December 20, 2023

Amateur Hour

On Sunday, we held our first "Amateur Hour" in quite a while, where a few of us get together on a Sunday afternoon for a jump "lesson" with Mary and socializing afterward. This time, we had some new additions to the cast of characters.

Barbara, Mary, Leah and Tricia

We have a new haul-in, Barbara, who keeps her horses at home 15 minutes from the barn, close to the state park with all the riding trails. We met through Facebook Marketplace of all places, and she's quickly becoming a treasured part of the group. She's an endurance rider, which is a sport I've always wanted to try, and we're already making plans for her to shepherd Connor and I through my first Intro or LD next summer.

Also new to the group, but not to me and Mary, is Mary and I's college friend Tricia who recently moved back to Indiana and specifically told her husband she wanted to live within commuting distance of my barn. Her horse is still across the country at her previous residence for the foreseeable future, but should be coming to board with us sometime next year.

Tricia on Connor

I volun-told Mary that she was riding Leah's horse Missy, and volunteered myself to be ground crew, since we'd be leaving the exercise up and I'd have a lot of time to ride it later. Joining me on the ground was our beloved septuagenarian and Masterson Method practitioner/feeder/Connor's occasional rider Deb, who is recovering from knee surgery. So we had a packed house!

Me watching Mary perfectly and painstakingly walk out a related distance
One of the reasons I always joked I'd be a lifelong boarder is that I love being surrounded by people - at the barn, and even at home, where I still chose to have friends as housemates well into my thirties and well past when I needed the income. I don't want to buy this facility and lose the "barn family" vibe I've always loved. So it was everything I could've asked for to have the barn full of laughter, fun, friends and horses once again.

Connor being his usual perfect self even though neither one of them had jumped since last summer, and neither one of them had jumped together before

After everyone had a productive ride and ended on a good note, we tucked the horses into stalls with hay and hung out in the office for a couple of hours, chatting, eating Christmas cookies and drinking (optionally spiked) hot apple cider.

It was the perfect afternoon, and we all already can't wait to do it again.


  1. I miss boarding for this very reason. What a wonderful place you're creating<3

  2. This sounds so fun! I wish your barn was here in CT, I want to come play too!

  3. I would love to board at a place like this.

  4. What a lovely barn community you have built. ❤️

  5. I wish I was at a barn like this! But this post made me realize, you created this community out of a co-op barn. Maybe I should try to do the same at my barn. I'm there by myself, but that doesn't mean I can't invite people to trailer in. Thank you for posting this wonderful story and providing some inspiration!