Friday, October 30, 2009

About Alice

For those of you who know me, this may be old news but for those of you who don’t, I’ll make it short and sweet. I began riding in New York around the age of nine, when I discovered the local Shetland pony farm. I was perfectly happy to go around and around and around, often falling asleep on these little fuzzy creatures while dreaming of galloping my trusty steed over the meadows and through the trees with their manes and tails whipped by the wind and the joy of pure freedom running through my blood. Soon after, I started hunt seat lessons at Secor Farms Riding Club in White Plains, New York, where I never missed a weekly or bi-weekly lesson with Frank and Wayne Carroll, learning how to “keep my heels down, my thumbs up and look where I was going.”

Fast forward – In 1999, after years in the computer, oil and gas, and the restaurant industries (among others), I became a saddle fitter. The reason? Every time I put my saddle on my horse in those days I would apologize to him because I knew that it didn’t fit and I didn’t know how to make it fit. I just prepared myself for discomfort; for him and for me. Yes, I did learn how to ride the bucks and push him through the short striding but I also knew that as most horse owners eventually figure out, that there was a serious knowledge gap in my horsemanship. Eventually, light dawned and I knew I had found my calling.

Thanks to the Master Saddlers Association and County Saddlery, since 1999 I have been proud to be a member of an elite group of horsemen who strive to start with the horse. If the horse isn’t comfortable under saddle, then I can help with the saddle and make him more comfortable, thus making the rider more comfortable so they can both have more fun. After working with thousands of horses, I’ve discovered that fixing both the obvious and the not-so-obvious things can make huge differences: from the design of the saddle tree and panels to the length of the browband to the tightness of the noseband.

I will be posting more on my “News from Alice and Justin” blog in the near future. There will be lots of current news from my clients, saddle fitting tips plus other interesting tips that I've come across on my saddle fitting adventures. Keep in touch with me and we’ll share our journeys together -- I love learning from my two-legged and four-legged friends!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Alice. I knew you loved horses but this is so great to see where you went with this later in life. What a wonderful and fitting way to make a living. Love your site and I'll keep coming back. My family went to a ranch in Colorado aboutsix years and ago and most of the visit a few of us rode horses. I had ridden before but not like this time and fell in love. My son, Chad and I took an eight-hour ride through the mountains with the crew. Love your site