Hi everyone. My name is Heather Waldron and I’m from Burt Lake, Michigan. For those of you who don’t where that is (which is probably everyone), it’s a small town about half an hour from Petoskey, a popular tourist spot in northern Michigan. I just finished my first year at Albion and, let me say, thank goodness it is summer! (Don’t get me wrong; I loved my first year at Albion, but I’m definitely ready for some warm weather and no homework.)
Throughout my first year, I managed to stay pretty busy. I plan to double major in economics and management and molecular biology. (Hopefully this will set me up for a career in health administration, biotechnology, or something similar.) On campus, I’m also a member of the Gerstacker Institute and the Honors Institute. Riding-wise, I competed in advanced walk/trot/canter on the hunt seat team this year and qualified for IHSA Regionals with four firsts and four seconds during the regular season meets. It was a great experience and I love all the girls on the team. Finally, I’m also a member of the equestrian club and was recently elected club treasurer.
This summer, I don’t think I’m going to be any less busy. I have the opportunity to be a working student for trainer Carl Bessette for the second summer in a row. Last summer, my horses and I improved tremendously and I can’t wait to do it again this year. Carl is a hunter and equitation trainer out of Wellington, Florida who has taught riders for the top hunter/equitation circuits and spent many years judging at shows such as Devon. During the hot Florida summers, Carl and his horses travel north because a good friend of Carl’s has a cottage in northern Michigan and she convinced him to come here last summer. He loved it, so this year he is returning with three horses (and maybe a pony).
I also manage a boarding facility out of my home stable called Far Hills Farms. Last summer, we had 14 horses here. I’m responsible for daily feedings, billing, tracking needed care, etc. And if that isn’t enough, along with running the barn and riding with Carl this summer, I’m also a sales intern with The Plaid Horse, a nationally distributed hunter/jumper magazine that follows many of the big show circuits and college teams.
I can’t forget to introduce you to my horses because I’m sure that you will hear more about them as the summer goes on. Jelli (registered as Gellico) is an 11 year old Swedish Warmblood mare. She is quite talented and energetic. I bought her as a project and she has come a long way in the last four years! Then there’s Solo, a 14 year old Quarter Horse gelding. He is my Mr. Reliable and we’ve done everything together because he’ll try to do anything you ask.
There’s a lot coming up this summer, but now it’s just a lot of spring clean-up and trying to get my horses and I fit before Carl gets here!