Welcome to Season 2 of Whinny Tales! After a brief Covid break, Bruce and Julianne are back with more training tips, conversations with fellow horse lovers and more. In this first episode of the season, they preview Bruce's upcoming EQUITANA USA virtual demonstration, Using Trailer Loading to Work on Mental Foundation. Other guests on the episode include Diana De Rosa, equestrian photojournalist and long-time friend, as well as Meghan Margewicz, Event Director for EQUITANA USA. You'll learn more about the event, and hear how to access the virtual content.
For more information about the Fenwick products mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.fenwickequestrian.com/discount/WINNIE. Use the code WINNIE for 10% off of your purchase!
To learn more about Bruce Anderson and Natural Humanship, and for more about Julianne, visit www.naturesview.us. A documentary about their work and films in the Natural Humanship Training Series, are available on The EQUUS Channel at https://filmfestivalflix.com/festival/equus/film/the-edge/. Julianne is the organizer of the Camden Tour Stop for the fest, so visit www.equusfilmfestivalcamden.com for a complete listing of activities and updates on a possible rescheduling of the spring event for the fall of 2020. For more information about the festival or for links to the films and literature mentioned in the podcast, visit equusfilmfestival.net. To see the EQUUS films, visit https://horsenetwork.com/equus/
#naturesviewus #Jamediaproductions #equine #equinetraining
Welcome to Whinny Tales. I'm your host, Julianne Neal, and we're here with Bruce Anderson and friends with all of our favorite horse stories, pony legends and unicorn yarns. Tune in each week to hear from Bruce with a Nature's View training tip, as well as conversations with some of our favorite horse lovers.
Remember the joy's in the ride!
Welcome to season two of Whinny Tales. I'm your host, Julianne Neal, and I'm here with Bruce Anderson. I'm so excited that we've made it through our first season and, and I know you feel the same way, right, Bruce?
I love that. Yep.
I've been thinking on that. Yeah, surreal is the word. Yeah,
We took a break for a little while there. A COVID break. I guess a lot of people did. But we've got so much stuff going on, so much content to put out there. And I guess this is an appropriate time to get the ball rolling again. So how do you feel about our our little bit of time off, you're rested and recuperated and ready to go again?
Um, it was it was interesting, I had a project horse that I was working with. And it was interesting. The summer was quite hot and humid. So yeah, it was quite challenging. But nonetheless, I'm quite fortunate and blessed to have this little spot. But there's a lot to do on the outside. And then the farm that I work out of...
Pear Tree Farm,
...Pear Tree Farm. The way it works is that people send their horses and they look after the horse. And I just come in, and I go to Red Bank farm, which is around the corner. And I go there because they have the "famous round pen," which is where it all started from. It just works out really great, then we're again out in the country. So it's just me, the horse and the round pen.
The exciting thing that we do have coming up in the near future is an EQUITANA USA demonstration. So that's coming up next week.
It has been kind of interesting and challenging to do that not live, but on video and try to get that message across.
I'm excited that we have the opportunity. When they decided to go virtual with the whole event, I really wasn't sure if we'd be able to do anything with it or not. But there's a great team of people working on all that, Meghan Margewicz and Nicole Forbes and that whole team. And of course Diana De Rosa. And Lisa Diersen has a series of films that she's showing, in fact, I think they're showing your film The Edge next week. So it's all kind of a concerted effort to to showcase the work. So I think that will be an exciting thing.
And it was sort of interesting, because it also focused on that horse that I have in from Florida. His name is Congo.
If you're interested and you're part of our listening audience, you can tune in to EQUITANA USA. But our actual demonstration, our virtual demonstration is on Tuesday, September 22 at 1pm. And the link to the Facebook, I believe they're doing it on a Facebook Live. The link to our demo will be available there. So yeah, but with that, I guess we will transfer on over into the rest of our show. Upcoming we're going to speak with Diana De Rosa, who actually set up the whole virtual schedule for us and for a couple of other people from the "Equus herd." Again, our films will be showing through the Equus Film and Arts Fest channel that is dedicated to the EQUITANA USA program. And we'll also be speaking with Meghan Margewicz, who is the Event Director of EQUITANA USA and so we are really appreciative that we were able to speak with her. I know she's going to be really busy right now with everything that's going on but what of what a fantastic lineup. So, anything you want to tell everybody before we head out for this one, Bruce? Tune in?
