For as long as I can remember, writing has just been plain fun for me. As a little kid, I wrote poetry and short stories; in high school and college I started writing articles for various horse websites. I still love the light, exciting feeling that comes with opening a new blank word document and filling it with ideas.
Like many things, writing is an iterative process. Where I start is rarely similar to where I end up because there are lots of steps and revisions in the writing process. Training horses is also an iterative process. We adjust and adapt as we go, trying some things that work and other things that most certainly don’t work (anyone who’s had an opinionated mare knows that sometimes you have to backtrack, negotiate, and get creative in reaching your end goal!). Inching forward, step by step, is what gets me up in the morning to ride horses every day.
Spending some time in the jumper ring this summer on one of my eventers. Erin Gilmore photography.
I should mention that I’ve spent time in the show jumping world, but I’m primarily an event rider. I started riding in Nairobi, Kenya as a kid, and my family is actually from Australia, so I have seen the horse world from a variety of places. At the moment I am developing a small group of horses with the goal of being successful at the top level in eventing. I occasionally dip my toes back into the jumping world; whether it’s spending a season working as a rider at WEF, selling horses to the hunter, equitation, or jumper ring, or attending jumper shows in the MD/VA/PA area to keep me and my horses sharp. What I love is that different disciplines often collide, and we can learn valuable lessons from each other if we are willing to watch, learn, and compete across disciplines.
Jumper Nation has seen a lot of growth over the past six months under the leadership of Lynn Mueller. As she can likely attest, running a news and opinion website is a challenge, particularly in a global pandemic. Growth requires change; and just like writing an article or training a horse, iteration is the slow and steady process of trying new things, revising, and improving as we go. After writing for this site for the past several months, I am now glad to be taking on the role of Editor.
My goals for the site are to strengthen our community by connecting us more. I’d like to generate discussions about what matters to riders, trainers, and parents, and how to make our sport better. The bulk of our readership is amateurs, not professionals—just like the bulk of people who are competing in our sport. The sport should work for you, not just for the top riders. The site will continue to provide competition news, but I hope that it can also be a friendly forum for debate. I’m working on expanding our base of writers to include a diverse range of perspectives, and I’m also excited to roll out some new initiatives in the coming months.
It’s a privilege to be taking on this new role, and not one I take lightly. I look forward to this new challenge.