An old pair of boots

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I've had this pair of boots for more than ten years. I fell in love with their retro style the first time I laid eyes on them in a store in Oklahoma City. They were there on my feet for transitions from one magazine to the next; one big horse show to another; and during my life as an early professional, making my way on my own, to my return to this business at a time when I have quite a few responsibilities outside myself.

If you've read equine magazines (Nag Rags, as we affectionately call them) for a while, you might remember me as Jennifer Barron. From?The Quarter Horse Journal and America's Horse?to?The Trail Less Traveled?and Ride With Bob Avila?(my first opportunity to work with Juli Thorson) to?Western Horseman?(where I again crossed paths with Juli) to a freelance stint writing articles and contributing to veterinary books, I adored writing about horses, events, and trainers I'd never imagined I'd have access to. My horse-crazy childhood dreams had come true.

It was a great run, but something changed. As I think happens to a lot of us horse-crazy women, marriage and motherhood caused me to step away from the horse world. I could never completely break ties--my mom and dad still have horses at their place; many of my closest friends are avid competitors; and I kept up with the general happenings in the biz from afar, always knowing that someday I'd find my way back .

After five years in the Big City of Denver and working for a large advertising agency, I had the equine itch. A phone call from Juli put me back on track, and here I am, Managing Editor of Horse&Rider?magazine--the Nag Rag I always really felt would be the right place for me.

I have goose bumps knowing that with my being back in my favorite boots comes the opportunity for my husband (a city boy with a cowboy streak) and son (a 2-year-old whose first word was "horses!" shouted during the 2009 Kentucky Derby) to learn about all the things I immersed myself in as a horse-obsessed kid growing up and as a competitor as I got older. (From Breyer and Barbie horses to 4-H competition to amateur classes in breed shows.)

While I bought a new pair of boots for my new gig (I, too, fell prey to the square-toe trend), my old boots are still my favorites and remind me how I got here--and how lucky I am to be back.?

Moms out there who stepped away from their horsey bliss, I'd love to hear any advice you have for getting back in the saddle--figuratively and literally. The muscle memory for riding--and writing--is coming back, but I'd love insight from other gals who have found their way back to the barn.

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