Sunday, August 30, 2015


Here are a few more photos from our interview.  :)

Finished Interview! :)

 Public Affairs finished the video feature on Soon and me! :)  I cannot thank them enough for the opportunity and the love they poured into this project.  I think it really showed.  It's difficult to capture things in a short clip, and they got all the important parts in to create a beautiful piece that I am very proud of.  I'm feeling extremely thankful and blessed to show the world how wonderful Soonie is!  :)

Captain Equestrian
Captain EquestrianAirmen are so much more than they appear in uniform. Airmen come from all walks of life and Captain Lindsey Colburn of the 11th Wing is no exception. Captain Colburn has been flying way before joining the Air Force in equestrian sports.Produced by TSgt Nick KibbeyPhotos by SSgt Chad StrohmeyerAssistant Videographer by SrA Jeff Lander
Posted by Joint Base Andrews on Friday, August 28, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"They've earned it."

As a teenager, I idolized the riders competing in the "Big Eq" (major equitation) on the A-Circuit.  I fawned over show results in The Chronicle, I followed top horses and riders, and worked like a dog at home to hopefully be as good as that some day.  I did the equitation on the state and regional level, wishing it was the big time.  Those big name riders and their famous equitation horses were major celebrities to me.  Missy Clark was like a goddess in my Equitation Dream World.

But let's talk about one horse and rider combo for a second:  Sarah Willeman and Grappa.

James Leslie Parker photo

These two were the epitome of classic equitation in my eyes as a teen.  Sarah was (I am sure she still is) a lovely rider, with the perfect build, feel, and style.  She was matched by her equally talented and stylish partner, Grappa.  Grappa's record in the equitation world is almost unimaginable:  in ten years, he won seven national equitation championships with various riders, in addition to many top ten placings and major equitation titles at top horse shows across the country.  He was, and still is, a living legend in the equitation world.

Meet Grappa:  Grappa Retirement Video

So color me thrilled when I stumbled upon Sarah Willeman's website not too long ago, and discovered that he's living the high life in retirement.  Willeman's former show stars appear to all be retired with her on her home farm in New England.  The old guys are fuzzy, barefoot, and outside as much as possible.  They go hacking.  What a lovely thing to see such great horses, beloved by so many of the sport's fans, doing so well after life in the show ring and being horses.  Hats off to the Grappa Lane crew.  I don't know Willeman or her family or staff, but they certainly seem to have priorities straight.  The horses look incredible, and even at 28, Grappa still looks stunning.  I'm sure lots of top horses get retirements like this, I hope they all do.  It's just extra special to see horses you followed for several years doing so well.  These horses gave a lot to the sport and the fans, it's gratifying to see them given so much in return.  I hope Soonie looks that good at 28!  ;)

Grappa Lane:  Retirement with a view

"It’s a good life, and they’ve earned it."

Interview Photos

Here are some of the photos the crew took from our public affairs interview.  They are beautiful, and I told the photographer he has a future in equine photography if he's looking for any side jobs!  ;)

Friday, August 21, 2015


The Public Affairs office at work found out I am an "equestrian" (a word I only ever hear used by non-horse people, lol), and asked me if I'd be interested in being featured in a human interest story.  It was a totally random and wonderful surprise to see that request in my inbox on a Monday morning!  After a quick pre-interview in the office, they came out to the farm this morning to get some action footage and do that actual onsite interview.

Best Farm Owner Ever was very welcoming of this, and the farm looked incredible this morning.  The weather was perfect, and after a late night after work getting Soonie bathed, trimmed up, tack cleaned, and jumps set, everything was gleaming for our big day.  PA came out with three guys; two manning video cameras, and a still photographer.  My very good horsey friend also generously gave up her morning to come and help keep my head screwed on straight (thank you!!).  To have such a crew there just for Soonie and I felt somewhat strange, but very fun.  They got footage of me grooming and tacking up Soon, asked me questions about the horse care routine, etc, and then we got into the riding footage.

Soonie was a total ROCK STAR about all the cameras.  He had massive rigs shoved in his face all morning, and he really seemed to almost enjoy it.  There were huge tripods in the barn, but when it came to the action footage, things got crazy.  One of the guys wore a body-mounted rig, which freaked me out, but Soon didn't bat an eye at it.  Zero fucks given.  All three guys were all over the ring while I rode, and Bubba jumped everything like a star even with Crazy Camera Rig Dude and Daredevil Photographer Man being extremely close.  Check this insanity out:

I had SUCH a great time talking about Soon, my riding career, what horses mean to me today and how I manage them with my career.  I am so excited to see the footage, the final product, and the photos.  Soonie got one million carrots to further reinforce that Diva-ing is a good thing.  To finish off the morning I did a fly-by to the cameras, and saluted as we galloped by.  SO. FUN!

New Truck!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present The Hound:

My new ride is a 2015 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD Duramax diesel with Allison transmission.  This thing is a BEAST!!   No horse trailer yet (that's probably coming next year), but it will haul like a champ.  I am so glad I went for the 2500.  It won't even know that a 2-horse trailer is back there.


I mean, listen to The Big Dog growl:

Two-month recap!

So clearly I have been a little busy for the blog lately...I started a new, high-visibility and high speed position at work just after the last blog entry, and life hasn't really slowed down much since.  Things are great, Soonie is looking awesome, feeling great, and going well. 

The barn owner suggested we swap the rice bran for soybean oil to increase the fat content and make Soon's meals easier to digest.  We also transitioned him off the Ultium and onto Hay Stretcher pellets.  The other Thoroughbreds on the farm do well on this diet, and it was something I was considering for Soon as well.  When the barn owner noticed he was cribbing a lot during the day (something I don't see because I'm only there for a couple of hours, and working with him the whole time and not sitting back and observing his eating/cribbing habits), she thought he may still have some stomach discomfort and that the diet change might soothe him.  So far it's working - he'll never stop cribbing, but he's cribbing less and definitely working a lot more on his hay than before.  So color me happy, and it's so lovely to have a barn owner and staff that are looking out for him like that.  I very much appreciate the expertise at this facility.  Bubba is a happy boy.  :)

I'm trying to get synched up with the resident dressage trainer for regular lessons, and jumping lessons are still getting arranged with a local BNT.  Still in the works.

I've not gotten to ride consistently during the week - sometimes I'm out there three times during the week, sometimes only once, so our regular workout schedule has been disrupted.  Despite that, though, Soonie is still going well on the flat and over fence.  Here are some pictures from the last two months!

Bubba meets Goat #1

Fellow thinks that everything is about him.  So cute.

Lots and lots of hacking!

Field mates watching us hack


So handsome

My favorite view <3

We jump the big bench like it's nothing! :)

Horse heaven

He was the farm's Uncle Sam for Independence Day :)