I’m originally a City mouse. I grew up in New York and Philadelphia. My dad was a Private School teacher, so I went to Fieldston School through the third grade, and Germantown Friends from the fourth grade until graduation. I got awarded recognition for my artistic talent. Other than that I was a mediocre student. I liked history, English and art.
The only thing I wanted to be any good at was horses. So I made a U-turn away from the life that my parents must have expected I would live, and went off to do horses. Still, having an educated background was a value that led me to go to the Classical Stock Seat School of Arizona (originally called Paquara Ranch and located in Towanda, PA). From there I made my way to the horse racing industry. I began as a groom, became and exercise rider, rode races for a number of years and now I’m once again an exercise rider, at a small-time oval in West Virginia called Mountaineer Park (used to be Waterford). I hope to use this blog to tell some heartwarming, uplifting, and downright funny stories about my experiences in horse racing, so that’s all about the horse business for now.
I went to college and got a BA in history and minored in writing. I’m a decent storyteller but not such a disciplined writer. I try to use a little dry humor in my writing, so if there’s anything that seems a little off or awkward, knowing that about me will make me easier to read.
I remember thinking when I was a kid that I was gonna be a jockey and then afterward I was gonna write about it. I haven’t written much about it yet, but if I do I can say I always knew that’s what I would wind up doing. Come to think of it, I have done some sporadic writing about it in my horse racing blog, called the Far turn. I have placed a link to the site in case you actually make it to the end of the page (my way of getting you to read to the end).
Galloping horses for a living is exciting and fun, and I lean new things all the time. Every year I think about how improved I am over the last. the downside is I can never count on remaining healthy to do other things. Injury in this business is more certain than iffy. Fortunately I have been fit as a fiddle and spry since June of ’07, when I broke my wrist and it took four pins to set. unfortunately, an assessment of the intervals between major injuries tells me that the next injury should have already happened. That means I am galloping on borrowed time, so I’m a lot more cautious about what work I am willing to do, and also what it is worth.
At Mountaineer, gallop jobs pay ten bucks a head for freelance work, and often less for salary work. That no longer pays the bills or covers any personal injury insurance (worker’s comp), never mind being enough to cover health insurance, so it’s time to find a safer line of work. To that end I’ve nearly exhausted my entire midlife crisis and my bank account.
I’m not afraid of work as long as it is something that I can also enjoy and that will ultimately pay me for any higher level I can function at (whatever the job is). I still have to go back to school again, to get there, but I believe I’m getting closer.
That just about brings us up to right now. So for now that’s the end of the bio. I will leave you with some interactive fun, though, in the form of my other creations; The Far Turn (my official horse racing blog beginning in 2005), and The far Turn horse racing community (a NING community which I am just trying to work out now) In fact, I’d be really grateful if you would help me.