And I have returned to the Great White North a little older, a little wiser, and extremely grateful for the experiences I had while living in Kentucky!
It's impossible for me to articulate how I felt during my short but sweet stay in the beautiful Bluegrass State, so I will just rattle off a regretfully short summary.
I triumphed in the war against homesickness, and embraced the freedom of living on my own in an unfamiliar place. I learned that Jeremiah is a fairly common name in the South. Onyx and I had a great jumping trainer who got to see us excel in local hunter-jumper shows. I met many unforgettable people and horses, and had the privilege of making wonderful new friends with whom I explored, trailblazed, camped, laughed, and experienced the Kentucky seasons to the fullest. Onyx and I were invited to participate in Tommy Garland's round pen demo at the 2011 Equine Affaire expo in Columbus, OH, and we had a wonderful time! I adopted a ridiculous little Chihuahua/Corgi mix named Fritz; my best friend was fostering him for the Lexington Humane Society and I fell for his earnest and awkward ways. Most importantly, I had the incredible opportunity to work as a Passport Representative at the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), which is located in the Kentucky Horse Park. This was the absolute highlight of my time in Lexington; I worked at the locus of the competitive equestrian industry as a consultant and regulator for national and international athletes and their horses. I spoke with fascinating people, inspected valuable and beautiful horses, worked with fellow horse-lovers, and rediscovered my passion for veterinary medicine while working with Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) veterinarians at national championship horse shows. I loved my job, and leaving it was one of the hardest parts about moving back.
This brings me to the part where I moved back to Minnesota. From my experiences at USEF, I realized that I wanted to return to school to finish a Pre-Vet degree and apply for vet school. Becoming an equine veterinarian was a childhood dream of mine, which was sadly undermined by general malaise during college and a strong dislike for math. I begin my generals (well, the generals that I didn't need for a Psych degree but definitely DO need for an Animal Sciences degree; namely, math, chemistry, biology, and physics) next month at a community college near St. Paul, and I am hoping to transfer back to the U of M to complete my Animal Sciences degree. So why move back to Minnesota? Why not stay in Kentucky, where the horses are fat and happy on the rich bluegrass? Truthfully, once my best friend moved to Florida for grad school and I made up my mind to revisit college, the homesickness set in again. I missed my family and Minnesota friends, and decided to only apply to schools near my hometown. When my lease was up, I said packed up my truck and trailer with my belongings and pets, and said reluctant goodbyes to my wonderful new friends. It feels great to be back and underway on my new goals, but I miss my "ol' Kentucky home" everyday.
Between my horsey adventures and rewarding job, I didn't have much time for art this year. I'm currently welcoming commissions, however time is running short for those holiday orders. Contact me now to discuss your ideas, and I'll be happy to turn them into beautiful gifts for your loved ones!
January 2011, part 2
Well, I graduated, and there was much rejoicing - yay!
I've added a gallery showcasing my latest project: sketches! These make memorable and affordable gifts for your loved ones, starting at only $30 in your choice of graphite, ink, or marker. Check out the "Sketches" gallery listed on the left!
Thanks again for checking out my website! Hope to hear from you soon regarding your vision for a one-of-a-kind work of art.
I can't believe how fast the year flew by... it's 2011 already, but there have been so many Big Changes in my life in just a few short months!
I'm officially finished with college - I'm done with all the coursework, including my final major project (a not-quite-so-tedious but still highly stressful research paper on stereotyped behaviors and nervous disorders in horses), and initiated the next Big Change in my life...
I moved to Lexington, Kentucky in December, which is definitely the Biggest of the Big Changes in 2010. I packed up all my stuff, my cats, and my horse (well, Onyx traveled to KY in a nice, roomy trailer driven by a professional transporter; he definitely had a much more luxurious trip than I had!) in my truck and trailer and made the 700-mile drive with my dad. It was a rough shift, but everyone made it in one piece (even Mogwai, my black cat, who is still acting traumatized from the whole experience). I'm living in a cute little apartment within walking distance of a ton of tempting restaurants, got a part-time job at the local Kroger Marketplace, am boarding Onyx at a great farm less than 10 minutes away, and am reunited with my best friend. I had a very fun and successful Holiday Special on commissions ($20 for a black and white sketch), so I've been keeping plenty busy in my new digs. Even though I'm living in a new state for the first time, far away from my family, barn friends, and boyfriend, I'm having a great time so far and am so glad I made the move!
Another Big Change worth mentioning is that in 2010, I sold two of my horses. Gringo, my first horse who I owned for 10 wonderful and educational years, is now lovingly owned by the girl who leased him since 2007. They're a match made in heaven, and I'm so glad that the transition was so easy for everyone! Griffin, now called Sota, is soaking up the sunshine in Palm Springs, California! His new owner is an amazing woman who fell for this charming gelding from Minnesota, and the two of them have joined their county's Mounted Search and Recovery Patrol! I'm so proud of him, and he'll always be "the best little gray horse in the world." It was very tough to part with such a wonderful friend, but knowing that he's making someone else as happy as he made me is the best feeling ever.
Right now, my heart belongs to Onyx, my 2007 Morgan gelding. It's been such an exciting year with my Little Super Guy, from starting him under saddle, to going over our first jump together, to starting our new lives together in Lexington. He's a rock star, so outgoing and chill, yet with a definite attitude, and I can't wait to show the world what the two of us are capable of!
I added some new pieces to my galleries, and am welcoming any and all commissions and print orders. Thanks for giving me inspiration!
So here's to a great 2010, and another year of excitement and change in 2011!
I added a couple of galleries and more contact info. I've been enjoying this beautiful Minnesota spring, training some horses, spending time with great friends, and trying to forget that graduation is just around the corner! Let's just say that these past couple of months have been amazing, and I can't wait to see what this summer will bring!
I'm in the middle of a couple of commissions for friends, and am trying my hand at something I'm surprisingly inexperienced in: drawing cats! It's a fun challenge for me, and I'll be putting the finished piece in my Pet Portraits gallery.
Thanks to everyone who takes the time to visit and peruse my site!
And the new site is up and running! Huzzah! HUGE thanks to Allison Connell for setting up and designing everything, and for being patient with my tragic lack of internet savvy. Please bear with me as I learn the ropes of editing and maintaining this website, and in the meantime feel free to check out my deviantART page for my full gallery (i.e. all of my art, including non-portfolio pieces and sketches).
This will be a very busy and exciting spring, and please check back for updates. Thanks!