I started riding at age 8 because a friend took a riding lesson in our school yard for show and tell. I started taking lessons and showing shortly thereafter and I’ve ridden ever since. Well, that’s stretching the truth a bit. Let me explain.
I took my first lesson in 1997 on a small bay Arabian named Royal Vintage who went by “Tuffy.” I was started on a lunge line and not allowed reins until my seat with sufficiently independent. After a few months – yes, months – on the lunge, I graduated to a mare that would change my life.
That mare’s name was LF Majorca, though she’d been called “Morkie” for years. When I met Mork, she’d been out to pasture for several years with the understanding that she’d never be sound again. I was told I could try to ride her but that she’s only ever allowed one person to ride her – my trainer.
For whatever reason, Mork chose me and less than a year later, the grey mare who faked lameness in the warm-up and I won Regionals. And so began my lifelong passion for horses. Call it chance or fate, I was able to purchase Morkie and bring her with me when I moved at age 11. I owned Mork until her dying day and held her head in my lap as she breathed her last.
I continued to ride and show through middle school and part of high school, until Mork was well into her twenties and diagnosed with a degenerative joint disease. I graduated high school at age 16 and struggled with the decision that many horse crazy girls do – should horses be my career?
An undergraduate degree and several horses later, my life has taken shape in ways I never expected and I wouldn’t change a thing. In my last two years of college, riding took a backseat and I’m now trying to, as they say, get back in the tack. This is my journey.