When I look back over my life…it has been horses leading me on some of my most amazing journeys…..physically and emotionally. Horse have taught me some of life’s most important lessons.
When I was young, horses consumed my thoughts. I had a great work ethic as a kid and embraced every opportunity that came my way to be with horses, learn about horses, compete horses, etc.
I came from a family of modest means. I had some wonderful success…winning local circuit year end championships, winning division championships at rated shows and winning state 4-H championships I was awarded won a $1000 scholarship, as a national 4-H horse project winner in 1982, won numerous scholarships as a high school kid and in college in various horse judging contests and even won a registered quarter horse colt at age 17 in the three day Eastern National Horsemanship Contest.
However, even with the success I achieved, I always felt like I would have liked to do have more…ridden the big equitation finals, shown at indoors or competed in the top jumper competitions. I felt like I was unable to do these things, because I had limited financial resources.
Because I could not afford to own and compete my own horses when I was young, I had to create opportunities for myself. As a result, I usually found myself working with the horses others did not want to work with (i.e. young horses & “horses with problems”) I had to learn how to problem solve. In addition, I rode many more horses, than I would have, if I had owned my own. I “catch rode” for some amazing owners (Ann McGee, Dupont Family, Anna Agnew, Hutzler Family, Stewart Family, Ulbright, Debbie VonParis and the list goes on) and trainers like industry legend, Sylvia Cynthia Warner and Sylvia Hector, who re-schooled internationally athletic horses including Touch of Class – Olympic Gold 1984, who was in training during my time with her.I usually worked for free as a “working student” to create these opportunities. As a result of having to “work” to “ride” ….I learned about every aspect of managing, selecting, training and caring for horses.
When my daughter was born, I knew that having one hand would not limit her in any way. I knew that the only thing that would limit her or anyone in that matter is their own belief in themselves. I learned this important lesson from all of my work with horses. It is so rewarding now to see her embrace life with such passion, maturity and happiness.
Now, as an adult looking back, I would not have changed one thing about my life and experiences with horses over the years. I did not realize it at the time, but it isn’t the “big prize at the end”, but it is really all of the people that you meet, experiences you have, the work ethic and value system that becomes ingrained, the skills and life lessons that you learn and knowledge that you acquire ….that is the real gift. This is what has enabled me to have Carousel Farm.
Being able to have the farm and horses in my life, that I can now share with my daughter and “our farm family” is the most incredible gift that I could have ever been given. There is nothing that could be more more satisfying than watching my daughter grow into an amazing person, while embracing the journey that horses are now taking her on. She too has a work ethic and maturity, that is beyond her years. It is a gift and privilege to now work with and assist her in her efforts “to inspire and educate others” through her “Taiji Horsemanship” and our efforts at Carousel Farm, LLC.