About Me


I grew up an animal lover, though I didn't become involved with horses right away. My first experience with training and showing animals was doing dog agility with my parents' Shetland Sheepdogs throughout my childhood. They taught me the value of patience and good communication as well as how to have fun, even if things aren't going your way.

I started my equestrian pursuits by volunteering with Windrush Farm, a local therapeutic riding facility. Loving every minute that I worked with horses, and to my parents' dismay I started clearing brush in the yard and saving up my babysitting money to buy a miniature horse. Not that I was small enough to ride a mini, but I simply just wanted to have a horse somehow. My parents' yard was not big enough for a full sized horse, nor could I afford one, so a mini seemed like a good way to go. Especially one that could drive! Zipper has been with me now since 2002.

A terrible photo of me very early in my riding career.
I finally started riding when I was 13 years old - not as early as most people in the sport, or at least that's what it seems like. I was only able to begin taking lessons once I could afford to pay for them myself. Not that my parents weren't supportive, they were and are extremely supportive, they just aren't the type of parents to pay for everything their kid wants. For this I am extremely grateful - I learned the value of hard work at an early age. The barn where I began taking riding lessons was a very basic hunt-seat type barn with no specific discipline. I learned some good basics there and really enjoyed it. Every summer my parents would take me see the Groton House Farm Horse Trials when the Advanced division was running. I remember seeing the likes of David O'Connor and Phillip Dutton gallop past me and knowing that I wanted to event someday.

Zipper and I at UVM
I went to college at the University of Vermont where I declared an animal science major, simply because I couldn't imagine what else I would major in. Though I really had no idea what I wanted to actually do for a career, I really enjoyed the animal science curriculum with it's mix of biology, animal husbandry, and veterinary science. Halfway into my freshman year, I even had the opportunity to bring Zipper to school with me and board her at the UVM Co-Op barn.  I also rode on the school's Drill Team. I met some great friends there and being a member of that barn was a very valuable part of my college career.

During the summer of 2008 I did an internship with Kentucky Equine Research (KER) where I got involved in studying equine nutrition and was able to participate in data collection for a few product development studies. KER is the only the company that develops horse feeds and supplements around scientific research. I really enjoyed my summer in the beautiful "bluegrass state" and got to visit some legendary horsey places like Churchill Downs, Keeneland Racetrack, The Kentucky Horse Park, and Lanes End Farm. I was also able to catch ride some of the thoroughbred research horses that were off-study and help develop their training as sport horses. In addition to KER's research that I was participating in, I was also able to develop my own research project focusing on miniature horse nutrition which was later published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science.

After graduating from UVM I landed a job at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) assisting various biology-related labs with their research. However, despite having a job in the city I was never able to bring myself to move closer to my job and thus away from a more rural area. Shortly after starting my job at MIT I also began to foster horses from the MSPCA at Nevin's Farm, which is how I eventually came to have Maggie.

Early in 2013 I met Dan through a few friends - we completely clicked and two short months later we were engaged. Six months after that we were married. I honestly couldn't be happier.

Love.




5 comments:

  1. How did I miss that you were a fellow bio-geek??? Well, you probably told me, but since all my brain cells ran away & I have to look at my license to remember my name....

    But SWEET!!! I so want to learn more about equine nutrition, just read a fascinating teaser article about the marketing scam (IMHO & article suggested as such) of pre/probiotics for horses, in terms of what is currently on the market/selling. HEY, do they give free prizes for linking to their stuff like I did recently, hahahaha!

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    1. Bio-geeks unite!!! Equine nutrition is kind of my guilty pleasure...can't get enough! What article did you read? I'm interested (and probably on the same page!) Seriously, TC should give you a year supply of grain for the posts you just wrote about them!

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    2. Dude! I totally think so! ;P They have given me coupons every year when I work up at Waredaca, which they are a huge sponsor for (well both our 3DE's). Oh goodness, I can't remember the article, I think it was in the most recent practical horseman. The vet they interviewed was hedging his bets, but still made some great points about the HUGE mistakes we make extrapolating from humans to equines (just like we do from all other animals we research to humans). Of course, at some point, a mammal is a mammal is a mammal (unless it's a marsupial or monotreme, hee), but too many people just make the leap. I like that he specifically talked about how we just assume the lactobacillus or whatever it is (my biology rule is if I need a microscope, I don't want to study it) is good, but horses actually have/use very little of it compared to us. Lemme see if I can find a link...

      Oh dear lordy, please please please be a person who gets rid of those horrible captcha thingies. My eye Rx is 8 & I have astigmatism, I can't read them!!!! :P

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  2. Do I have captcha turned on?? I don't meant to (I hate those things too!)

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  3. I started at 13 as well and though I am a dressage rider now, I want to event and have dreams of reaching upper levels. I also want to be a vet for horses so I will study animal science or something else pre-vet. I am also a teenage working student. I know someone with a driving mini and I enjoy driving them!
    http://paolashorseblog.blogspot.com

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