These last few weeks of August have been busy for the horse industry. The NSBA world championships just finished up in Tulsa; Team USA is in Normandy ready to compete at the 2014 World Equestrian Games; and AQHA Select world show begins today.
“Wait, what?” This was my first thought as I checked the calendar hung up in my cube. See, the select is the first event that I covered as a fresh-out-of-college, budding equine journalist AKA “intern.” I had barely moved to Amarillo a few short days earlier with little more than a summer editorial internship (in a different industry) under my belt when I heard that I’d be working alongside veteran staff to provide event coverage for the entirety of the show. This was to include photography for my assigned classes, interviews with winners, and written stories to be posted on the site. I’m unashamed to admit just how terrified I was during that first week at AQHA. Now, I made it through the show unscathed and felt wholly prepared to tackle the intense weeks of AQHA world show to follow a few months later, but those first moments were definitely filled with feelings of anxiety.
But, more than the shock that an entire year had passed before my very eyes, I had an even stronger sense of nostalgia. In just a year’s time I’ve experienced exponential growth—–as a student of the industry, a writer, and as a person. Four years in college pale in comparison to a year of “real world” experience. I’ve learned an immense amount about writing, journalism, publishing platforms, photography, and more interestingly, horses. It sounds odd that I would learn so much about horses working behind a desk proofing or interviewing owners, but it’s the truth. I’ve been a horsewoman for as long as I can remember. Since childhood I’ve spent countless hours with and around horses. I’ve come to realize in this year just how narrow my scope of knowledge is. At home, I was limited to the insight and education of those closest to me, whether it were trainers, vets, farriers, friends, family, or the information that I happen to stumble upon online, I only took in that which was readily available to me.
Since I accepted the internship last August and moved to Amarillo, and then again to Boulder to take my current position, I have been immersed in the horse industry. I’m lucky to have had so many opportunities to be exposed to a wider variety of people and horses within this time. Each and every day I learn something new at work. Our team shares interesting videos, articles, press releases, and news on a regular basis to ensure that we all stay up to speed with what is happening in the horse community. It pleases me to know that I am a part of group that makes personal growth a priority because I know that it will push me to continually strive for more from myself. My goal is to make sure that next year at this time, when I see the dates for Select edge closer on the calendar, that I am just as taken aback and proud of myself as I am today.