Me (Anastasia, Stacy to most): Jockey
I have been riding since 1984. Here I am on Cherokee that year.
I was a horse-crazy kid despite growing up in the city. I graduated as a C-3 from Jericho Forest Pony Club (I took my B-test but failed one section-- anyone want to guess what it was?). My Pony Club horses were my appy mare Shady...
... and a TB/ Hanoverian, Corey, who was leased from a fellow boarder.
I rode intermittently in college, took a year off from school and taught beginners, and then rode through grad school at Princeton University in New Jersey. Some of the horses were Gusty, a TB/ ConnX...
... Lark ("Sparky"), an OTTB...
... Peabody (a quarter Horse) and Woody (what is he, Heather? I don't have pictures of them), and Patrick, an Irish Sport Horse:
I always told myself that I would get a horse again after I finished my PhD in History in 2003. So in 2005, after I finished and moved to Nashville, I lucked into an OTTB who needed a home, Banks:
When the summer of 2008 came around, Banks was for sale and I was enjoying my friend Elizabeth's draftX, Destiny, and unsure about what I would do next. That was the moment that Taco fell into my lap.
As a rider, my major challenge is to be assertive: to insist on forwardness, to give clear and unambiguous aids, and to discern what is happening underneath me so that I can take decisive action. I also struggle with tipping forward and letting the horse get behind me while my upper body gets rigid. So I constantly have to think about sitting tall and strong, pushing Taco, out in front of me, and staying supple in my arms and shoulders. Oh yeah, and controlling my mutant right leg, which tends to wander where it shouldn't.
Carol: Dog Wrangler and Sports Psychologist
Carol is my other half and is an essential part of Team Taco. First, she encouraged me to form a team with Taco in the first place and then helped me buy him. Also, she comes to almost every show, a true labor of love. At shows, she has two very important roles: dog wrangling and sports psychology.
Here is some dog wrangling at the Kentucky Horse Park:
Carol's considerable sports psychology skills come from her previous job as an international rower, where she represented the US in multiple worldwide competitions between 1998 and 2004, including the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. So she knows what she is talking about when it comes to playing the mental game.
Carol is an intergral part of Team Taco and I am incredibly lucky to have her.
Amy is our coach and trainer, and owns the beautiful farm where Taco lives, Panther Springs. A student of Sharon Anthony, Tami Crawford, Debbie Atkinson, Jim Graham, and Mike Winter, Amy combines kindness and a genuine desire for her students to succeed with firm prodding to help us get out of our own way. She patiently explains concepts over and over and over again. She also takes expert care of Taco, thus preserving Stacy's sanity (whatever is left, anyhow).
Steve: Pony Club Dad
Steve was in fact Stacy's Pony Club dad some years ago. Now he is a long-distance cheerleader and helped Stacy buy Taco.
Wendy: Taco Grandma
Wendy is Stacy's mom and Taco's grandma. She is very proud of her GrandHorse and also helped make his purchase possible.
Team Taco also relies on the tireless support of Annika (see post from January 23), Lynda (who coined the term "Team Taco", the Chronicle of the Horse Bulletin Board, and the T3DE 2010 Yahoo Group.