Welcome to The Horsey Life. My name is Penny Hawes. I’ve created this site to share information I’ve gathered over the last 40+ years of loving, owning, riding, caring for, training, competing and writing about horses; as well as the past 30 or so years I’ve been an internationally certified riding instructor.
I’ve been fortunate enough to own horses since I was 12. During school I was active in both 4-H and the United States Pony Club. After high school, I attended the Talland School of Equitation in the UK (www.Talland.net) where I earned my British Horse Society Assistant Instructor’s Certificate. I also met my husband, James, at Talland – so it was a magical time and place for me. After marrying in 1980, we lived in the UK for a few years, where I taught for the Pony Club and at a small boarding barn (or “livery yard” as they’re called across the pond). My husband taught at a busy yard in Arundel.
After moving back to the US, we owned and operated a large boarding, lesson and training barn in CT. Our primary focus was Dressage, and I successfully competed in the New England region with my own and my clients horses, as well as coaching students at shows.
In 2004, we decided that we’d had enough of Connecticut winters, sold our farm and moved to Virginia. I’ve been managing a large private barn, doing some freelance teaching, volunteering at various shows – including being the Volunteer Coordinator for Dressage at Devon, and been on the board of the Southwest Virginia Dressage Association and Brook Hill Farm, a horse rescue facility in Forest, VA where I teach dressage in a program for at-risk youth.
After having written for and edited newsletters for our barn and various organizations over the years, I turned my hand to writing professionally. My work regularly appears in Horse Talk Magazine and Virginia Horse Lovers Magazine.
One of the things I’ve discovered while teaching, coaching and facilitating workshops, is that, for many people, riding is life in a microcosm. The challenges and triumphs we deal with on the back of a horse are often the same issues we encounter at the dinner table and the conference table (just with more fur). By becoming aware of the lessons being presented to you by your horse (and your Source), you’ll be able to view the other aspects of your life with greater clarity.