Another year is coming to an end…2015 is on her way out while 2016 is waiting anxiously to arrive. Here at SLO Horse News, we, like many of our fellow equestrians, look back on the events of this year and forward to what the New Year will bring.
Sharon Jantzen – Director/Writer
Re-launching SLO Horse News in May of 2015 came at a difficult time for me and my family, as my dear father’s health began to fail. In fact, I sent the first e-mail campaign sitting beside him in the ER. Though, this little endeavor quickly became a therapeutic diversion, as it helped me to focus on horses, introduced me to amazing people and organizations, and allowed me to rely on my lifetime of experience as an equestrian. Isn’t this what we do when times get tough?
July brought the sadness of the unexpected passing of my equine companion, Katie, which absolutely broke my heart. The many years of memories flooded back frequently. I learned that in this time of sadness, writing and managing SLO Horse News gave me purpose. Several months later, as if one grief wasn’t enough, my dear father passed, and suddenly I was a little girl again…wondering how I was going to get through my days. Still, SLO Horse News is a constant source of focus, joy and hope – even through sad times.
Thank you, my fellow SLO Horse News Adventurers, for joining me on this ride. Thank you to my fabulous Editor, Sarah Williams, who has brainstormed with me, supported ideas, kept writing, and polishes my work for publication. Thank you to my supportive husband, who said, “I think you should do this,” as I contemplated the next step for SLO Horse News earlier this year. Thank you to my three teenagers for understanding my distraction, and for being honestly interested in what is happening with the site. Thank you to my special mom, Charlene, who is a gift to me and who cheers me on continuously.
Thank you to my friends – both horsey and non-horsey – who have encouraged me in this pursuit. You all allow me to be the best person I can be.
Sarah Williams – Editor/Writer
2015 was a year of lessons learned, adventures taken, experiences indulged, and, above all, unexpected growth. When Sharon approached me about the “new SLO Horse News”, I was just launching my new photography business, juggling a horse show schedule, working on outside writing projects, and attempting to hold together a house-hold. My time was limited and I was stretched thin, but I knew that I wanted to be a part of this ride. So, even when I thought that there weren’t enough hours in the day, I peeled away the days, like the layers of an onion, and eventually I got to the heart…I can do anything that I put my mind to, and there is more to me than I ever thought that there was.
For 2016, I look forward to a new endeavor with my beautiful TR Hollywood Princess, as we transition from Arabian Horse shows to strictly NRHA shows…and I have no doubt that my little Half Arabian will happily carry me through many more patterns. Our first show is in April, and preparations are already beginning. In addition, I am slowly but steadily building my clientele at Mirror’s Edge Photography, both building my Fine Art portfolio and booking even more portrait, family and equine sessions. This journey of artistic expression has allowed me to focus my creativity, and seeing people enjoy my work is something more wonderful than I can adequately express. The support of my family is what allows me to do these things with the joy and confidence that I can achieve my dreams.
Finally, I plan to do even more with SLO Horse News. I plan to get out into the community, meet more amazing people and tell more amazing stories. I commit fully to all of the readers who enjoy our little publication that I will keep trying to bring the best and most heartfelt content possible to their computer screens, Facebook pages and Inboxes. I want to thank Sharon Jantzen for her support and understanding, and for allowing me to be part of something so incredible.
This ride is just beginning, and I can’t wait to see where it leads.
The SLO Horse News Team
Together, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to you all for riding along with us as we bring you more stories of the people, the horses, the places and happenings that make our vibrant, SLO County horse community one of the best in the state (and maybe even the country). We would like to thank our advertisers who help drive our desire to put out top-quality stories and seek out new areas of the equine community that often go unnoticed; it excites us to be part of your success! We always welcome ideas and story prompts from our readers, and hope that 2016 will bring an influx of new contributor stories and perhaps even a new “voice” or two in the way of staff writers.
Stay in the saddle with us, friends, there are many exciting things in the works for SLO Horse News in 2016!
Cover Photo: SLO Horse News Director, Sharon (second from right), ringing in the New Year atop a Connemara at the Tournament of Roses parade.