Dressage Born from a Montana Rodeo Family
From the stock of a Montana rodeo and ranch family, I was born with a love for horses. During my childhood, I read horse books like Billy and Blaze or daydreamed about the wonderful horse I would own someday. When I was nine, I saw Disney’s Miracle of the White Stallions. I remember running home to tell my mom that I would go to Vienna one day and see the White Stallions perform at the Spanish Riding School. Years later I sent a postcard to her from Vienna.
I fondly remember the summers spent with my mother and sister following my grandfather on the rodeo circuit. He was a “pickup man” who was also in charge of the livestock for Gene Autry’s rodeo. One memorable summer I rode Gene Autry’s horse, Champion and fell asleep listening to the Sons of the Pioneers singing at the rodeo night shows. Even though I grew up in a rodeo family, I enjoyed watching the jumping and flat classes at the local horse shows and the white stallions’ movie from childhood lingered with me. I knew jumping and dressage were my disciplines.
After finishing an equine program at a community college in Wyoming, I worked on Montana cattle ranches for a couple of years. I moved cows and hauled sweet cake in the winter. Following my ranching days I purchased a three-year old bay Appendix Quarter Horse gelding named Windsor. Together we learned the fundamentals of Hunter Jumper, Eventing and Dressage. Today Windsor is still with me at 30 years old and I am thankful everyday for what he has taught me.