My very first post as a Sidelines Blogger! I should start by telling you a little bit about me, and of course Tucker, for whom this blog is named.
I am an attorney by trade, though of course if I had to describe myself in a word, it would be “horseperson.” I am, like many of you, a person who tries to arrange the rest of her life so it suits her horse’s needs, but this doesn’t really feel like a sacrifice. I commute an hour to work so that I can live closer to the barn, which makes perfect sense to me. I have two sets of clothes: suits, and breeches. I don’t go on vacation; I horse show. I drive a truck to Court. The contents of my backseat could likely outfit a small stable and could easily accommodate an impromptu ride on a friend’s horse, maybe even a last-minute show. My family rolls their eyes at me when I say I’m going to be late for something, because they already know that I was “at the barn.” Stop me when this sounds familiar.
I am proud to consider myself a “working ammie.” You know us, you may even be one of us. We are the ones who pull into the barn to ride at night just as everyone else is putting away their tack, and usually change out of a suit and into breeches in the tack room (or the backseat of a car, or a stall…). We retreat to our cars to join conference calls at horse shows, hoping the rest of the conference can’t hear the loudspeakers. We have our smart phones out at the in-gate responding to email while we wait for the hack. And showing up at work on Monday morning completely exhausted and sore from a weekend of horse showing is totally, and completely, 100% worth it when we think back and smile about that really great round, or the pretty ribbons hanging on our horse’s stall door today.
And now on to the more interesting part. About Tucker, the love of my life. Tucker is a 17hh Dutch Warmblood, whom I’ve owned since he was a yearling. I bought him in 2002, just before law school with the money I was supposed to be saving to help me through the first year. He was not the prettiest baby I’ve ever seen, and he was afraid of all that moves and doesn’t move. But he was very sweet and a very quick learner, and despite my better judgment, I was head over heels in love with him. In hindsight, buying him was the best decision I’ve ever made. I kept him at a breeding/baby farm about an hour from law school and played with him on the weekends, and he single-handedly maintained my sanity.
I broke him myself in the summer of 2005, and then once I graduated law school and could afford a trainer, we started horse showing. We had a rocky few years at the beginning, where my giant, awkward baby tried to learn how to be a hunter, and I tried to be brave and make horse showing fun for him. We’ve still got things to iron out (we probably always will, which is what I love about this sport), but for the most part, Tucker knows his job now and takes really good care of me. He has a big personality (which you’ll learn as we go), and he’s a lot of fun to be around. His disposition makes him the perfect amateur horse — generally level-headed, never holds a grudge, aims to please, and really knows how to take a joke. No matter what else is going on in my life, whenever I think about this horse, my inner pony-crazed child knows I am a very, very lucky girl.
I started blogging about Tucker back in June 2009, so if you’re already hungry for more, you can visit the archives, and for even more fun, you can follow Tucker on facebook. I promise to do my best to entertain you — I’ll tell you about my rides, lessons, horse shows, experiences with Tucker, and try to pass on any hunter/jumper news that interests me. I’ve also recently learned that people occasionally find me quite funny (more on that later), so I’ll do my best to dish out as much humor as possible too.
So that’s our story. I’m really looking forward to sharing more of it with you, and I’m honored to be joining the Sidelines group. I can’t wait to tell you about my next ride!