|Cloud Cover-Hollins 1980|
I lived for my summers.It was at camp where I finally got riding lessons, first at day camp, and then overnight camp. My parents indulged me as best they could by sending me to a horseback riding camp in Vermont, Catherine Capers. Here I got to care for a horse, take lessons, and go out on overnight horseback trips. I'll never forget my mother's comment when purchasing my first pair of breeches on the camp "required clothing" list. "Why couldn't you enjoy a cheaper sport?" Mom and Dad gave me a lifetime of memories by sending me to that camp. I stayed on as a trip counselor throughout my high school and college years.
When it came time for college, we struck a compromise. I wanted to go somewhere that offered a degree encompassing horses, be it Equine Studies, Stable Management, whatever. But since they were footing the bill, they said I needed a liberal arts education, and I could pay for my riding. Hollins University offered me both; a higher education, and a wonderful equestrian facility. With the ability to ride year round, I finally broke out of the intermediate rider rut, and rode in my first horse shows on the intercollegiate circuit.
Although I've never become the professional horsewoman I dreamed of, I'm now having the time of my life with Harley, my first horse at age 50. We're teaching each other--he's learning about trail riding, and I'm re-learning the art of horsemanship. My partner John, a retired trainer, has done wonders for both of us and we'd be lost without his patience and knowledge.