After leaving middle Tennessee ten years ago, I have recently moved back to the area this August. For the past 6 years, I worked as the director of an equestrian studies program for a small, private college 1 hour south of Knoxville. I started the program, taught the majority of the equestrian studies courses, managed the equestrian center, taught riding lessons, and had horses in training. Prior to working for the college, I managed a breeding farm in Greeneville, TN, and managed a boarding stable in Knoxville, TN. I was quite active in the Crossroads Dressage and Combined Training Society in Knoxville for several years.
Currently, I am working at Kyalami Farm in Franklin, TN. I have my PRE stallion, Brando MHF, boarded at Tami Crawford’s Travelers Rest Dressage. Brando MHF and I are currently competing at 3rd Level, and we achieved our USDF Bronze Medal together in December 2012. Under Tami’s guidance, I hope to compete Brando MHF in the Prix St. Georges. I also own a KWPN mare who is the mother to my next dressage horse, Brietta. I am most excited about Brietta as she is the daughter of Brando MHF!
I live in Donelson and work in Grants Administration for Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority. I owned quarter horses as a child and participated in the local saddle club shows in barrell racing with my Welsh pony. As an adult, I started taking lessons several years ago and that’s when I found my half-arabian mare Vicki Vale. We have shown in the Music CIty Arabian Shows in Murfreesboro with good success and other local schooling shows. A couple of years ago, I started hearing more about dressage from some of my colleagues and I found the training methods appealling to my analytical nature. I began taking dressage lessons in 2011 and am participating in my first schooling shows this year. We are having a blast. I love the test-driven aspect of dressage shows. There is always subjectivity in judging, but I find I like an atmosphere where my horse is judged based on what they are performing in the ring as an individual as opposed to the breed show format. And the dressage training itself has helped my mare so much. Vicki has had two bouts of EPM (the last one this June). The training methods for correct riding and movement in dressage have helped her regain strength and improve so much. And my own riding ability has grown in leaps and bounds.
As my interest in dressage grew, I was introduced to CTDA. I began coming to CTDA shows as a spectator in 2010. I volunteered at the Ole South show one year as a non-member just to be able to experience some of the show elements up close. I became a member last year and have volunteered again at rated and schooling shows this season. I periodically check the CTDA website for updates and news from the group.
As an Arabian owner and exhibitor, I have historically been active with the Middle Tennessee Arabian Horse Association. In 2012, I committed a large amount of time volunteering at their fun shows, meetings and other events. That year, I also prepared the prize list for the 2012 Music City Arabiah Show in November and performed many other volunteer duties to help make the show successful. I still plan on being active in some MTAHA activities. But I would like to focus on expanding my activities and involvement with CTDA. I would be happy to be of service to the group by serving on the board. I am new to dressage, but I am very enthusiastic and eager to learn and grow and help the group in any way I can.
I consider myself very fortunate to be at a place in my life that allows me to engage in my passion for dressage with my beloved Westphalian, Marlo 48. I would enjoy bringing my enthusiasm for the dressage journey to the board, having scribed for some of our shows and having been a member for many years. As a mother of four grown children and a registered nurse with a master’s degree from Vanderbilt, I additionally hope to bring skills learned as board chair of numerous community boards and organizations to the table for CTDA. My relevant volunteer experience includes raising money, cultivating donors, growing membership, and communications.
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