Pretty much tune in stay safe, you know, following hopefully we'll get a little deeper in the work. Cheers.
You're listening to Whinny Tales, the official podcast cast of Nature's View and the Marley Project brought to you by JA Media Productions.
So hello, Diana, how are you?
I am great. It's always great speaking to you, Julianne,
You too. It's, you know, we had you on the podcast last year, it's been a year, Well, not quite a year. But last December, January, right after the Equus Film Festival. And, you know, a lot has changed. We had all these plans of where we would be right now in September. And nothing's going quite as we thought, right.
You know, what's interesting, everything has been canceled, which is so weird. I have one event coming up for the Tryon International Film Festival, that'll probably be in in North Carolina for but my biggest disappointment, and hopefully that will be repaired next year is the Olympic Games were canceled or postponed until next year.
Right. I was kind of thinking by now I'd be asking you questions about how everything went. And that didn't happen. But so you are planning to go?
Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, I think that they're going to have to be very, very stringent. And I also think that there may be people that back out and stuff. So I think that the protocol, the precautions and everything that they put in place are going to really keep me safe. And I just, I wouldn't want to miss this opportunity. It's my ninth Olympic Games. And I, you know, I just want to keep going until I can't anymore.
Yeah, well, a lot of time goes into a lot of planning goes into a trip like that. And sponsorships and you know what, what to take and all that sort of thing and to decide what you're going to do while you're there. So will you be able to carry over some of the things you had planned for this year, will you be able to carry over for next year, a little bit?
You know, I mean, I actually start almost six to eight months ahead of time, getting my pulling my stuff together, because a lot of it is about the equipment. And knowing that I've got everything and making sure my equipment works and finding out if there's anything I need to buy and trying to pack as tight as I can. So I like to sort of pack as I go. And I have one of these jewelry things that I put all the little things in, so that I can hang it in, look at it, and pack as I go. And then maybe a week before I leave or two weeks before I leave, I unpack everything, so that I can then get down to the nitty gritty and make sure that I'm not bringing too much too little or having forgotten something. Because you're carrying it all everywhere you go carrying it all and I do a lot of roller things. But you know, you can't get away with that with the type of equipment that you need for something like this.
Well, I know at WEG in Tryon you had these Think Tank bags that you had everything so well organized. And and those were amazing. So do you take all of that when you do a trip like an Olympic Olympic Games?
You know, I love Think Tank, I usually take two of their bags with me one has a four wheel roller because I really like that. And then I decide what the second one is going to be because there's only so much that I can bring. But usually it's one heavy duty backpack and one four wheel roller, right. But there's one of their I think it's a navigation bag that I love the most because it's low. And you can actually you know, you could be sitting in a seat and you can unzip it and pull out your camera. But, but it's got wheels. So I usually can take both both of those unless I unless I you know, I check one of them.
Yeah, well, you're always so well organized. I mean, I'm impressed by that. I'm learning, and taking your lead. But so what I know right now, you're probably pretty busy because you have another job another role coming up with EQUITANA. And so as much as we thought all of that I was so excited about Bruce's demonstration and things coming up with it. And still excited, of course, because the virtual part of it will be fun, but how what is your role? Exactly? What's your title? And how has it changed since we're doing it all virtual?
I am the Media Relations Manager. And what I love about working with EQUITANA is as you know, I wear many hats, you know, I can do interviews, I can moderate panels, I can do PR, I can do the photography, I can do the, you know, limited videography. There's just you know, I've worked for Christopher Reeves, I had to organize his events. So I mean, I really have the ability to do so many things. And I find that with EQUITANA USA, I can wear so many of my different hats. And I love that about, you know, working with that team of people. That's great. Well, I mean, it sounds like a phenomenal team and to be able to completely is something of an event of that magnitude, to be able to completely change it and go from all the plans that we're going to happen at the end of September to now a whole month of virtual things.
That's, that's pretty amazing. You got the right people on board for sure.
I gotta tell you that, you know, they really are a great team to work with and what a big undertaking that was and to think about doing one month of virtual was, you know, huge for them to do but Such a brilliant idea. And I've started to watch some of them. And the the turnout has been great. And along with it, you know, it leads to addition it was film festivals, also giving some free films. So it's really a great opportunity for people to kind of see what's going to happen next year, when it actually comes to the Kentucky horse park. But also to get a chance to maybe feel like they know some of these people what as they watch some of them doing the demonstrations or doing talks or presentations or what have you, a lot of cool stuff going to be happening this month. That's really cool.
