They call the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day “the best weekend all year”, but I think it might have been the best weekend yet. The sun was out, the stands were full, the hooves were thundering, the shutter was clicking away. It was a magical weekend for too many reasons to count… My cup is overflowing. Coming up on three years with Protequus and all our hard work is finally coming to fruition. Big things – bigger than I could ever imagine – are happening and I cannot wait to share them with you in the coming weeks.
Ladybug is my heart horse. She is my once-in-a-lifetime horse. She has her forever home. After having to retire her at a young age due to injuries, I have always dreamed of the day I would get to breed her and raise her baby. Last year, I knew it was time to start making that dream a reality. After extensive trips to and from the vet, we had a little miracle baby confirmed. Eleven long and impatient months later, we were graced with a healthy and beautiful filly just before midnight on March 15th (exactly 11 months from her conception).
Meet Waffle (AQHA Leggo My Egglow, Tiny Glow x HP Dash Ta Fiesta), the perfect copy and paste of her mother. She is brave and playful and loves to show off her racing bloodlines. She thinks dogs are meant to play with since they are roughly her size. She has the sassiness to pin her ears and kick at her mother if she tries to walk away from her while trying to get a snack. She is tall and perfectly patterned. She is a decade of hard work and relentless dreaming. She is evidence that miracles do happen if you believe in them. She is everything I hoped for and more.
I am so excited to see where life will take us and who we will both be in a few years.
2018 has been a whirlwind.
In January, I rang in the New Year in Nashville, TN and moved out of my old house. In February, I spent the latter half of the month at one of my favorite shows in Scottsdale, AZ while fighting a nasty stomach ulcer. In March, I spent the entire month in Wellington, FL, a quick birthday weekend home with my family, and met the spindly-legged love of my life, Waffle. This month, I will celebrate the life of a new nephew on his way, see a great friend off to Afghanistan, spend 10 days in Spain and Morocco, throw my baby sister a bachelorette weekend away, and head to Lexington, KY to commend 4.5 years of hard work by supporting the launch NIGHTWATCH.
This season of my life, I am continually grateful for my family and my friends. Having been painfully wronged by a person I thought would protect me and being haunted by that weight daily, I have come to truly appreciate the wholesome and kind and selfless people in my life – the ones who keep their promises and fight for me when I need it most. These are the people who deserve my heart, since they treasure that responsibility. I am thankful for their steadfast love.
It is those people that make me excited to keep on down the road.
Have you ever seen such an adorable pair? Catherine and Casino are fellow Austinites who I am so grateful to have befriended while in Wellington. These two are a new duo and it was so fun watching them get to know each other while competing at a significant level at WEF. Catherine and her family are the sweetest and most fun group. They are the kind of people that you meet, instantly click with, and wonder how you have not known each other for all our lives. During the Saturday Night Lights, her mother and I talked about everything from farting in yoga class and hissing alligators, to the struggles and triumphs of relationships and staying true in your continual pursuit of Jesus.
Life has a funny way of bringing people into your world at some of the very best times.
It is no secret that PRE’s have a special place in my heart. So when the opportunity to photograph, let alone meet, Legend presented itself, I was chomping at the bit. This handsome gentleman was kind and friendly and respectful. In fact, I had to have my ears helper work extra hard to keep his eyes, because he kept wanting to look directly at the camera. An extraordinary horse, with a wonderful group of people who love him, in one of the most stunning barns in all of Wellington made for quite the photoshoot. One that I will not soon forget.
Two years ago, I attended the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show for the first time. Since then, I have always been transfixed by the bay Western Pleasure stallion, Monaco Jullyen V. He is the kind of horse that demands attention in the show ring and leaves an impression on you.
Fast forward to Scottsdale 2018 and I find myself holding onto Monaco’s playful tongue as he is being prepped for a photoshoot. It was a quick shoot because he gave me his ears, he stood still, and he was respectful yet playful. The images came out stunning. I was not surprised.
What I loved most about capturing Monaco, was the team of people who helped me keep his attention during the shoot. They were all transfixed on him, just as I was the first time I saw him. They each stood back and just beamed with adoration for the animal as they watched him “show off” in front of the camera. The saying that “it takes a village” rings especially true. Each of them plays a vital role in supporting Monaco and his show career. They are a family of people intertwined with each other by the love for this horse.
The power of horses to connect people continually astounds me.
Each year, the sport horse world relocates to Wellington, Florida for three wonderful weeks in the sunshine. A couple weeks ago, we enjoyed a busy few days of filming and photographing, but it was much too short.
The more I travel and become immersed in this wonderful horse world, the more it tends to amaze me. Horse people welcome their fellow equestrians with open arms. I’m looking forward to spending more time in Wellington in just a few weeks.