This particular guest blogger post is near and dear to my heart, because it comes from a gal that I met when ECE was just starting out. Angela has been with me since the beginning and has been so supportive of my journey with D that I really can’t thank her enough. I’m excited to share her story because it’s a true representation of how the passion we all share for horses is something that resides deep within our souls no matter how much time goes by. The love is always there, the instant sense of comfort and ease we feel walking into a barn forever normal, and the calm from spending time with a horse always sacred. A lot of the time the sacrifices and hard work people endure to keep these creatures in their lives goes unknown and/or unnoticed, but to everyone out there who has a story like Angela’s, I have the upmost respect and adoration for you.
Pretty sure my obsession started out the same as every other little girls. Girl sees horse, girl falls in love.
My mom and dad got divorced when I was 4. My mom ran off and left my dad to take care of me. He struggled being a single father so I would spend my weeks with my grandparents (his parents) and then the weekends with my dad. When I was 7 he took me on my first trail ride. I was obsessed with horses before then but this really kicked it into high gear. Every weekend after that, we were riding. Just casual, fun riding. Bonding with my dad. After a few months I started taking formal lessons once a week. I did a few local shows but I wasn’t exactly “passionate” about showing. I just loved being on the back of a horse.
Fast forward 4 years later, my dad passed away. My grandparents got full custody of me and unfortunately they didn’t understand the whole horse obsession thing I had going on. I begged and begged to continue lessons but it was a big fat no. Not by choice, I had to get over it. I can remember before school putting photos of horses all over my bedroom floor and bed so when my grandma went in to make my bed (yes, she made my bed growing up) she would see all these pictures on the ground. Any opportunity I had to groom a horse, tack a horse or even just breathe in the smell of a horse, I would take. Finally, when I turned 18 I started back up with lessons. I mucked stalls in exchange for extra lessons and spent any extra time I had watching other lessons, going to clinics etc. I dabbled into a few more shows and started to make it a regular thing.
Fast forward again to 2013, when I got pregnant and the boyfriend, dog and I moved to wonderful (total sarcasm) Illinois. My daughter, Sophia was born in 2014 and we bought our house in the middle of nowhere Compton, Illinois
The Beautiful Bali
With the land and space to build – we did. In May of 2017 my beautiful 3 stall horse barn was completed and I welcomed 2 amazing horses into my life. The first was a Canter Illinois listing “Bootylicious” (which I changed to Balius. Bali for short) registered name “Mr Queens Magic”. He was raced as a QH and had a pretty rough life. The wonderful woman I got him from restored him back to life and we still talk almost every day. Our first ride together actually ended in me breaking my nose and required stitches above my eye!
The second is Purplegreenandgold or as we call him, Kirby. Or as my 3 year old calls him, Kirby worm. He is a OTTB and a complete war horse. With almost 70 starts and pretty severe equine lordosis, he has never had a lame day. He’s been started over cross rails and if Sophia decides to show, she will start with him. To see the twinkle in my now 3 year olds eye when she sees Bali and Kirby makes my heart so happy. It’s definitely a challenge raising a child, taking care of a home, a dog that could pretty much be a pony (we have a Rottweiler), a barn and 2 big animals that poop more in a day than I do in a year. Not to mention, attempting to keep the spark alive of a 10 year relationship.
Sophia and Kirby – I can’t handle the cuteness.
Kirby in his previous life
Angela is the saddle fitting queen. Compare this photo to the one on the right!
Writing my story out and seeing it in front of me is definitely a weird feeling. I’m not exactly sure how I found Taylor’s page but it only had about 200 maybe 300 followers at that time. We had just wrapped up our barn and I was just getting back into horse ownership when I found her, and I’m so thankful I did. When she suggested I become a guest blogger on her blog I’m not going to lie, I thought she was crazy. Her and I talk almost daily, sometimes multiple times a day.
I hope that people can get a few things from my story. That no matter how bad or rough your day, or week has been, there’s always better days to come. That anything is possible when you’re passionate. Sometimes internet friends are way better than real life friends, and horse obsessions never, ever disappear.
Kirby & Donny are seriously long lost brothers.
Interested in being a guest blogger? We’d love to hear your story! Shoot us a DM on Instagram @theecequestrian or use the contact page on the blog.