Cherokee Winds Farm
Getting a start in 4-H in a horse club in Loudoun County as a cloverbud and finishing my career as a state all-star, I have been involved with horses since I was 5 years old. I got my first horse when I was 6 years old and my trainer at the time, taught me the basics on how to train horses. From then, I was hooked. Nothing was more rewarding than teaching a horse. We don't speak the same language, so you need to develope a language with them. It's fascinating.
I have an extensive show career that spreads through both the 4-H and AQHA arenas. I started showing in both barrel racing and western pleasure. I barrel raced mostly in VA and was offered a membership into the JR Rodeo, but my mom thought I should stay in school and focus on my studies. I showed western pleasure up and down the east coast. It was more natural back then before they adopted this new look of lameness. I remember there was this one show where I didn't pin like I was used to. After talking to the judge (something that was frowned upon even then), and he told me that it was the beginning of a new era. Saddles were changing and they were expecting more silver and so on. I remember saying "I thought this was a horse show not a fashion show" and that was my last western pleasure show.
Recently, within the last 7 years, I was able to reignited my true passion in reining and I'm now training down in Richmond with Andre Andraos Reining Horses. In reining, it's all about ability not fashion. I describe it to those who do not know what it is as dressage on steriods! Horses are judged on their circles, lead changes, stops, etc.
I was given a great opportunity to run a hunter show barn at a very young age of just 15 years old. This is when I discovered my love for the boarding business. From there, I was planning originally to become a full time trainer. I spent a year apprenticing under a well known local Quarter Horse trainer. He was a miracle worker known for fixing problem horses. I started all of my current horses, one of which was a BLM mustang. That was truly the most rewarding training I could have done.
Later, I did drop the lesson and training program. I found that kids aren't committed to difficult hobbies like they were when I was growing up. Now it's strictly boarding.