Friday, September 14, 2007


I've always been a fan of blogs (absolutely love I'm Quietly Judging You) but I have never started my own because I've always felt that I could never be as witty or as sarcastic as the blogs I love. Why write a mediocre blog when I can read a fabulous one? Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I am now forced to write a blog for my Online Journalism class at Northeastern University. We must post four to five times per week and include different writing styles, photos, etc. I've chosen to blog about the only true passion in my life: horses.

My mom is a trainer in NJ and I sat on my first horse before I could even crawl. My parents bought me my first pony, Skeeter, when I was 3 years old. She was the best pony in the world. I learned to canter on my mom's Saddlebred, Nelly, when I was in first or second grade. When I was about 10 years old, my riding changed direction. I grew up riding Saddleseat (often confused with Standardbreds, but completely different) but the closest Saddleseat barn was in PA (I grew up on the NJ coast). So, I switched to hunter/jumper world and was immediately hooked. For those of you that don't know, hunters and jumpers are those that jump fences (anywhere from under 18" to over 5' in height), usually in a sand or grass fenced-in area. I'll give you the shortened version of the next 12 years: for the majority of my riding life (1996-2004) I've ridden with Callan Solem and Carol Thompson at Quiet Winter Farm, located in Colts Neck, NJ. Carol, owner and head trainer at QWF, gave me amazing opportunities over the years. At QWF, I rode some horses that will forever have a piece of my heart (namely, Sinepuxent Bay and Castle Rock). I got the opportunity to show all over the East Coast at "AA" shows and, after my freshman year at Northeastern, I spent three months in Ireland riding and learning about the 3-day eventing world. Unfortunately, when I started college in 2003 my riding life took a blow. I went from riding six days a week to, if I was lucky, riding whenever I got to go home for the holidays.

Then, during the spring '07 semester, I found SMC Stables. I began taking lessons (about $75 a pop) so that I could get my "horse fix." In May, I informed the trainer that I would be going to Florida for the summer for an internship with a PR firm. To my delight, she asked me return in the fall as a rider (not a student) and help her with the sale horses. I was thrilled, to say the least. Now, I wouldn't have to pay to ride.

So, that's where I am now. I began during the first week of September and have been working four sale horses and one customer's horse. And, to add to my joy, I think I've found a "diamond in the rough." Zee, a 3-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, is a spitting image of Callan's grand prix horse, Allison. I just love her. I think she could be a top-level horse when she grows up. My mom is planning to come up to visit next weekend and I'm going to have her look at Zee to get someone else's opinion.

That's about it for the intro. Today's class is about over and I have to run to my next class, Editing. For my next post, I'll talk a little about each horse individually and their progress.