newsgroup, I had no idea how involved it is to post an article for the
first time! I almost gave up after the third time I was informed that I
could not post because I had not chosen a (insert somewhat
incomprehensible computer term ). However, I've always considered myself
to be among the computer inept...
Now for the interesting (to me) stuff...
My name is Heidi Hoffmann, and I live in Castro Valley, in the S.F. Bay
Area. I am a grad student (read, slave labor) in molecular biology at UC
Berkeley, which means that if not for my incredibly understanding and
tolerant hubby, Allen (who has a reasonably well-paying 'real' job), my
horsey activities would be confined to staring out the car window at any
turned-out equines and sighing a lot.
I am another of those horse-crazed young girls who never outgrew the
phase. I started with one western lesson in the 6th grade, and never
looked back. It was 2 years later when I actually started regular
lessons (western, again) - my mother paid for one a week, and I cleaned
stalls for another on Saturdays. I was fearless, and learned to jump
first in a western saddle, then bareback (up to 3' on a 15 hand 1/2 arab
school horse named Marco - and probably looked pretty ridiculous, being
5'10" by the end of 8th grade, and eventually 6'). I was amazed when I
was asked to lead trail rides instead of clean stalls for lessons - were
they kidding? That wasn't work, riding was riding!
When I went off to college, I took two semesters of "real" (hunt seat)
jumping at Rich Hill in Christiansburg, VA. We rode a different horse
every lesson, and drew names for the schooling shows, so I learned the
art of catch riding while working on 'correct' form over fences - which I
am still working on (and on, and on...).
Grad school took up most of my time for the first two years, but once I
passed prelims and got married, the old obsession returned - in full
force! One lesson a week lasted maybe three weeks, and then I plunged
into half sponsorship and training with an eventing trainer (on another
1/2 arab, 15.2 hands this time - why do I do this to myself?). She was
sold, and I transferred my sponsorship to a 4.5 year oldTB gelding off
the track (16.2 hands this time-yeah!) - very hot and very green, but a
sweet personality and a FLASHY bright chestnut with a blaze and three
white socks. Last month, after training him for a year in dressage and
over fences and doing very well (62% dressage and blue ribbon jumping
2'9") in our first Novice combined test, I made a verbal agreement with
the owner to buy half of Woody (all I could afford)-I was so e***d!
However, another girl in our barn saw a commission in it and found a
buyer for all of him , who made an offer I couldn't hope to match. The
owner took the offer and Woody left last week - I will miss him!
So now I am taking lessons from my dressage trainer on her school horse
and riding anything anyone offers. I miss having a horse to work with
consistently and am trying to convince my already overburdened husband
that I really NEED a horse of my own (since I am rather disillusioned
with sponsoring, needless to say). I feed 30 horses (and do other
'morning' things) 3 days a week at the boarding stable where I ride, in
exchange for a reduction in board, but now I have nothing to board. I
hope to find a really reasonably priced young TB for eventing, but I'll
have to wait and see.
Sorry this got so long , but that seems to be a general problem with
horse people, we just want to tell EVERYTHING! I hope you all enjoy
reading this as much as I've enjoyed reading yours, and maybe I'll post
more often now that I seem to be set up. Oh, and Ralph Saavedra, your
turn to stop lurking and post!
Heidi ( and Allen and cats Sophie, Biko, and Chloe - I also lurk on