Cover photo courtesy of Giana Terranova Photography

Hi, friends - and welcome to 2022. I am so grateful for new friends & followers, and figured this was a good time to introduce myself to anyone who doesn't know me yet. And there's no better way for me to introduce myself than to illustrate the roots of my crazy-horse-girl-ness.

When I was a kid riding at my first hunter/jumper barn, I started out working for them at shows. Sloughing water buckets around, fruitlessly sweeping ever-dirty barn aisles, balancing 6 cups of food truck coffee at a time for trainers and customers. While my friends were at slumber parties or at the movies or the mall, I was learning to wrap legs, to clip ears, to clean bridles until the leather and metal shone. Occasionally stopping for 5 minutes to inhale a Whopper and fries while sitting on a bag of shavings in the barn aisle. And there was nowhere I would have rather been.

One day while standing in the warmup ring - sweating profusely in the Arizona sun under a backpack full of brushes, hoof polish, and rags - the head trainer looked at me from horseback. Quizzically, she mused, "You really love this, don't you?" I was still so shy, sheepish, and endlessly intimidated by the caliber of riders around me. With dirt caked to the dried sweat on my face, still nursing a blistering sunburn that would develop into a stubborn farmers tan, I just smiled - because I DID love it. I had never loved anything so much. And I will never forget that moment, however small it may feel.

To this day, if you see me around horses, you'll see a giant smile plastered to my face.

It doesn't matter what horses they are. It doesn't matter where. I can be burnt out from working nonstop back-to-back horse shows; if I pass a pasture on the way home, I will squeal "PONIES" even if I'm the only one in the car. If you give me the opening in ANY conversation, whether you are a horse person or not, you are about to see 500 photos of my horse.

The smile is big, and it is cheesy. But it is the most real smile I have.

Photo courtesy of Giana Terranova Photography

Photo courtesy of Maureen Friedly, Fox Trot Photography

Classic throwback cell phone shot circa 2009... the first equine love of my life, Lenardo H

Lenardo H, "Nardo" - circa 2009 (the days of the American Eagle polo shirts)

If you are a fellow cheesy-smile-horse-lover, I would love to talk with you. And I would love even more to capture your own cheesy-horse-lover smile with the horse that makes you all giddy.