I'm friendly, giving, encouraging, empathetic, a good listener, sensible, outgoing, curious, creative, caring, enthusiastic, loyal, silly...
My number one passion (read obsession) in life is horses. I love absolutely everything about them. I'm the little girl who never forgot how to love the beauty, majesty, power of the horse. I love riding them. I love training them. I love grooming them. Heck I even hand walk my horse on the neighborhood streets like a dog! I think horses are the best therapy in existence. If I'm stressed or upset there is nothing better than to hug my horse and spend some time brushing him. It's one of the most relaxing things I've found. I can't say enough about how much I love these beautiful creatures. I can't imagine my life without horses. In fact the only time I've ever been without them was under the age of five and from April 2007 until October 2009 (yes I remember exact dates) and it was miserable. Horses make me whole and without them there was always something missing in my life.
Me riding Chrome, my Friesian Sporthorse.
I started riding when I was five. I grew up riding western (started out bareback before we even had a saddle), but started taking dressage lessons as a teenager. I love both styles (western and english). Nothing beats a nice long, relaxing trail ride, but I also love the togetherness of dressage. Learning to work together and understand each other. I also love clicker training (more about clicker training below) as a way to bond and learn together. It's been quite an experiment learning to clicker train a horse, since I've always trained dogs. I'm obsessed with the breed of horse called the Friesian. They are the most amazing horses ever. If you've ever seen Ladyhawke, Alexander, Black Knight, 300, Zorro, Eragon, Disney's Tall Tales, Emma, etc. then you've seen them. I've seen all of those movies except 300 by the way.
A more recent picture of me and Chrome.
Me and Chrome when he was younger.
My third ride on Chrome.
Another passion of mine is photography. I love taking pictures and have in fact been taking pictures since I was around eight years old. I still have rolls of film that I haven't even gotten developed yet! I got my first digital camera in 2000 and haven't stopped taking pictures since. In fact over 300GB on my computer is all photos!!! More than anything I want to learn how to use an DSLR camera and someday I will.
Here are some photos I've taken.
Now I just need a new camera!! Chrome laid down in the pond while I was riding him and the camera got dunked underwater so I've been without one for a long time now and I just can't get into using cell phones for picture taking...
Another huge passion of mine (yeah I know I have a lot) is art. I've been drawing my whole life. I got serious about it in 2014 when I met my mom's friend from high school who is an artist. She started teaching me SO much! The three drawings (first in graphite, other two in charcoal) were after I met her. The funny thing is she never gave me drawing lessons in person! I was drawing, taking a picture with my cell phone, texting it to her and she would text back pointers. It worked because I improved rapidly. 2014 was the first time I tried something other than graphite. Now I'm drawing and painting in markers, graphite, charcoal, soft pastels, oil and watercolor. It's so much fun! You can see examples of my art in all the different mediums here (LINK).
Writing is another favorite hobby. I've been writing stories since I was little, sometime before 1995. There is one set of characters that I've been writing short stories and novels about since 2002! I've never shared my stories with anyone other than my sister and I doubt I'll ever get one published. I started participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo - www.nanowrimo.org) in 2009. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I won in 2009, 2010 and 2011. I didn't participate in 2012 and then I won again in 2013, quit halfway through 2014 because I just wasn't feeling it and didn't participate in 2015. I'm hoping to do it again in 2016. Another outlet for my writing (and one that I share) is blogging!! I love blogging! I've sporadically written in journals since 1996 (and yes I still have them all!), but I didn't care for handwriting them. In 2008 (when I got Jackal) I discovered dog blogs and have never gone back. It's a fun way to combine writing, journals, photos and my pets all in one! What's not to love?? I'm also an avid reader. Before I got my e-reader I would carry a book with me everywhere. I'll even read my book when I get stopped by trains in my car!! I can sit in a room full of people carrying on conversations, with music or the television blaring and read my book. I can get interrupted a million times while reading and still go back to it like I never stopped mid sentence. Last year I even did a reading challenge with my mom and read over 50 books in 2015. To see all posts about the challenge click here (LINK). I'm also in the middle of a challenge for 2016 as well, click here (LINK) to see the posts about it.
Me and Chrome.
Something else I enjoy doing is playing the piano. When I was a kid (I can't remember how old, but probably early teens) I was bored one day and grabbed my mom's mini electronic keyboard and started self teaching myself how to play out of one of her piano lesson books. I learned from books for a while before I finally took lessons. I took lessons for over a year, but when my teacher moved away I didn't care for the new one so I stopped going. I can still read music and know where all the keys are, but I'm so out of practice I don't know if I could play a song or not. Someday when I have time I would like to pick it up again and learn how to play better. I have always wanted to be able to play on a grand piano.
This was when I just started learning archery so my form isn't great.
Other things I enjoy are making scrapbooks (and recently digital scrapbooks!), crocheting, computer games, Xbox, making things (like my horse's halter and my dog's jacket), web design and I LOVE outdoor activities like gardening, walking, biking, hiking, swimming, fishing, riding four-wheelers, kayaking, archery, going out on boats, cook outs, going to the gun range (for target practice; I have my own .22 and .40 and I LOVE shooting hand guns), SCA events (go here to learn more about the Society for Creative Anachronism http://www.sca.org/), camping, etc.
Fishing with my boy!
The coat I made for Jackal.
Sitting on the famous keyhole jump at Rolex in 2015!
I think I already mentioned I'm obsessed with Freisians. The pictures below are me with my best friend's Friesian mare Z.