I think it's best to start with introducing myself. Hi, I'm Katie Riley. People like associations, so I should mention that I'm married to Chuck.
First and foremost, I'm an competitor in the sport of Horse Trials. If you aren't familiar, it's a sport where a horse and rider compete as a team in a three phased (dressage, cross country riding/jumping, and show jumping) competition where the winner is the the pair who completes all phases with the lowest cumulative penalties. This isn't about who's pretty, but the competition tests skill, fitness, bravery, determination, and luck. Eventers, people and horses alike, mostly tend to be down-to-earth, gritty folk.
Because I enjoy "making my own," I bought Harry as a four year old and started him after I had to retire my previous horse. We are currently working our way up the levels, as we become better trained, fit, and qualified. There are six levels total that are progressively more difficult, and to enter, the horse and rider must qualify. We are working towards a goal of qualifying and competing in a classic format Training Level Three Day Event in October of 2010 at Waredeca in Maryland.
This is a very important goal that I made two years ago, and we are on track. I say 'we' because Harry is very much an equal partner, never failing to express his mood, attitude, and opinions about the program or about me. I'm blessed that Harry is a natural, and his fitness, education, and well being is my top concern. I'm not just a passenger either. Both of us have to be properly fit, trained, and prepared. Fitness is a huge issue for me, and while I'm sufficiently fit to compete at our current level, I need to build my overall body strength, flexibility, and lose 14 lbs in order to be prepare for the next level and qualify for the Three Day. And to guide our training, I work with upper level rider Cathy Weischoff here in Lexington.
I own two other horses, Bubba, who is my retired horse, and Thunder, a miniature horse and companion to Harry and Bubba. Chuck, myself, the Orange Barn Cat, the horses, and the three indoor cats (Patch, Rizzo, and Bones), all live on a small horse farm near Lexington, KY.
From time to time, I'll use this blog to talk about the various things we are working on, what's going on around the farm (as it's a work in progress), and how our competitions go.
Second, I help with CR but my obvious efforts are with my column/review Breaking Ground. Growing up, the exposure I had to comics was X-Men which my best friend and her brother loved. I even had a 'Jubilee' collector card for a while. I loved her yellow trench coat and green short shorts, but really can't say I was particularly inspired. As an adult, I became reacquainted with comics when Chuck started on his idea of CR. I read Watchman dutifully, loved Bone, fell in love with Strangers in Paradise. I read Nova and Birth by Michael Bracco and was blown away by one of the sketches, "Uncle Face," in the back. So much in fact that Chuck bought the original art for me, which I love and have in my office. Then Chuck started going to conventions and people started sending in books and art for review. One of the books that came in was "Slow Storm." I was so impressed with Slow Storm that I decided to write review and started "Breaking Ground." As time has allowed, I've written a couple more reviews, and plan to be more active.
From time to time, I'll be using this blog to talk about the various books, reviews, and the small role I play within CR.
Third, it's hard not to be inspired when reading these great stories and art, and meeting so many fantastic people who are creating their own amazing, independent work. It's rekindled a love for drawing and writing creatively. I've been drawing more, learning about sequential art, and jotting down some ideas for a story.
So certainly, I'll be using this blog to talk about that journey too.