The horse world is a funny thing. We get so busy talking about horses that we can know a fellow rider for ages without a clue of what they do in their “day jobs.” As it turns out, our HJU bloggers are total badasses in the workplace before they clock out and head to the barn to chase their equestrian dreams. Let’s learn a bit more about them. 

Moderating a panel. Photo by Rachel O'Hara

Moderating a panel. Photo by Rachel O’Hara

I’m a journalist and am a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times, the largest daily newspaper in the southeast and consistently ranked one of the top newspapers in the country. I’m lucky to work in an industry I really love — journalism — and in a position that is as rewarding as it is challenging.

It’s probably my love for writing and research that makes blogging for HJU seem some natural.

I’ve worked at daily newspapers in Florida since I graduated from college five years ago. I don’t have to tell you all that it’s a tough time for print media. The pay isn’t always great and I’ve watched some of my coworkers be laid off over the years. But I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

I meet new people everyday. I am humbled by some of the experiences and people I get to write about. I am grateful for the feedback I receive that may have brought a specific problem to light in a community or helped change someone’s life for the better.  I am challenged to be better with every story and I work with some really smart people. Storytelling is so important, even in this new, digital age, so I know there will always be a demand for those who know how to craft a strong, and objective story.

Some interesting guy I interviewed one time about Bike Week in Florida. Photo by Daron Dean.

Some interesting guy I interviewed one time about Bike Week in Florida. Photo by Daron Dean.

I am very career driven, and have had to make sacrifices to move up, though I’ve noticed my priorities have shifted some as I get older. I turned down a dream job covering the growing tech industry in Silicon Valley, because I wouldn’t have been able to afford to realistically keep my horse, Belinda, out there. While my hours are flexible and usually weird, it does affect my riding time. When news breaks, you have to go. I am also the VP of a feminist journalist nonprofit that requires some travel. So basically I just never sleep.

I try to ride as often as I can, and am usually at the barn 3-4 days a week. I have plans and dreams to compete more, but am realistic about the time I have to contribute to that. That’s why full board and a good barn manager are so important. I have to rely on others to help me provide Belinda with the best care possible.

Covering an accident on a highway in Florida.

Covering an accident on a highway in Florida.

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