Monday, April 25, 2005

Pre-Rolex: A Little About Me

Greetings, all of you bloggees! I'm going to be writing about my experiences at Rolex--my first one ever. I'll give you some background now, so that you'll know who's writing to you.

I was born a midwest farmer's daughter, and I was horse-crazy almost from day 1. I finally realized my horsie dream when we bought a smallish quarter horse who was trained to be a cutting horse. I learned to ride first by holding on tightly as my father led me around the barnyard, and later by jumping on bareback in the pasture (and, uh, cutting babies from the herd of brood cattle). I didn't really have formal training, except for reading everything I could get my hands on, and attending a couple 4-H meetings. There was one thing, however, that I wanted to do from the beginning: Jump.

Everyone in the vicinity rode western (or, like me, bareback), so there really wasn't anyone to help me learn. Still, I jumped every chance I got--over logs, over streams ("cricks" if you're from Ohio), and even over gravestones.

While in grad school, I spent almost 7 years as a jump judge for the spring and fall Indiana Horse Trials. I really, really wanted to do that, but I simply didn't have the horse, the money, the training, or the facilities.

Skip ahead many years--past (too) many degrees, marraiges, and kids (ok, not too many kids), and by the time I was 40, I finally got my wish: I bought a wonderful TB mare who taught me to jump. I'm learning to do dressage, too, but since I live in West Texas, the closest eventing/combined training opportunities are at least 7 hours away. Still, with my partner in crime Donna, I've been trying to get to as many as humanly possibly, given that I'm on sabbatical this spring.

And since I knew I would be on sabbatical, last year I contacted the Rolex folks and asked if I couldn't volunteer for the 2005 Rolex. After several emails and snail mails, I was in! I'll be a jump judge this weekend. I can hardly wait!

So now you know a bit about me. I'll post about my first horse trials in a bit--but stay tuned! I leave tomorrow morning at 8:54. Rolex, here I come!

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