After two intense rounds of submissions, one blogger stood out among the rest: click here to meet Horse Nation’s newest columnist, plus great news about the rest of our finalists!
Please join us in welcoming Jess Crandon as Horse Nation’s newest regular columnist! In two rounds of fierce competition, Jess’s work stood out as both poignant and wildly entertaining, and we’re thrilled to welcome Jessica’s voice to Horse Nation.
Jess, in her own words:
Jess Crandon, aged 27 from Berkshire, England, UK
Aspiring eventer, but yet to successfully piece all three stages together. Used to dabble in dressage before buying a horse that doesn’t try to kill you over fences. Usually forgets that riding is meant to be fun.
I own two horses. A 7-year-old thoroughbred with buckets of talent and bloodlines to die for. Naturally, he’s retired due to totally breaking down. The other is called Buttons. No, not a tiny Welsh pony or a kitten with a saddle. Is actually a giant chunky youngster from Ireland.
Character-defining qualities include the ability to stick out the most horrendous rides by chanting “it’ll make a good story” until feet are back on solid ground. Also have much less faith in myself than talent and determination, so often end up pleasantly surprised.
Embarrassing moments are too numerous to list. They range from being swiped off a horse’s back by a tree branch to mistaking an elderly mare for my yard owner’s showjumper. Other tidbits include not being able to wake horse up for the farrier so having to cancel, and reassuring vet that giant chunk would be safe to lunge in a headcollar – not bridle – after two days of box rest, and being treated to a session of grass-skiing and flat-out galloping.
Her Round One submission “8 Truths If You Work In An Office & Own a Horse” hit home for many readers, including such gems as:
Teammates frantically shake their heads behind your back as an unsuspecting newbie asks about the framed picture on your desk. Three hours later, they head back to their desk with strong opinions about use of the whip in eventing, the overbreeding of cobs and this year’s extortionate hay prices.
Tackling the Round Two prompt of “how do you think horseback riding and equestrian activities can best appeal to the mainstream population?” Jess ventured into more poignant territory, reflecting on how a simple interaction with a horse can be the spark to ignite the lifelong fire of passion for horses:
My horses will freak out over new road markings, tree stumps and giant leaves. But the one thing they have no issues with is small children hurtling towards them. Every time I’m privileged enough to ride around our lanes and see a young girl or boy stare up with that look in their eyes, I always ask if they want to come over and say hi. When I was a horseless child, that would’ve made my month (and probably ruined my mum’s, as it’d be all I talk about for weeks on end). I hope these small chats and cuddles spark a fire inside their bellies – the fire that drives them to the same level of idiotic obsession that afflicts the rest of us.
In her upcoming pieces, Jess will be covering a range of topics from hacking to competing to spectating, all from the perspective of an amateur owner in Great Britain juggling the day job, her relationship with her partner and plenty of horse time.
For fans of our other finalists, fear not — all of our finalists have been granted monthly column space, so you have certainly not heard the last from them either!