Let me start this letter off by saying I have been a fan for years.
I’ll admit, I have a semi-worrying YouTube addiction and find it easy to get sucked into hours of videos. I usually start with something simple like “Badminton” and somehow end up on videos of goats wearing pajamas or cats getting scared by cucumbers. That’s not really part of this story though.
The important point here is that one night, as I laid on my couch and wondered how many No Stirrup Novembers it would take to ride like Michael Jung, a suggestion popped up for Evention TV. A series of fun and informative videos, that break down things so well even a beginner baby adult amateur can understand? Yes, please!
And let’s talk about Dressage Skillz for a moment.
I know a lot of riders have a good sense of humor. (I think it’s probably a prerequisite when you work with horses.) But this was next level funny. Like “tears coming out of my eyes/snort Dr. Pepper out my nose” funny, which is obviously one step above “guffaw loudly” and two steps above “quietly chuckle.”
Jimmie, you don’t know it (because I am an absolute stranger to you) but I saw you ride at Rolex and it was a highlight of my trip. I had been wanting to go for years when the financial and vacation stars finally aligned in 2015.
I looked forward to it all year and when I saw your name pop up on the list of riders, I was over the moon! It was basically like if you finally got to go to Disneyland as a child, and while you were there the cast of Saved By The Bell also showed up. Or whoever is popular nowadays, I’m too busy watching cat videos to know.
The best part was when I was walking the cross-country course and saw you out there.
“A real Jimmie sighting in the wild!” I thought to myself. “This is not a drill people!”
I waved, but you didn’t see me.
That’s okay, though. You looked busy walking lines and checking footing and just being awesome in general. And I was a good 500 yards away, trying to blend in and not to look like I was creeping on you. (Which obviously I was.)
I know that your Rolex experience didn’t quite end like you planned, but it stood out for me. I remember the mud being deep, the rain being cold, and the giant smile you had on your face as you rode past me. In that moment, I thought, “There is someone who LOVES what she does.”
You might only see our faces for a second as you gallop by, but we remember yours for a lifetime.
I even almost got a chance to ride with you both in a clinic in Virginia years ago.
A local barn had set up a two-day clinic. I had it all planned. I requested time off work. I had a trailer ride guaranteed. I worked hard to school my pony so I wouldn’t be totally embarrassed to ride in front of you. And then disaster struck—work tasked me with a last-minute training trip. And despite my begging, pleading, and possibly ten (20) minutes of decidedly unprofessional crying, I missed the clinic.
I was even more heartbroken when everyone came back talking about what an amazing time they had. Couldn’t you do me a favor and at least be a couple of jerks?
The final straw—the one that catapulted me to SuperFan status—was when I heard what you were like behind the scenes from a girl I knew who had recently become your working student. She confirmed that you were every bit as cool as you seemed.
I’d see your supportive messages to her on Facebook, statements about how much you appreciated her work. It definitely made you two stand out from the crowd of working student horror stories that seem a little too common. Knowing this took you from being two cool cats to two cool cats who also weren’t too good to say thank you. And that goes a long way in this life. [Editor’s note: Schramm Equestrian is currently accepting working student applications.]
I guess what I’m saying is, just know that even if you can’t see us, we are out here—your fans, the people you might never meet, cheering you on from the sidelines. You might only see our faces for a second as you gallop by, but we remember yours for a lifetime.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, maybe I could be a part of your barn family?
Not like, a sister or anything. But a second-cousin perhaps? Maybe a weird-but-totally-well-intentioned acquaintance? Or if that’s a little much to ask, maybe next time you see a tiny blonde cheering her face off for you at an event or creepily stalking your course walk, you could say hi. Or just not call security on me, that would be totally great too.
A (not dangerous in the slightest) Devoted Fan
P.S. Please say hi to Emily for me! And maybe give her a morning off or something, she’s pretty awesome.
P.P.S. Emily did not pay me to say the above.
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About the Author
When Aubrey Moore isn’t riding her horse Flynn, new pony or doing near-constant maintenance on her truck, she can be found with a glass of wine in hand, chatting happily with her cat Frankie.