It really is because like it's a win win. We've been working on Bruce's trailer loading demo and have it have it ready for next week. And so for somebody to have already seen that by the time he's there in person, that's, that's going to be pretty special. And I've already I'm subscribed to the EQUITANA mailing list. And so I've already been getting emails about things coming up. And so yeah, it's really well organized. And yeah, absolutely.
And then, you know, the beauty about this, and I know that I had talked about it with the rest of the team that was that, hey, you've got this month long of things to do. Let's take those virtual things. And you know, do them throughout the year again. And so they they are going to be doing something like that as well. So people will have a chance. And it's, you know, it's wonderful to see the virtual part. But in my mind, that's going to inspire people to want it even more. So go to actually see them in person and even have that opportunity to maybe speak to them or ask a question or what have you.
That's exactly right. And so now we have two things to look forward to for next year, you have your Olympic trip, and then we'll have EQUITANA also, but you're actually one more thing you're working on, like you said your many hats, you're actually teaming up with the Tryon International Film Festival. And so what are you doing with them? That's something coming up in October, right.
I love working with Beau and Kirk. And what they have asked me to do is they are also going virtual, although they are doing some things on site with an unlimited basis, probably more for local people, probably not as many filmmakers coming, but maybe some. And there may be some judges, and I'm gonna be one of them. That's coming on. But what I'm doing now is they have accepted about 75 films. And I am going to be doing the post interviews. In other words, after somebody watches the film, I'm going to be talking to them a little bit about that film that the people just watch so that people can get some insight into why did they decide on this subject or something else unique about it. So I've got at least 75 people that I'm going to be interviewing and possibly more, but you know, me, I love doing that. You know, there's passion for me. And I really do enjoy doing the interviews and stuff. So that's I'm like crazy person because the event is October 9 through the 11th. So there's a lot I got to do.
And it's not far for me. So I'm going to look forward to coming over and visiting with you a little bit while you're there. Yeah, I can't wait. So that's great. Well, thank you for speaking with me. I'm going to be talking with Megan Markowitz, one of the team with EQUITANA USA in just a little bit and so I look forward to learning more about what she's got planned. But I have to thank you because without you and without all the things that you've done for Bruce and I we wouldn't have been able to do the things we're doing now. So between you and Lisa with the film festival, it's been a great ride so far and I look forward to seeing what comes next.
Megan is fantastic. She is the one that really oversees the whole EQUITANA USA thing and I love her so you can have a great talk with her. But thank you I'm looking forward to it.
So have a great day Diana!
Mark your calendars folks for a very special film event. Brook USA will be premiering Hopes Legacy, a movie by Douglas B. Maddox,. starring Dyan Cannon. The movie is the sequel to a Christmas Ranch, which aired on Hallmark. Dates for this event are Thursday, October 15 at 4pm and Friday ,October 16 until 11:59pm. The premiere of Hopes Legacy serves as the kickoff of The Power of One Brooke USA's latest campaign set to raise $1 million over the next 12 months. This virtual event is provided through a designated sub channel on the Equus Film Channel solely for usage by Brooke USA. For more information about Brooke, USA and the work that we do, or to purchase tickets for Films for a Cause, please visit our website www dot Brooke usa.org
Welcome back to the podcast. We have a really special guest today. Meghan Margewicz entered the equestrian world as a child and has developed into one of the most high pressure jobs that I can imagine today. With everything going on with the pandemic. With her background in the equine industry. Megan is now the Event Director for the number one Equestrian Expo in the world. EQUITANA USA! Meghan, welcome to the podcast.
Thank you for having me. I'm really excited to speak with you and everyone out there today.
With everything going on and the things that you must be having to handle and undo and change with all of the virtual world set in, I'm shocked and thrilled actually that you have some time to spend with us so, so thank you, Is it a busy time for you?
