I chose Pratt because it had the best program for what I wanted to do! I was an Illustration major under the Communications Design Department. and they had a curriculum that incorporated aspects of illustration, design, and art direction. I loved that multidisciplinary approach.
How long have you been riding, and how would you say it has helped you evolve over the years, both personally and professionally?
I’ve been riding since I was about 10 years old! I took lessons once a week with my grandmother. As I got to high school, I stopped riding to focus on my work, but I never forgot the lessons I learned while riding - to have confidence yet not take myself too seriously, to challenge myself, and not be afraid to ask questions.⁃Your first horse show was at Pratt. What was that experience like for you?My first horse show was quite a ride, no pun intended! It was quite intimidating and exciting, since it was also our first horse show as a team. My first round in the ring I was so nerved up that I couldn’t even hear Jane yelling to me that I was on the wrong canter lead! I didn’t place that day, but I had such a great time helping out and cheering on my friends/teammates. I feel like we all really grew as friends and as a team that day!
How was Pratt’s first co-hosted home show different from that first show?
Pratt’s first home show was even busier than our first show! I remember getting to Adelphi, with whom we were co-hosting, an extra hour early to help out with preparations for the show. Keeping busy was certainly helpful to keep us from being nervous about our classes, and all the bustling kept us warm too! I had been working at the entry gate all day, marking off the classes as they went by with my teammate Lindsay, and we had such a fun time eating fruit snacks and deciding which horses were the cutest.
You’re now teaching art to the Metropolitan Equestrian Team’s high school students. Can you tell us a bit about that? And what would you say your journey -- from being a Pratt art student to now teaching -- has taught you?
I had taught/tutored art for about three years, so when Jane asked me to do some tutoring for MET I was really excited to get back into it! I learned a lot about teaching from my favorite professors, and I try to incorporate some of their methods into my own teaching practice. I like to keep an open discussion about projects, and let my students interpret prompts their own way, and really develop their own style and ideas in their work
Do you have a favorite horse? How do you like to bond with the horses you ride?
Sinbad and Shock are my favorites at Jamaica Bay! I love to just pet them and can often be heard talking to them in a silly puppy-dog voice while I’m brushing and tacking up.
What have you learned the most from being an equestrian?
I’ve learned to have confidence in myself, yet not to take myself too seriously. There’s going to be a lot of competitive energy in any sport you do, and being in that environment has taught me to strive to be better, but also to have fun!
Can you tell us about a with us a memory of a time you shared with your teammates, a memory that you cherish?
My favorite memory was the night before our very first show. We gathered at our teammate Evy’s apartment to have a team dinner and go over the IHSA rulebook together. We ate pasta and polished our boots on her living room floor, and all left by 8pm so we could meet up again in less than 8 hours to be on the road to the show!
Where do you think your experience as a rider can take you in the future?
My experience with riding influences a lot of the artwork I make, so I’m just excited to see what work I come up with in the future that involves horses. I’d love to make more short-films, comics, and characters based around horses.
What would you say to potential recruits to the Pratt Equestrian Team?
As an artist and a rider, I’ve realized learning to ride and learning to make art are not too different in their approaches - they both have steep learning curves, so if you’re not moving at a pace that’s right for you, you’ll either be hesitant if you’re moving too fast, or bored if you’re progressing too slowly. Also, both horseback riding and art-making are equally as rewarding! So, don’t forget to take a step back and look at the progress you’ve made and be proud of yourself!
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