I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.


jasper & taylor

So this is Taylor and her buddy Jasper. Some of you may know him, some of you may not. Jasper’s been a huge part of Taylor’s life …

Tay has been riding since she was four years old. We were on vacation in Ireland, when she fell in love with the horse and carriage rides being offered outside of our hotel in Dublin. We took countless rides around Dublin to appease her! The horse’s masters would start to know Taylor and were kind enough to let her sit on the horses back so we could take a photo or two.

Then we moved on to the countryside and found some riding farms that let Taylor go horseback by herself … just being led by a guide and lead rope. This wasn’t your average stateside trail ride. There was some major trotting going on! In fact, my horse wasn’t too happy with me on his back and at one point, took off … I’m flying off the back of him yelling … as we go racing past the rest of the group! I get thrown … he leaves me lying there humiliated while he takes a country stroll without me!

But anyway. Back to Taylor and Jasper.

So Taylor falls. hard. … for horses that is. We get back to the states and start her in riding lessons near our home. Taylor is a relatively shy and quiet kid, so she didn’t talk much when the instructor was talking to her. He took this as disinterest and told us to only bring her once a month. Taylor was heartbroken. So in the meantime, we found a barn in Illinois that she could ride at. The kicker always was that you needed a horse.

We didn’t have one and weren’t prepared to get one … so we were driving to Illinois once or twice a week for lessons. The joy for me? Taco Bell on the way home! Forgive me, I was pregnant with Piper at the time and deserved the treat, okay?


After riding lessons in IL for a couple of years, we heard about Pony Club right in our backyard! So we found a horse for Taylor to lease and joined Pony Club right away. She was hooked.

Pony Club has certain levels, called ratings, to achieve. She achieved her first two rather quickly … a D1 & D2. She was still pretty young to go for her D3, so stayed at the lower level for a while. All the while begging for a horse of her own! We told her if she achieved her D3 rating, she would get her prize!

August of 2006, she passed her D3 rating and on September 25, 2006 Jasper was the newest member of our family! Then in August of 2007, she rated to her C1. And things slowed down a bit after that.

You can read a little bit about her riding ‘career’ here. But as she got a little older and more knowledgeable in her riding, Jasper became more of handful and harder to handle. It was sort of a combo of his difficulty and her turning into ‘miss teenager’ with more important social issues to tend to … that she stopped riding for a while.

We’ve had Japser down in Florida with Skye over this past winter. He needs to stay exercised and there was no way Taylor would be heading to the barn in the dead of winter this year!

Turns out, the old saying is true … absence makes the heart grow fonder. She’s missed him terribly and has asked for him to come home repeatedly. She was hoping he’d be home in time for her birthday {coincidentally, they share a birthday}. I wanted to surprise her, so didn’t tell her he was coming home while we were gone. He got back to the barn at home, just before we landed from Costa Rica.

We were in the car on the way home from the airport talking about if the dogs would be there or not. And I asked, “know who else will be there?” … it took her a bit, but she slowly realized it was Jasper and started crying.

As difficult as this guy is, he means the world to her. I know she’s going to be faced with the hard decision to sell him … maybe even soon. I don’t know. But she will be heartbroken if that day comes.


I know this is a terribly long post, probably not saying much of anything to most of you. But Taylor and Jasper mean so much to me. I have throughly enjoyed watching my girl come out of her shell and see the confidence she feels while riding. At times, I know she’s scared out of her little breeches … but she loved to ride! I’m hoping this passion comes back now that Jasper is back again.

We traveled in the summer of 2007 to Kentucky Horse Park for a big event that Pony Club has every three years. It was amazing watching Taylor ride. I love watching her ride!

I took these two photos while we were down there. I have thousands more {literally}. I’ve always loved photography, especially since Taylor was born. I’ve loved taking photos. But I think my passion for photography escalated when she started riding. I loved getting shots like these. I would take them for all of our Pony Club members. I was the honorary photographer … I would watch the professional photographers nearby, try and see what lenses they were using, the angles they shot from, and I’d be giddy with glee when my shutter snapped the same times theirs did. I’m dorky like that.

Anyway, I was moved to tears when Taylor was brought to tears with the fact that Jasper was waiting for her at home and I wanted to share those thoughts. And these images.

I’m at a photography workshop right now and it’s amazing. I’m learning tons and so excited and blessed to be here!

Will share more on that soon … right now it’s late and I must sleep.

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Posted in jasper, taylor

9 Responses to “jasper & taylor”

  1. Brigitte says:

    This blog was not long at all…in fact I would love to hear/read more of it. What a great surprise for Taylor. I would love to see her ride some time. Thanks for sharing.

  2. taylor stier says:

    i love you madre (:
    a lot.
    your the best madre in the world.

  3. tracie says:

    with tears in my eyes, i say … “i love you too baby stier, i love you too …”

  4. Pam S. says:

    oh, i was going to ask a silly question, like what photography wksp are you at? then i read the interaction between you & your daughter… nevermind! happy wednesday.

  5. tracie says:

    pam … funny! :) i’m at the learnfest in atlanta. it’s sponsored and taught by the ladies of design aglow. lena hyde, tamara lackey, audrey woulward and laura novak … amazing!

  6. Leslie says:

    Tracie, that is a GREAT story. And definitely one to document. Taylor has accomplished so much! I am always impressed when a young person (won’t call her a kid!) can master an art like that. Bravo!

    I’ve always wanted to visit the Pony Club. I pass by it every day on my way home, and have always been curious! I think it’s amazing that we have something like that so close to home. You’ll have to let me know if it’s open to the public, and when my kids and I could come and watch Taylor and Jasper.

  7. heather says:

    Reunited! YAY!!! And yes…please, please, please let us know when we can see Taylor ride again!!

  8. Tiffany says:

    What a wonderful surprise for Taylor! Lilah would also LOVE to watch Taylor ride. We drive past the Pony Club all the time and we always waive to all of the horses, especially Clover! Let us know when the next event is. Hope you are having fun and learning lots! Get out there and mingle!

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