Ironically, it's busier than ever. So we thought we were busy. Before all this stuff happened when we were planning the show for this year. And then the pandemic kit. And we've always kind of had in the back of our to do list to do something virtual or digital to try and make these events like a year round thing, as opposed to just a one day event. So it kind of forced us instantly to flip a switch and do that. But we were still planning to have the live event, right until the end of July. So we were planning multiple events, we were planning the real event, if we had to do a hybrid where we did a virtual and real event. And then if we had to do flip a switch completely to virtual, so we really had everyone on the team has had three jobs. Um, but I have to say it's been kind of a blessing in disguise, outside of all the work that we've had to do and all the crazy hours and crazy conversations we've had to have with people, it sets us up and the show and the industry up for success in the future for having this community as opposed to just an event that runs over a couple days. And it gives us the opportunity to work with people and see what people really want in regards to digital space and dealing with EQUITANA throughout the year as opposed to just those couple of days. So all in all, it's been an amazing opportunity and a really good learning experience. And it will set us up for a lot more success and more on the equestrian industry going forward. But yeah, the past couple months have been a little crazy to say the least.
I'm a teacher. And so we've been setting up virtual classrooms and everybody thinks, Oh, that's so easy. And you know, you're not there with students or whatever. And so that'll make life simple. And you never realize all of the logistical things that go into that setup. So you must have an incredible team of people. Before we go into that totally, just to give anybody who's been living under a rock doesn't really know about EQUITANA. Could you talk a little bit about if things had gone as planned? And you had this end of September, three days? Or how would you describe the event for someone who's never been?
Sure. So I work for a company called Reed Exhibitions, which is one of the world's largest event production companies. And they produce events like the PGA Show New York Comic Con, these major major events across the year, we produce over 500 events a year. So it's a major organization. And our German office actually produces EQUITANA in Essen, Germany, and a couple other open air events throughout Europe. And we've been doing this for many, many years in Germany, it began in 1972, the brand and then not long after Reed Exhibitions took it over and they started producing it. So we've talked about launching it in the US. And basically a couple years back, we talked to the team in Germany, and it's such a big brand, basically the world's largest equestrian event. So they held it near and dear to their heart. And we had to kind of come up with the perfect storm for them where we got the Kentucky Horse Park on board and US Equestrian and United States Pony Club and the Eventing Association and Dressage Association, all these different organizations that kind of came together and supported us. So we decided to launch this event. Luckily, we're at the Kentucky Horse Park, so that's exciting. But basically, it is a three day celebration of the horse. So there's kind of three pillars which are shopping, education and entertainment. So there's lots and lots of exhibitors to shop from, just under about 200 was our goal for Year One. And we had reached out which was wonderful prior to us having to flip the switch to virtual. But so it was basically a shopping event. And then every hour throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the three days that we were going to have the event, there was education, which means there were about five or six arenas and multiple theaters and conference rooms. That would be nonstop all day, whether it's panels about the equestrian industry, veterinarian speaking panels. We had organizations like One World that were doing seminars for the younger generation to try and show them how to be philanthropic and how to support stuff outside the world using the equestrian space. We really had almost everything we had Olympic panels, prior to the Olympics being postponed, but even when we still had the panel schedule, and we had Olympians that were ready to come on and even talk about how their training has changed. And it was really exciting. We had a lot to do with more of the diversity and inclusion topics, which we had wanted to involve anyway. But now it's become such a hot topic and it should be and something in the equestrian space that's lacking a bit. It's lacking a bit everywhere, but it seems to be especially in the equestrian space And then we had entertainment. So each evening in the Alltech Arena, which is an indoor facility at the Kentucky Horse Park, it was a separate ticketed event and think more of a Cirque du Soleil for horses. In the event in Germany, they call it the show. And it's this massive undertaking where there's lights and music and basically a show for everyone. Whether you love horses, or you don't know anything about horses, it included horses.
We were really, really excited to bring that to the US. But we'll we'll be able to bring it here next year. But now we have the virtual event, which is exciting.
Right, right. Well, I have to admit, I'm coming at this conversation from two different directions, I guess. One is, is to talk about EQUITANA from your perspective, but also, we're This podcast is for Bruce Anderson's work, and he was one of your folks doing a demonstration. And I mean, we were all sitting there, you know, "edge of our seats" thinking, "Are we going to go? Are we going to go?" and of course, we realized at the point that you made the decision, it was the right decision for sure. But now we're doing one of the virtual demonstrations that will be on your on your channel. So we're so excited about that. But we also have, you know, we're involved with the Equus Film Festival. And so we're excited for Lisa Diersen to be bringing some films in but you know, you had that safety aspect for the participants and the presenters, exhibitors, attendees, everybody. What was the turning point in your decision process? How did you decide "Okay, this is it." Because I know, as an event coordinator, that had to be a difficult choice.
