Brief Bio

Cloud Cover-Hollins 1980
I've wanted a horse as long as I can remember. While my brothers played "army", fighting imaginary battles in the back yard and woods, I was building courses with tipped over lawn furniture, upended tricycles, overturned wagons, sticks, whatever I could lay my hands on. My stable consisted of multiple sticks, all multicolored to denote different horses, such as my piebald sycamore. As I galloped around, jumping off stone walls, and over obstacles, my mother would call out, "Time to move your jumps. You're wearing a path in the lawn!" My little sister got roped into "riding with me" so I could have some competition, and I even tried to get the dog, a beagle cross, to be my foxhunting hound.

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.