This is me and my first horse, Jazzy.

I’m still in a little bit of shock, but I’m definitely not dreaming: This week, I – Julie Preble – joined the staff of Horse&Rider as its new assistant editor. A set of keys to the On Staff blog comes with the job, so for my first post, I’ll share the story of how I got here.

Growing up as a horse-crazy girl from southwest Indiana, I never could have dreamed that I’d one day work for a magazine that played such an important role in me getting my “horse fix.”

When you grow up without a horse of your own, you have to find an outlet for the horse-craziness, and, much to my parents’ and sister’s chagrin, mine was decorating?typically with photos from Horse&Rider.

I had a cowgirl-themed room with tons of horse pictures on the walls and stuffed horse toys to boot. I decorated my school notebooks with horse pictures I’d cut out of magazines, and no one who went to my school ever doubted my favorite animal.

Now, most little girls want a pony?I just never grew out of it. I’m certainly glad that I didn’t. My love and passion for horses has taken me on a journey I never could have dreamt as a child.

When it was time to pick a college, I decided on Purdue University, and I had no doubt that I was going to be a veterinarian. Within my first two years, I found out that I had no passion for chemistry or biology. So, what do I do now?

After searching through Purdue’s vast list of majors, I found Agricultural Communication. I had always loved to write and proofread in high school, and my parents often had to scold me for talking to strangers, so it seemed like a good fit.

As soon as I had switched majors, something changed in me as well. I started caring more about my classes, my grades improved, and I finally enjoyed what I was learning. I soon decided that my absolute dream job would be to be an editor of a horse magazine.

I sought out opportunities in the equine publishing industry, which led me to an amazing internship and, eventually, a full-time job with the American Quarter Horse Association.

I worked as the web content manager at AQHA for eight months?until my dream came true. I was offered the assistant editor position with Horse&Rider. Though leaving AQHA was very difficult, I decided that chasing my dream was what I needed to do.

So, I packed my bags, and here I am!

I look forward to my career with Horse&Rider, and I look forward to getting to know you, the readers. Until next time!

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