Since this is the first time I’ve ever tried my hand at blogging, I decided I need to introduce myself properly! My name is Danielle and I am a communications major and equine business minor at the University of Louisville. I have been riding horses for about ten years now and if you were to ask me where I’d be if I didn’t start riding, I wouldn’t have an answer for you. I started out my equestrian career riding at a farm in the east side of Louisville that show and breed predominately Arabians and Arabian Sport Horses. I did mostly dressage in my early days — I still think to this day that dressage is a key factor in learning your fundamentals of riding: walk, trot, canter, and everything in between. I started riding on a horse named Valentine and she’s still at that farm to this day. She’s in her early thirties, which is fairly normal for Arabian horses and whenever I think of where I got my start I never forget the little Arabian mare who showed me how to do the basics.
When the recession really started to hit home, I was a freshman in high school and gas prices were getting crazy. So, my parents suggested finding a barn closer to home to ride at and I was lucky to find one. With the switch came a new discipline: hunter/jumper. Show jumping had always been my goal (and still very much is) ever since I discovered videos on YouTube of George Morris, Beezie Madden (saw that ride in person and let me just say it was AMAZING), and other amazing riders at Aachen, The Olympics, and Spruce Meadows (Olivier is one of my favorite riders and this is his record win making him the youngest rider to win this particular Grand Prix). So when the trainer there started teaching me to jump I was very excited.
With jumping, however, it comes with a risk as does any equestrian discipline, but when you add in leaping over tall objects, well, that risk goes up significantly. I had one serious accident which kept me out of commission for two months, but you can’t keep a girl out of the saddle for too long, so I went back to the barn with a new trainer who really changed my life when it comes to horses and opportunity. I started riding really, really wonderful horses, I got to show almost regularly, and I got to learn about the equine industry that I love so dearly.
I’ve still been riding on a regular basis, now with a new trainer (I’m honestly the biggest “barn hopper” around.) She’s fantastic and has become not just a trainer, but also a best horsey friend a girl could ask for. My goal is to work in the industry in some way through writing, PR, marketing, or riding if that is my destiny! This blog is going to document a lot of school related material (I’ll always try to be horse related in some way) and I will also try and document some of my own riding and experiences in some way, if possible! I hope you enjoy reading — horse person or not — and I hope you learn why I love horses and the horse industry both Kentucky and abroad.