By Meghan Blackburn
Early fall of 2014, I was riding in the passenger seat, casually scrolling through Facebook when my finger’s upswept motion paused.
My good friend, Chad Keenum, had posted that their program was hoping to sell a few horses before heading south to Wellington. It had been less than six months since I’d left the horse haven of Middleburg, Va., (and closely surrounding areas) to return to my home state of Kentucky. I missed Middleburg and the amazing horses I got to ride at CK Sporthorses.
Clearly, I was feeling nostalgic. And frustrated. My new job (and the lack of conveniently located fixtures) allowed little time to get my gelding out to foxhunt. On a whim, I indulged and texted Chad. The post showed a good bit of traffic for the hunters he’d posted, but literally nothing for that jumper mare. Funny thing was that I wanted to do the jumpers, and I just loved mares.
Well, long story short, she’s mine now! Her name is Secret Society.
Secret actually belonged to Evan Coluccio, who was partnered with Chad at that time. Evan had scooped her up as a 4-year-old in a field. I was actually able to try Secret one time before I brought her down to Louisville, during a trip back to Virginia for a weekend visit.
I adored her from the moment I saw her sweet eyes. They looked like they belonged to a Barbie horse—big and pretty. She’s a show stopper—if not for her looks then her attitude. I tacked her up, hacked her, jumped her over a few jumps, and then took her for a trail ride. I was sold.
Secret has made me a better rider because as talented and sweet as she is, she is also quite quirky and a bit difficult at times. She requires patience and perseverance. Lucky for her, there was another bay mare that blazed that path for her. My first horse, Macy, came to me on a free lease as a green-broke 7-year-old; a big mover with a queen bee personality. Macy taught me all I know as a horsewoman and a rider. She taught me the feel; she taught me an exorbitant amount of patience, but in turn she bestowed upon me an even greater deal of patience. She truly has been a light in my life; she chipped when was necessary to save my life, would launch from the long spot if she knew we could make it, never needed to learn her changes, won in the hunters, topped the leaderboards as an event horse, played gymkhana games, and allowed me to lay on her back with only a lead rope as she grazed. I worked at the barn to keep her, signed my paychecks away for years and years, and she is still my favorite friend to this day! I firmly believe that had she not come into my life, I wouldn’t have the commitment to horses that I do.
I wanted nothing more than to breed Macy. She’s now about to be 24! As a kid, a teenager, and a younger adult, I never had the means to do so. I finally tried it in 2013, but she was too old to get pregnant.
I’ve always wanted to raise a horse from birth; not for the warm fuzzies (although they don’t hurt), but for two main reasons. One, because that’s likely the only way anytime soon that I can own a very nice young horse; and two, because I like to teach. It is an exciting journey to raise a foal into a yearling, to a young horse, to a show horse.
So, you might have realized what happens next…
Stay tuned! I’m excited to share this experience with you.