I live in Ellicott City Maryland, between Baltimore and DC, with my husband and my two daguhters. (In September, they will both be in college! Yikes!) We have an African Grey parrot and a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog. The former is very loud and the latter very goofy! I work for the federal government.
I started riding at age 10 at a riding school in Northern Virginia that also happened to have an active polo club. When I was about 13, I got a job grooming for a polo player--I cleaned four sets of tack (including draw reins and standing martingales!)and a pair of boots every day and worked 3 games a week for the grand sum of $5/week! This was fine with me, however, as you could buy record albums for $3.99 on sale at Korvette's... but I digress.... The next year, I was finally allowed to ride the polo horses as well as groom them. There were all manner of horses at the polo barn, hot ones and slow ones, pure breds, mixed breed, Argentines, horses with unknown and mysterious brands from Out West, but my favorites were always the OTTBs: there's nothing like a lazy thoroughbred! I can think of a number of them--Snorkel and Pistol were the first!--that I simply loved over the years.
I worked for my polo player until I was 22... when my non-riding future husband moved into the area. Afer we were married and moved to Maryland, I continued riding, going back to my hunt-seat equitation roots. Then came the babies and I quit riding for 20 years! I started back in early '06, taking lessons balanced-seat riding. I am again the the throes of horse-craziness and feel like I was 12 again. I am currently in a shared-lease program where I have access to a number of nice horses, including OTTBs. I am trying to get up the nerve to start competing in the local dressage and jumper competitions, but up to now, I've just been working at the shows my barn sponsors.
Michael Matz was always a hero to me from his show-jumping days, and the plane wreck, and the Olympics... so when we were at a Derby party in '06, and my husband drew the name "Barbaro" from the hat, I told him, "That's Michael Matz's horse--you're bringing home the money tonight!" And so it was! The day after the Preakness, I had to travel for work, so I went to the web looking for information. I found TWR and that was that.
Since then I've done many things i never would have done otherwise: donated money to New Bolton Center, the Humane Society of Missouri, and Days End Farm Horse Rescue, to name a few; I've called, emailed, and written Congress about the Horse Slaughter Issue, and I baked horse treats for all the lease program horses at my current barn on 1 Jan to celebrate the TB B-Day. I've been to the site in one way or another almost every day. I religiously read a number of local horse rescue web pages, thinking one day, the OTTB I just can't let pass is going to appear...!
None really... I get too shy to read my own doofy posts, so I don't go back often to complete conversations... I enjoyed emailing Sharon about the Barbaro Birthday Celebration, though! Some who were at the auction fundraiser on 28 April might remember me--my husband bought me the Barbara Livingston photo of Barbaro, sort of at the last minute and without me knowing he planned to do it--it was a very sweet gesture, and the photo is now beautifully framed and hanging in our powder room where most folks who come visit will see it! HA!