledges—and getting to know professional riders, I realized horse people needed help running the business side of their operations. Boarding and lesson barns needed someone on hand to help them organize clnics or summer camps, organize and market special events, or simply help them stay on top of their administrative paperwork, and billing. I started my equestrian consulting business, Jump Start Solutions LLC (JSS), in 2009. In addition to JSS, I am a writer and equestrian events journalist. I write about competitions, events, and personalities in the horse world—both horse and human!
I attend USEA shows in Area II, and I trek annually to Lexington, KY, for Rolex. From 2013 to 2014 I served as Newsletter Editor for Commonwealth Dressage & Combined Training Association, a non-profit, grassroots group membership organization that promotes the sports of Dressage and Eventing. I currently serve as their roaming reporter and photojournalist, cover their shows, events, and any other equestrian events, relevant to their mission, allowing me to interact with other riders and horse people in my region.
I work as a freelance writer and photojournalist. I guest blog for Horse Junkies United (read all my Horse Junkie posts, here), and I also guest blog for Eventing Nation (read my most recent EN posts, here). I write about horses, riding, anything horse-related, whenever an idea inspires me.
I enjoy working with horse people, and being part of a horse community that understands my addiction to horses, and speaks my language. I look forward to meeting more horse friends, online and at future events!