Oh, yeah. So like I said, I work for Reed Exhibitions, and we have tons of events. And they started canceling and postponing right around, I guess, March when all this stuff hit because we do have our events across the world and our events in China, I believe it started before us. But we kind of as of now, we're not lucky. But we lucked out earlier in this whole situation that we were an outdoor event for the most part. So as indoor events began to cancel, and more and more virus started getting longer into the year when we all thought maybe this might be a month or a couple of weeks. But we should be back in business And then just kept going. We still had a lot of hope for EQUITANA to take place because it was outdoor. Because Kentucky had very low cases. And we know people were traveling from all over. But even if it became more of a regional event for this year, we still thought you know, there's so many horse people in that area and people in the equestrian space. We're all pretty tough and still willing to travel and get in our cars. Exactly. We don't need to hop on a plane to go five hours, we will get in our car to drive 15 hours. So we continue to build the show. And we were still excited. And everyone in the industry that we had speaking with were super supportive and still excited too, because we all kind of thought, you know, we need to get back to business we need to get back together, we will make it work, especially when us equestrian started up horse shows again, early June and the Kentucky horse park was reopening on June 11. They were having the Split Rock Jumping Tour event the week after we we were really positive. And we kept our eye pretty frequently on both the Kentucky State Fair and the Kentucky Derby. And those were two massive events with the State Fair being scheduled for late August. And they typically get I believe about 600,000 people. And granted it's a long a week, that's still a massive amount of people. Yeah. And then the Kentucky Derby, which was moved to September 5, and they were still on. So we said you know, these events get people from all over and hundreds of thousands of people. So if they're still moving ahead, and the state of Kentucky is comfortable with that, then let's do it. Let's give even if the show is going to be smaller this year, we can give the people that can go what they want. And then we can do virtual stuff to let people who can't go also participate. So we got all these announcements that the State Fair was on Derby was on. And then uh, right around July 4, or maybe the week before that, cases started to grow. So I'm based in Connecticut, so we were the kind of the hardest hit, right about 45 minutes from New York City. And that was where everything kind of started. And it was New York shut down and Connecticut shut down. And our local towns were in the newspaper because there was a dinner party that spiked cases and the whole county shut down. It was crazy. But everything seemed good and Kentucky until like I said right around July 4, and then cases started. Like we were doing a little better where I am because we'd shut down everything right away. Mm hmm. And the Kentucky cases started rising and people started getting more concerned and we we spoke to the Kentucky Horse Park. I can't even tell you off and and they're amazing to work with. Let me tell you, they're one of our biggest partners and not just a venue but they're part of our organization at this point. And they were kind of giving us the updates and we were watching the governor speak, it is 4pm announcements and things just did not seem like they were getting better. So we told our customers, we'd be making a decision, hopefully by mid July. And then mid July came and we're like, oh, we, we really want to make a decision now. But we it's been, we don't know. It's still everything changes daily. So this was a point around probably July 15. And we said, "You know what, let's give it to the end of the month." Well, I tell everyone, we will definitely announce it by July 31. Because it's not fair for people to book travel book, hotels, ship things start doing all this work only for us to cancel the event. And I was speaking with people internally and senior management. I'm like, I cannot personally feel okay, if I have people do this. And then a day before the show something crazy happens, we have to shut it down that is especially being a new event. And being how we know questions are like we we cannot do this. So July 31 came and we were still doing internal software. Because we are a major, major organization that's global. And our headquarters in the UK, we had to get approvals. And there were teams that we're involved in all these different things. So we're trying to rush to get this announcement out. But we have to get the 55 people that sign off on everything to sign off on it. So of course, nothing this year is going as planned. So we did send the announcement Finally, as soon as we could, which was August 4. Um, and then ironically, where I am, we had a tropical storm hit. So we sent the announcement around, I think one o'clock, and by 130 600,000 people in Connecticut without power internet, we lost everything. So we couldn't even communicate with the people that we had just contacted. It was literally crazy. This year, if it's a year of testing us, we can get through anything after this that is done with 2020.
I know! What a huge responsibility on you. I mean, at the pressure has got to be just crazy. I shouldn't say that. I mean, that's a bad. But no. And so then At what point, were you able to get the power back and get and start communicating with people? Or did you just kind of say, yeah, I'm taking a little break.
