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Bellinger, 1992-2020

I had just turned 18. I’d shown a bad Prix St. Georges on a borrowed horse the summer before I started college, and I’d gone to school horseless, because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to really dedicate myself to horses or just ride for fun. Two weeks into my first semester of college I […]

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Lots To Learn

We’re halfway through our Florida season, and while I certainly don’t have NOTHING to show for it, I also feel like this season is creeeeeeeping by. I’m sure part of that feeling is that we came two weeks earlier than we normally do and are staying two weeks later, so there’s a whole ‘nother month […]

Those Who’ve Done

I just lived through one of those disaster weeks. It started with the USDF FEI Trainers’ Conference. I’d been selected to ride on Elvis, and I thought it would be a good exposure moment for him as I work to add members to his syndicate. But I’d also entered a CDI for later in the […]

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Head Space

When Danny first got sick, it was one in a series of disasters for me. I had a string of personal and professional challenges, all in a row, and unrelenting. I normally err on the side of optimism, to a sometimes annoying degree, but it got harder and harder to do so. I’m not an amazing […]

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2020 Goal Setting

Greetings from Florida, where my team is safely ensconced. We had a boring drive down—my favorite kind—and the horses arrived safely. We’re all settled in, we’re riding, we’re working, we’re juggling the holidays and the persistent rain days, and we’re absolutely ready to go… but don’t really have anywhere to go. This is my longest […]

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Both Hands Back On The Wheel

And that was that. Seven weeks went by, and my hand healed. The pins came out on Tuesday afternoon, I rode Elvis—the one of my animals I trust not to be strong or feral or both—Wednesday morning. Farm holiday party Thursday morning, followed by packing-palooza Thursday afternoon. “Christmas” dinner with my partner and his kids […]

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A PSA: Get An HSA

Whenever I go through a crisis, I always ask myself, “What can I learn from this experience? What can I do better?” I’ve learned a few things from my recent broken hand experience: that horses are silly, that hands are fragile, that appropriate pain medication is wonderful, and that good people are even better. But […]

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Grateful For Grit

In my center desk drawer in my office at the farm, I keep a rejection letter from The Dressage Foundation. It was from the first time that I’d applied for the Carol Lavell Prize, and it went to two other people that year. I keep it because of the handwritten note from Carol herself on […]

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Give A Hand For The USDF Finals

While my broken hand changed my plans regarding the U.S. Dressage Finals, it did not cancel them, because I had two students qualified in the amateur and open Grand Prix divisions. And when you have students at that level, you go, broken or not! In addition to being exceptionally good riders on wonderful horses, Abe Pugh and Jenn […]

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I Had This Plan

I had this plan. My friend and coach Ali Brock was scheduled to come to Aleco and Sandra Bravo-Greenberg’s gorgeous Rutledge Farm, just a short hike away in Middleburg, Virginia, for a clinic as part of their Rutledge Farm Sessions clinic series. The clinic was not only a chance for me to get some lessons […]