I have always loved horses. Probably before I knew what horses were. When they say it’s in your blood, what they mean is it will find you and encompass every bit that makes you, you. I literally galloped before I walked. I was that awkward kid that ran around the house on all fours squealing and whinnying. To this day, at 33 years old, I still find myself using all fours to gallop my way up a set of steps. Now that will put a smile on anyone’s face.
I got my first horse when I was 14. Stupidest green broke, proud cut, Tennessee walking horse gelding a young rider could have. But boy was he easy on the eyes. I learned a lot from that horse alright…how to fix the gates he broke, how to keep a grip on a long line while being dug through the field, and most importantly how to “dismount” so gracefully without breaking anything. (Knock on wood). I eventually sold him, as well as a couple others that came after him. And now I have Shawnee, my drill horse.
I first learned of drill team through my farrier who also worked with other drill horses. He got me into contact with the drill captain and I was stuck ever since. Drill isn’t just about the routine you see on a show day. Behind all that, it’s the family atmosphere of an amazing group of girls who become family. Learning and practicing the routines is so much fun. The glitz and glam on show day in combination with a successful ride or performance makes me feel on top of the world.
My favorite performance was at the Ohio State fairgrounds for the Quarter Horse Congress. It was my biggest performance so far with the team. The area dirt was so soft and fluffy and the crowd was amazing. My favorite parade was the Indianapolis 500 parade. I loved going through the unique city streets and feeling the energy of the crowds. A close second would be the Dollywood Homecoming parade. It was a much more relaxed parade and a very interactive crowd. The river and mountains made a beautiful backdrop.