Um, so I am married, I have a six year old daughter and three step-kids that range from Well, my daughter's six, they range all the way up to 15. They're all three years apart. So the six of us, packed up, um, cleaned out our fridge, packed up our two little dogs and went to my parents house, because they have a generator. So we were there, no internet, but we had power and we could shower and flush a toilet. So that was wonderful. And we were there for the better part of a week. So I was trying to respond to people using my phone. But you know, email and phone, I can't write on, and we're getting hundreds of emails a day. So we were trying to write back to as many people, both myself and all my team members are being contacted, at least these messages that we heard you were here, but we're in the middle of a tropical storm. And there were towns around here that were shut down. I mean, their people didn't have power back for at least a week. So I think it was I want to say August 12 that we finally were kind of back in business. I ended up going into the office, which our offices open, but you have to register to go when there's limited capacity. And it's a huge thing. But I needed internet. Yes, you dealing with this. So I won't say to my parents, but I packed up I went to the office and answered as many emails as I could. And myself and a couple of members of the sales team have been communicating and reaching out to every exhibitor personally to basically offer them if they want to roll over to next year, we'd love to have them and they'll get a complimentary participation virtual event. And if not, that's totally fine. They'll get 100% refund. And if they want to sign on later, there were more than inviting and we'd love to have them but I understand was the way the year has been and with financial agreements and things going on. If someone wants their money back, they'll get their money back.
And the event for next year is in October, the first through the third. Is that also at the horse park?
Yep. Correct. It's basically the same weekend as this weekend on the US Equestrian calendar, but it's just how the dates fall.
Right. Right. Well, and I'll admit the shopping part of it out, I'm really gonna miss because just looking at everything, but is there Do you have an online shopping thing? Or is it was that just too much to figure out?
Well, we do. Um, so with all this planning and these contingency plans, we we've added a bunch of platforms, and we talked to different people, and we talked to people on the questions as well. And originally, we said, you know what we'll do like this week long thing and it'll be nine in the morning tonight at night and they'll be stuff going on all day and we were really excited about it and then we kind of took a step back and said at this point, a lot of people are kind of exhausted from sitting in front of their computer and being home for multiple days in a row. So we decided, you know what, let's make September a month-long celebration, why do we have to pack it into five days or four days? So we thought for shopping, instead of having showrooms not only setup all this stuff, you know what, we'll give every exhibitor who wants to roll over or participate, they're more than willing to, even if they don't want to roll over, but they can own a day in September. So basically, we give them the calendar, and it's a first come, first served. And on that day, we will send an email for them to our database about their brand. And we'll post on social. So let's say SmartPak, came to us and said, You know what, we want to do this. And we said, okay, that's your day. And all the promotion is for them that day. So any brand who's participating can send coupons can send information, new product launches, anything that will help drive their business, that things that they might have missed earlier in the year of going into fourth quarter for the holidays and things, it's just a great way to reach these people that you probably wouldn't have had without the event or you only have a certain amount of people in your database are the same people. So we were hopeful for both our customers that they would get good deals and some new information and some cool new products. And we're doing something for our exhibitors as well. Well, for the smart shopper for the smart, smart business, this could be a win win, even though I know it's been an incredible amount of work on your art. I mean, we can do the online part, but then still have something to look forward to in October for sure.
I'd like to take a few minutes from the podcast to talk about some new products we've been trying out from Fenwick Farms. First, what do you think of their liquid titanium things?
I've been using the hood. And I like with these horses that I work with. To me, you get the head, you get the rest of the body. And by wrapping this around the horse's head, I really feel that there is a change happening. Now. For me when I put it on, I know I feel a lot better having that on the horse's head, because I feel that it really helps the horse.
And they've done pretty extensive testing. And it shows to be a natural way of giving a calming effect. I really like that. Have you washed it in the washing machine yet? Does it hold up pretty well.
Washing Machine? I throw it in the water trough. Like when we finished work. And like I would take it and toss it in the water trough and shake it off. And then leave it to hang actually put it in the back of the truck and put a piece of wood over it. But I love it. It's like It's like then the next day when we're ready to work again. straight on. And so it holds up pretty well. Oh, yeah. I mean, come on. I mean, throw it in the water trough. Shake it around a little bit, you know? And then hang it back in the trailer. And I've had this one for two years. Yeah, I think it'll look good. Yeah. And it's like new. The Velcro works great. I like the Velcro one. I've had different size horses. Very happy with it. Yeah, it's also good with the bugs were like when you ride out. And the bugs have a tendency of wanting to attack the horse's face. So it adds a little protection, but I didn't know but the ones with the covers over the ears. Which that's another nice thing is putting them on a lot of horses that I work with a little head shy. So by putting that on over and over again, I feel that it speeds up that process of getting them a little bit stronger with you messing around with their heads. And like I said once you get the head, I feel that you get the rest of the body. So yeah.
