It feels like it was only yesterday. I was maybe 2 or 3 years old when an amazing man named Mr. Gamble started boarding his two Clydesdales at our small farm in Kansas. The horses’ names were Bonnie and Frank, Mr. Gamble would hitch the horses and we would ride around the neighborhood pickin up all the kids and going for a hayride. My sister and I had many friends thanks to Mr. Gamble, Bonnie, and Frank!
Mr. Gamble was such a sweet man, and it wasn’t long after that he gifted us my first pony, Chocolate!
If you’ve followed us for any length of time, I’m sure you know by now that Chocolate wasn’t the only pony I’d be around in my life. Growing up in a farming family — especially with my grandparents — we constantly rode and groomed horses. Those horses became family. I developed an incredible amount of love and respect for them, and in many ways, just being around them was incredibly therapeutic. Whenever I was having a bad day, I could spend a few hours in the stalls and feel so much better. That’s the beauty of farm life, riding and showing horses.
Naturally, casual riding for me turned into barrel racing and other events. But as I got older and entered the corporate world, I was pulled away from my roots for many years. It wasn’t until I was in my late 30s before I picked it up again.
I never thought I’d be showing at this high of a level. But here I am. I can be sitting in the warmup arena, feeling uncontrollably nervous, and then flip a switch by the time I get out there in the show ring. When I’m done, all I can think about is finding a way to get my butt back out there. It’s an incredible rush and a feeling I’ll never forget.
What about you? What type of shows and events did you do growing up on the farm? Please don’t hesitate to reach out and share your personal journey. Let’s keep the conversation going!
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If you enjoyed this article, check out How Cooling a Barndominium Led to The Original Windmill Ceiling Fan Company and Equestrian Spotlight: The World Equestrian Center.