Thursday, August 7, 2014

Karen Melroy, Equine Blogger

Equine Blogger Karen Melroy
All American Quarter Horse Congress, Ohio

Karen Melroy was born in Galion, Ohio, USA, raised in Newark, Ohio, and has lived in Canal Winchester, Ohio for the last few years, with her boyfriend and his children.  Despite Karen’s best efforts, she didn't get her first horse until she was in junior high school.  She won Quarter Horse Reya in a raffle at a horse show.  Karen stabled Reya from 1991 until 1994, and then she purchased another horse, Buddy, and sold Reya.  In between, she leased a Paint gelding for a year. 

Karen had Buddy until September 2009, when she finally had to let him go home to God's barn, after living with an injury for a couple of years.  The loss of Buddy was devastating; in ways that she never imagined, and for a long time, she could not even consider the idea of another horse.  The void Buddy left still needed to be filled with something else, so Karen was rescued by a Beagle - Sami.  Now, Karen feels like she has healed enough to be ready for another horse, but the timing is not right just yet.  Her animals have always found her, rather than Karen finding them, so Karen figures it is just a matter of time until another horse lumbers into her life.

In her equine career, Karen began showing in 4-H, then moving on to open shows, and the Quarter Horse Circuit.  In her final year hauling for a Point Title, 2000, Buddy and Karen claimed two top five awards in Novice Amateur Horsemanship and Equitation, and in the top ten, all-around Novice Amateurs in the state of Ohio.  Not bad for being "unknowns" on the circuit!
Now, Karen writes about horses in her blog Equine in Mind, which has readership in five countries and continues to grow.  Karen is hoping to parlay it into a book at some point.  Karen and her boyfriend own an old pontoon boat that they use quite a lot in the warm months; he has a 35 Chevy Master that they enjoy taking to car shows and for long drives on nice days, and they like to travel when they can.

An expert in the show ring, Karen knows that a winning combination of a well-groomed horse and proper riding attire are important. However, Karen will tell you that the most important accessory to wear in the show ring is confidence. Read more of Karen's riding advice in Just Getting Started

Welcome Karen!

When was your first encounter with a horse?

I don't remember a specific event, but the earliest memories I have, are with my neighbors.  They had a couple horses I'd spent time with over the years, Blaze, a big chestnut gelding (with a blaze, surprise!) of unknown origin, and a leopard Appaloosa named Wakonda.  I'd wanted a horse for as long as I could get the words out, but my family didn't have the room, or the know-how, and thankfully, (though as a kid, I thought it was horrible!) knew enough to not just get me a horse and let me figure it out!

What is your riding discipline?

By AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) definition, I'm an All-Around rider.  When I show, it's usually in a five-event group of Showmanship, Equitation, and Hunter under Saddle, Horsemanship, and Pleasure.  I've always enjoyed trail riding as well, and even driving when I've had the chance.

Where do you like to ride?

I like riding wherever I can.  At the last barn I boarded at, they had several nice trails, and during our last years there, it was fun to ride with friends in the relaxed surroundings.

What horses do you currently stable?

My last horse went home to God's barn in the fall of 2009, and I haven't had my own since.  It was too heartbreaking to even consider for quite a while, but I feel I'm ready again now, so just working on timing and finances.  I've always boarded, and been fortunate in the places I've found, always privately-owned, homey-feeling places.

What does horsemanship mean to you?

To me, it has a couple of meanings.  One more direct, as in, the Western Horsemanship classes we used to compete in, where the judging is based on the rider’s performance, often with a pattern to perform, and rail work.  The other, more general, meaning a person's overall equine skill set.  If someone displays good horsemanship, they handle horses well, and themselves well around horses.
I enjoy your blog. What else have you written?

I'm in the very early stages of working on a book, but writing is something I've always enjoyed, and been good at, so writing about horses feels natural to me.  Stay tuned!
Where do you like to write?

We have a nice office at home, that gets used for laundry overstock, gift wrapping, my personal nail salon, and a number of non-office things, in addition to actual work, but not nearly as much!  Thanks to the convenience of the tablet, I write wherever the mood strikes, which is often at my boyfriends’ son’s baseball practice, or while I'm fixing dinner.  I haven't really found my "spot" yet.  I do fantasize though, about having a little lake house, or some other kind of getaway cozy space for writing.

How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?

I have self-diagnosed ADOS (attention deficit ohhh, SHINY!).  I keep a little notebook on me at all times, and whenever an idea pops into my head, I write it down so I don't forget.  Learning to be a "sparent" I think takes up more memory than I expected, but I'm learning to balance my life, and trust that the important stuff will stick.

What are you currently writing? 

Currently, I'm focused on my blog, while mentally drafting ideas for my first book (suggestions?  anyone?).  I've enjoyed very positive feedback so far, and lots of encouragement, so I'm trying to stay upright on that wave, and use it to my advantage.

What are you currently reading?

I've just finished a series by another blogger, Romi Moondi, called Year of the Chick, in which she turns a casual blog into a self-published book series.  I wasn't seeking out something like this, but it came to my inbox at a great time, and I enjoy her writing style, it feels similar to mine.

Do you have advice for beginning bloggers/writers? 

I would tell a beginning blogger, to speak without fear or filters.  It's your personal story; tell it in your own voice.  I think the world is lacking in authenticity.  With all the "reality" shows, which couldn't be farther from reality (though admittedly, I'm still a fan!), I think people really appreciate someone being honest.  For example, we have a personal trainer that comes into the office, who had a bad day, and ranted for a few minutes about something, then apologized profusely for allowing us to see the "unprofessional" side of her.  I stopped her and said "no, if anything, I have more respect for you now, knowing that you have crappy days and eat ice cream too!"

List 10 things that your fans may not know about you...

1- Apparently, I look younger than I actually am (37) to most people.  I like that!  Thanks Mom, for the good genes!
2- I took guitar lessons for about a year, in my earlier 30's, after wanting to my whole life, but being afraid of failing.  Time and personal circumstances made it too hard to keep it up, but when I hear a cool guitar melody or harmony it makes me miss playing.  Maybe someday I'll pick it up again.
3- I'm a Bravo TV addict.  If it weren't for all their shows, my laundry would never get folded!  I'm still waiting on that call, for casting the "Real Horsewives..."
4- My "lottery" dreams are pretty boring.  Ask my Dad, he has all his new cars and vacation homes picked out already!  Me, I can't imagine having more money than I know what to do with. I'm sure I'd figure it out eventually, but it wouldn't be easy for me.
5- I LOVE MINIONS.  There's a small collection of them on my office desk, they're adorable, and I'd love to have my own personal army of them.  Gru gets all the good stuff!
6- People, friends and strangers alike, have always felt comfortable confiding in me.  I have no idea why, but when I go to my grave, I'll need extra space for all the secrets I'll take with me, and most of them aren't even mine!
7- I dream of traveling the world, I just hope I'm not getting too late of a start, I don't even have a passport yet!
8- My boyfriend and I both love playing the game where you pick which celebrity people look like, while you're out in public.  We spent a Valentine's Day dinner, watching all the other patrons and whispering, "look, its Theo Huxtable and Lil Kim!"  I've even got my boss and other managers doing it.  When one of your managers calls you down to his department, because there's a customer who looks and sounds just like a guy in a TV show you both watch, you know you've left your mark!
9- If I could do anything else in the world, I would probably enjoy being a Genealogist.  I'm fascinated by my own family ancestry, and would love to research it more, if I had the time and resources.
10- I could live on pizza and milk chocolate.  Well, I probably wouldn't live very long, but I would be so happy!

Connect with Karen...

No comments: