The Polka Dot Periodical started a fun blog hop writing your riding resume and since I’m not feeling particularly creative these days, I’m totally stealing her content. No shame at all, either! So here’s my riding resume:
- 1997: Began Riding at Huntington Stables
My best friend received riding lessons for Christmas, and I tagged along. I took weekly lessons on school horse types, from a large facility in Amish country
- 1998: First Horse Show
I started riding a stock type mare in my weekly lessons, and in the summer of 1998, Huntington Stables hosted a small schooling show. I competed in the Walk-Trot Beginner division (which consisted of Equitation, Pleasure, Stake Bend, Barrels and Keyhole) and won champion of the division — don’t worry, it was all downhill from here!
- 1999: Local Schooling Shows
The following year, I continued weekly lessons at Huntington Stables on an appendix-type gelding and took him to a few small, local schooling shows. I also had my scariest fall this year, where my horse reared and flipped over on top of me.
- 2000: Start Competing in 4-H
After catching the horse show bug, I began riding a cute little Welsh Pony and competing in local 4-H shows. I stuck to English events, including crossrails.
- 2001: Learned About Loss
After I outgrew the cutest little pony in the whole world, I rode an ancient Quarter Horse gelding who introduced me to Western (speed events, to be exact). I had grand plans of winning, and he taught me that I still had a long way to go. Unfortunately after just one year, Chuck passed and taught me one more life lesson: how to say goodbye.
- 2002-2004: Charlie the One-Eyed Wonder Pony
After losing Chuck, I switched to taking lessons on a very opinionated rescued gelding. Throughout our three years together we embraced all-around events, showing regularly at 4-H events in jumping, western and saddle seat. He took me to my very first State Fair, where we won 4th place in Saddle-Type Showmanship.
- 2005-2007: Visa, The Heart Horse
In the winter of 2005, my parents got me my very first horse, Visa (a Quarter Horse gelding). We moved to a new barn, and trained for all-around events. We earned several year-end championship awards, countless ribbons and trophies, and I experienced my first ‘away’ shows with Visa. He took me to several State Fairs, and introduced me to hunters. After my eligibility for 4-H ran out, I leased Visa out to my trainer while I was at college.
- 2006-2008: Experience in IHSA
For a few years after I went to college, I competed on my university’s IHSA team. I had fun, met a lot of great people, but ultimately it just wasn’t for me… and I was interested in other pursuits at the time.
- 2010: Year of Change
In 2010, Visa got hurt and had to be moved to a new facility to rehab. His future was extremely uncertain, and I learned a lot of tough life lessons throughout the process of his diagnosis and rehab.
- 2011: The Comeback Kid
Despite the odds, Visa rehabbed and we were able to have a year or so more, including resuming lessons and taking me back to the show ring for the first time in more than five years. He helped solidify my love of riding, hunters and horse shows as an adult.
- Early 2012: The Hardest Goodbye
In April 2012, Visa passed unexpectedly and I was left horseless for the first time in almost 10 years. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through, and I learned a lot about regret and taking things for granted.
- Late 2012 – Early 2013: New Beginnings
Luckily, due to the amazingness of barn friends, I hooked up with a local trainer and started riding one of her personal horses, Vinnie. We showed that entire year in the 2′ Limit Hunter division, and ended up being Reserve Champion for the year. A crowning achievement, after all I’d been through. I continued to take weekly lessons, and show Vinnie for about a year and half.
- September 2013: Miles
I made the biggest move of my young adult life and bought a new horse: Miles. We showed once in 2013, and while not Earth-shattering, I was over the moon happy.
- 2014-2015: Moving Up
Miles helped me accomplish a long-term goal of moving up to the 2’6″ division. We battled some lameness issues later in the year, and had some tough times learning together, but all in all, I became a much, much better rider.
- 2016-Now: #AdultAmmyStrong
I’m 110% committed to showing hunters and being the best adult amateur I can be. I work full-time, run a household, am a wife, a sister, a daughter and a best friend. I own 1.5 horses (well, own 1, half-lease another) and I’m a better rider than I’ve ever been and I’m improving all the time.