Do you use it on the training horses you bring in?
Yeah, put it on young horses back all the horses that I work I use use it on them. It works well for me. And funny enough, since it's COVID thing has gotten I have gotten the... I don't know what they call it. But it's like sort of like a scarf but it's all one piece. And it's great because it goes around my neck. It's not hot. And when I go into town or whatever, it's great having it on because I don't have to be looking for a mask. Those are the two products that I've been using from them.
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So you're a busy lady.
But I mean, go back to the equine part of it. Did you grew up riding? Right? I mean, you was that where your love of horses, you have to love horses to invest this much of your life into doing what you're doing.
Yeah. So it's funny. People keep asking, Do I like my job now and I said, you know what I don't know if I'd ever be an Event Director if it wasn't for horses, because it's such a passion that even through this stuff, and I love reaching out to companies that I'd love to shop or I know of, and I'm like, we're doing EQUITANA. This is great. Um, but going back to kind of how I got here. So around seven or eight years old, I had no interest in horses, but my mom had a friend whose daughter rode at a local riding facility and she wanted to hang out with her friend. So she got me some lessons so she could hang out with the mom friend while I rode with the daughter. And within like, probably my first lesson or two, I was hooked. And it's all I wanted to do. Um, so I rode, I took lessons for about two or three years and got to the point where the barn owner said to my parents, you know what, you're not going to your daughter's not able to get any farther without her off horse. So that one kind of gets that conversation and they were like, okay, we'll do that. I ended up. She looked at an amazing hunter at the time, but she was an off track thoroughbred.
So right in that loop. Yes.
Yes. Her name was Lily. Her show name was Twist of Fate, which is actually my.. husband has a boat. That's the boat name as well, Lily. Um, so she was extremely difficult. And many, many times I came home crying I said I wanted to sell her. It was not the easiest experience, but it taught me more than I could ever, ever explain. Like I think every kid needs a difficult horse. Yes.
I had one of those. Oh, yeah.
Yeah, it really it pays off for the rest of your life. I could tell you, um, so I rode her, she ended up being crazier than we thought. She ended up being a children's jumper that totally we won everything. We were like, amazing. It was her calling. And I was probably about 12 or 13 at this point, and we were getting ready. I showed on A circuit at this point, um, rode for some bigger names locally. Jenny McAllister was one my trainers. So now she's amazing. And she's everywhere. And she was a local, that's still amazing. You can say "I knew her when!" I know. I know exactly what it's like she was my trainer. Um, so right before we were getting ready for the Vermont summer circuit, we were jumping a bounce in a Grand Prix field. And my horse Lily jumped the bounces and fell and broke her shoulder and had to be euthanized at that point. So very tragic for a young kid and very sad. But um, I was gifted a very, very green, small chestnut thoroughbred who we tried doing the children's jumpers with, it was amazing opportunity, again, a learning experience. And then through all this, my parents felt badly for me and got me a beautiful big black equitation horse named Wolfie who was imported from Europe at the time. So it was kind of every junior's dream come true. And we did the big equitation back then. And then come about age 17. My parents said, you can have a brand new car or keep riding because at this point, the expenses were insane. Yeah, it was. I mean, now they're beyond but back then it's all relative. So even I was braiding I was getting to the barn at three in the morning braiding all my friends horses to kind of offset some of the costs. So I was waiting at my trainers house in his garden to offset costs, like we did everything and anything but my parents gave up everything for me to ride. But long story short, my teenage years when I was offered that car, I said, I've had no social life. I never even went to movies with friends. I never went to the mall, because everything was horses. And I sold my equitation horse to a girl at the barn because we couldn't sell him to just anyone. So she was an up-and-coming pony rider. And I quit. And that was it. I got my car and I have a social life. I went off to college. And horses were always in the back of my mind. But it was kind of one of those things like, it was great when it happened. I still have all my stuff in the attic and bins and boxes and all my ribbons but it's expensive. It's a lot. It's a commitment.
It is. It's a life commitment. And you have to have those stages in life and make the decision that's right for you at the time. So did you get back into the horses at some point?