I grew up on a 60-acre horse farm in a small New Hampshire town. My mother a former equine trainer, who’s worked with Olympic riders, passed along her passion and intuitive horse sense.
Competing in horse shows began early, but at 15 I started competing on a global level. Like Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers, I studied patterns, and rode every horse in our barn.
Horses are like people, no two are the same. It takes time to build a relationship with teammates: active patience, and active persistence. But at the end of the day, Huey was the horse that became my teammate.
After nearly three years of competing, on a hot morning in Tulsa, Oklahoma Huey and I were named 3rd in the World in Equitation at the Pinto World Championships. We went on to win several more Top Ten World titles that year. But, we were cut from our best class, Hunter Under Saddle.
Between self-doubt, and my first upcoming year at Purdue University…I decided not to return to competition. But I would take Huey with me to Purdue, and for two straight years, we retooled, we practiced, we had to be stronger and better to return to the highest level of competition.
Two years later, we returned and made the cut from 200 riders around the globe, finding ourselves in the final round of Hunter Under Saddle.
Everything was going great until suddenly, it wasn’t.
A slight error on my behalf caused us to make a momentary mistake. And just like that, we went from likely winning the World Championship Title…to nothing.
It was devastating. Huey gave me everything he had, but I made the mistake. I let my teammate down, not the other way around. It was the difference between Bill Buckner letting the ball go through his legs, and Dwight Clark catching Joe Montana’s pass in the end zone. The outcomes were dramatic.
It wasn’t our day. You can prepare, prepare, prepare but things (and life) doesn’t always go as planned. But life goes on.
And so it did.
That next year, Huey and I returned to the Pinto World Championships. Once again, we were called back to the Hunter Under Saddle final round. Huey and I received two blue ribbons from two out of three judges, placing 4th in the World for Hunter Under Saddle.
We placed Top 10 in the World in four more events.
Throughout that journey of competing, retooling, and coming back, horse have taught me alot:
– about love
– about loss
– about hard work
– about determination
– about perseverance
– about kindness
– about strength
– about independence
– about gratitude
– about selflessness.
Horses are all of these things and more, whether you compete professionally or enjoy these majestic animals on a sunny day.
Today, Huey lives 10 minutes from my home in New Hampshire spending his days enjoying pats from nieces & nephews, therapeutic brushes from my husband, and endless peppermints from my Mom. When I’m not working as a Senior Client Solutions Partner at C3 Metrics, you can usually find me find me feeding Huey apples, or walking with him in the countryside.