Okay, enough of the cute pony photos and sappy birthday posts. . . I know why I was really invited to Sidelines. I’ve had a rather unpleasant week, so I needed a little fun. I decided this time to post one of each of the guys that have been requested from my readers via the facebook page or in comments on earlier blog posts. . . although I draw the line at Gyllenhaal. Seriously ladies, his nose takes up half his face. Anyway , I hope you all enjoy these. I am officially taking requests
This may be my most favorite blog post ever — I finally got my 2-year-old niece, Ella, on a real pony (for those of you who are new to the blog, I have been hatching this evil plan encouraging Ella to love ponies since roughly a few months after she was born). It was quite possibly my happiest day as an aunt. She loved it! The pony in question is Fuzzy, who belongs to a friend of mine. Some of you may remember him from this post , in which Tucker fell madly in love with Fuzzy. Fuzzy was so wonderful all afternoon for his pony ride. He apparently loves little girls just as much as they love him. He was a perfect gentleman. (I may also be in love with him. It’s easy to do.) We arrived at the barn mid-afternoon, my niece bearing a bag full of apples and carrots and VERY excited about the prospect of ponies. Once we actually met Fuzzy, we were a little bit less brave, which I expected. So I gave Ella some time to get better acquainted with the pony, and she helped me lead him around the ring. Fuzzy, saint that he is, stopped on a dime every time she wanted to come up and get a better look at him, and soon she had pet him all over and was voicing her strong desire to ride. After holding her up a few times so she could see the saddle and where her feet would go, and where she’d hold the reins, she was ready to climb on. It was all smiles from here on out. That’s grandma (my mom) in the background. She has been down this road before… she knows a pony-crazed kid when she sees one. Note that her heels are already down. Never had a lesson. I believe she’s a natural. This is my favorite photo of the day. The blissed-out-I-love-ponies face. And this would be my second-favorite. Or maybe this one… Or this one…. Is there anything cuter than a tiny child grooming a tiny pony?
Today is Tucker’s 10th birthday. It’s hard to believe we’ve known each other for ten years! My, how the time flies. On this day ten years ago… I was a week away from graduating college. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. So I planned my escape, to the farm in Connecticut where I worked every summer, to take a year off and figure myself out. And then a few weeks later I met him… he was goofy, and awkward, and afraid of everything, and — to be honest — a bit of a jerk. The first time we met, he bit me in the stomach. I didn’t like him, though I’m ashamed to admit that now. And I really didn’t want to make time in my day to take care of an obnoxious yearling, when there was a barn full of beautiful show horses to be doted on
Thursday, May 03 2012 by Editor
Tucker fans, I have an exciting announcement! Sidelines has generously agreed to let me give away a year’s subscription to the magazine to one of my blog readers. How cool is that?! The May 2012 Issue Entering the contest is easy — all you have to do is like Tucker the Wunderkind on facebook between now and May 15th. If you’re already following Tucker on facebook, good news — you’re already eligible to win! (And, you’re already enjoying all the hilarious stuff I find for your newsfeeds. My apologies in advance if I ever make you spit coffee onto your monitors.) And just in case you need another incentive to like Tucker the Wunderkind on facebook, Equestrian Ryan Reynolds and Equestrian Johnny Depp are there. On May 15th, I will pick one lucky reader at random and announce it on Tucker’s facebook wall. Why May 15th, you ask? Well… that’s the day that the new issue of Sidelines, featuring a one-page article about yours truly and the gorgeous Wunderkind, will be hitting the stands. (It’s okay if I giggle like a schoolgirl whenever I think about that, right?) What are you waiting for? Pull that smartphone out of the pocket of your breeches, wait until your boss isn’t looking and log on, find an empty computer at school, borrow an ipad from the guy next to you on the train (hey, maybe he’s cute)… you get the idea. Good luck!
Those of you who have been following along for a while know that even though I am a devoted hunter princess, downright obsessed with all things hunter and worshipping at the hooves of the likes of Bases Loaded, Brunello, and Jersey Boy. . . I do occasionally venture into the world of DQ’s , and at one point Tucker and I rubbed elbows with a whole host of dressage enthusiasts (at our last barn, which we still miss very much). Tucker and I even attempted a dressage test once , and thankfully our judges were kind and forgiving, albeit honest. Lynn Jendrowski and Shapiro This past weekend we had another opportunity to dip our toes in the water of the dressage world, and took a clinic from Lynn Jendrowski . I have no long-term goals of turning Tucker into a dressage horse, don’t worry (though maybe someday, if we couldn’t jump anymore for some reason, who knows). But I recognize the need for good flat work — you can’t have a nice hunter round without being able to smoothly extend and collect, balance your canter, and move the horse laterally off your leg when needed. Plus, if your horse doesn’t have a solid foundation on the flat, he will fall on his face when you try to float the reins at him for the hack (ask me how I know this).
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. Me and the Wunderkind 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. Told you he was awkward 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. The perfect couple? 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!