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Blogs

Various voices check in about their Olympic experiences.

5:45 a.m. on Thursday, July 27. "JINGLE, JINGLE," my phone shouted at me, prompting me to open my eyes far too early. Feeling horrified that I was being denied my final 15 minutes of sleep, I rolled over and blearily stared at my phone. WHO DARE text me at such an ungodly hour (and WHY had I forgotten to put the damn thing...
“Stick to the plan!” If you’ve ever stood at the in-gate you’ve heard this phrase repeated time and again. The plan is what we live by in the show ring. It’s what we live by in the barn. You’ve got to have a plan, right? This year really hasn’t gone to plan. I snapped my knee in half and had ACL surgery this...
If I were to ask you what the word community means to you, I’m sure I’ll conjure up a vast list of responses that will no doubt include religion, family and neighborhood. Your community is probably what gives you purpose each day, a sense of belonging in life and solace during times of adversity. I’ve had the privilege...
Danny, my top horse, had emergency colic surgery at the end of October. To make a long story as short as possible, I learned that, because he'd had a brief hospital stay in August of 2016 for a non-surgical colic, I was ineligible for the colic surgery coverage I'd thought I'd had through my equine insurance; I'd thought...
It's been a little over a week since Simon and I returned from Kentucky, and I am still feeling ecstatic to have been able to compete in the ASPCA Maclay Finals at the CP National Horse Show. I consider Oregon to be one of the most beautiful states I’ve seen. After traveling to Kentucky, with its beautiful lush fields...
It’s been an interesting month or so for me. In my line of work as a first responder, you see the good, bad and the ugly. Most people never expect bad luck to happen. Or if you're like me, you just expect bad luck to happen on a regular basis. We’ve all learned in our house to just roll with it when “Murphy” comes for a...
We’ve officially reached the few, somewhat cherished, months of the year in which there’s a little bit of a lull in the American horse show calendar. For the horses that I have the privilege of riding and working with, that means a bit of extra time at home in Illinois without being ridden every day. For me, it means...
As you read on, you will clearly see how special I think this horse is. Seeing as all my horses are part of the business my Dad and I set up, it is tough knowing that everything is always for sale—it’s especially hard with the special ones (of course, they are all special in their own way). Kaiden, however, takes the...
A million years ago when I was young and adorable I attended USDF’s Young Rider Graduate Program, a two-day conference on how to be an adult in the horse business. It was a very informative weekend, with speakers on a huge range of subjects from professional liability to marketing to sponsorship, and one of the speakers was...
If you were watching the live stream of the National Horse Show 3'3" National Equitation Championship from the CP National Horse Show (Ky.) on Oct. 29, you might have seen me ride. My round definitely didn’t go as planned, but it didn’t matter. My name is Maggie Mae Fraley, I am 17 and I’m from White Haven, Pa. I...
I started riding at 11. I took lessons on horses that were only vaguely sound, with ill-fitting tack, who received a bute a day to keep them teaching two lessons a day, six days a week. I rode in arenas where motor oil was used to keep the footing from being dusty, and at barns where horses were kept in standing stalls all day...
Simon left last Monday, Oct. 16, for Kentucky, and while I am sad that I have not seen him for almost two weeks, I am glad he has some extra time to settle in after the long trip. My mom and I fly out on Oct. 30 and I can’t wait to see Simon! In the meantime, he is being well taken care of and enjoying the Kentucky...

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