How exactly does one introduce one’s self? When asked by The Chronicle of the Horse to write an introduction to my blogging adventure for them, my first effort sounded a lot like a cross between a professional and a dating website bio.
“Anna Corley is an amateur rider from Austin, Texas, who specializes in making a fool of herself in the show ring, stuffing adorable gray and black faces with cookies, and collecting tack like only a borderline hoarder would be capable of. She enjoys long walks on the beach, sunshine, and drinking wine with great food.”
Clearly this wasn’t going well.
So of course I defaulted back to my normal “wit” (I swear, there are people that think I’m witty), sass (who me sassy? Good thing I’m not a mare), and reliance on cute pictures of the gray to cover up my obvious lack of abilities.
Ddominicc and I showing in 2014. Photo by Flying Horse Photography
Pay no attention to the rider behind the screen, the pony is really all that matters.
If I could come up with one simple phrase for myself; I am a working rider. In almost every way you could interpret that sentence (except pro, God no, not a pro), I qualify. I work at a full-time, demanding day job, I work at the execution of successful riding, and I work very hard for the care of my horses. I love every moment that my work pays off to success in my career, success in the show ring, and success for myself personally.
Welcome to my COTH blog, and feel free to peruse previous entries of my little blog at theworkingrider.blogspot.com
I am honored and humbled that COTH has asked me to be a part of their institution—I can only hope I live up to expectations.
The newest addition to the Chronicle’s blogging roster, Anna Corley wrote a first-person account of her time as a do-it-yourself amateur showing at the 2014 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Fla., for the Chronicle’s Jan. 19 Winter Circuit Preview Issue. Here’s an excerpt from that article…
“Me? In WEF? I barely scrape by at mere mortal ‘A’ shows, much less the pressure and expense of a trip to Wellington. [My trainer’s] argument was that I have the horse, I have the trailer, and why not, what is there to lose? Personally, I was thinking just a few dollar bills along with my riding dignity.
“But thanks to amazing support from my husband, a trainer who believes in my riding (bless him), and a horse that has exceeded all expectations, I made my maiden voyage to WEF in January of 2014. And even lived to tell about it.
“When planning a trip like this, there were several details that needed to be ironed out, the first of which was, ‘How does a person do Florida on a budget?’ Even just a few weeks at the average cost was unobtainable for me. Being the good researcher that I am, I Googled such phrases as ‘saving money in Wellington’ and ‘how to eat for less than $5 a day while your horse wears custom $600 shoes.’
“Even the Internet scoffed at me. But I was fortunate enough to have met a friend online who invited me to stay with her in her condo, alleviating many expenses. I planned to eat breakfast at home, pack my lunch, and cook dinner on most nights. Ramen and toast were my new staples; I just considered it a second coming of my college experience. With my room and board taken care of, the rest of my show budget was based on keeping costs down wherever possible. I planned to bring my own hay and grain, do much of my own work, and avoid any of the fancy add-ons that weren’t absolutely necessary.
“Extreme budgeting, planning, and conniving out of the way, I packed myself, my trailer, the horse (DC), and my dear husband for an 18-hour jaunt across 1,300 miles from Texas to Wellington.”
Be sure to follow Anna’s winter circuit experiences this year on www.chronofhorse.com!