I was one of those "horse crazy" little girls. My bedroom walls were covered with pictures from "Practical Horseman" and "Horse Illustrated". My plastic ponies were sheltered in a beautiful cardboard barn which I had personally constructed for them and they each had their own blanket made from my own bedspread.
I was fortunate that my parents were able to provide me twice weekly riding lessons. My instructor was an excellent horsewoman who was both stern and compassionate. Pamela Goodwyn was a Jamaican National Champion in the early 80's and I learned a great deal from her. She taught me solid basics and introduced me to the wonderful world of horses.
My horse addiction carried me through high school and the AA hunter/jumper circuit. It propelled me to Lake Erie College in Painesville, OH to study Equine Facilities Management. I was introduced to eventing and dressage and I was hooked. I evented through Prelim and showed through 1st level dressge while in college. However, I decided that college wasn't for me and my passion for horses once again dictated my next move. I accepted a working student position for Anne Gribbons on her Long Island farm, The Knoll Farm.
Over the next few years; life, a return to college and a few miserable boyfriends got in the way and my active involvement in horses was put on the back burner. Then I met the love of my life, my soulmate, my husband, Michael. He recognized my love for horses and encouraged me to rejoin the equestrian ranks. He also wanted to learn all he could abouth these noble creatures. Hey, if you can't beat 'em...join 'em! Michael has become an outstanding horseman himself and has a great interest in resistance free training.
In the few years that we've been married, our herd grew from one to five. We needed a place to call our own...and we found it. Long Leaf Farm was just an open chunk of land, but we had alot of plans, dedication, ambition and sweat and are making this the farm of our dreams.
We had planned for Long Leaf Farm to be a breeding facility from the start. Initially, we wanted to breed colored sporthorses and our first colored foal was an AMAZING Sempatico filly out of our Dressage at Devon winning mare, Linear Lane. We were THRILLED with Sempalla. But then I met an Irish Draught Stallion and I was hooked. He had the best temperment, he was built to go all day long, he had phenomenal jumping ability and was quiet enough as a stallion that his amateur owner was able to show him in mixed company. Through study, reading and talking to lots of RID and IDSH breeders we found that this stallion was a typical representative of the breed. This truely was "the horse for everyone". We are so excited for our first IDSH foal to arrive!