Past Competition Horses

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Although while I was growing up I had a broad range of interests and was relatively good at a number of different things that could have turned into career paths, my passion for horses was constant throughout. It was the one thing that I always tried to balance into the equation. I loved the one on one relationship I had with my horses. Learning how to train them and trying to perform as a team at our best in competition, even when I was traveling and taking heavy course loads, was always something that I came back to. As I became more skilled I loved the horsemanship knowledge involved in creating a program for each horse that would allow them to grow and flourish. To me, each horse would start like a raw block of marble and it became my job to refine and chisel the marble, taking each horse to his highest athletic and mental potential.

When I was just out of college I took a job working for Christie’s Auction House in New York City, thinking that I would earn a living in the big city and ride as a hobby. I worked in the Modern Art department and was exposed daily to the works of masters such as Constantin Brancusi and Marcel Duchamp. One day I was in the warehouse on an assignment to make sure that none of the pieces in a certain section were misfiled. The warehouse is where the actual artwork is stored before auctions and until it is returned to its old owners or shipped to its new ones.

As an art history minor in college I was very familiar with the major works of most of the artists I dealt with at Christie’s on a day-to-day basis. On that particular day I found one small painting that changed my life. All of the paintings wear numeric tags in the warehouse, and this painting had been filed into the wrong section for its tag. I pulled it out and immediately recognized the style. It was a Picasso. I don’t know what painting it was, it was one of his lesser-known works, but its vibrancy and depth captivated me, as did the realization that I was holding it in my hand, not looking at it in a photograph or a few feet away on a museum wall. I could feel his genius through my fingertips, and I thought about how not just his famous works, but probably most of his works, were touched by that genius. It was this moment that made me consider for the first time becoming a professional rider. When I held the Picasso in my hand, it was the beginning of the realization that horses were my own type of art, and that I wanted to live a life involved directly in that creative process.