Creative Horsepower With Photographer Shelley Paulson

Creative Horsepower With Photographer Shelley Paulson

Let’s start at the beginning, when and how did you originally get involved with horses?

Since I was little, I always loved horses. I would find ads of them and try to convince my parents that we could fit a horse in our small backyard that was maybe 1/4 of an acre! There was even this baby paint horse that I found for $1000 that I was convinced we could have. One of my friends from elementary school actually had horses at her house so I always loved going over to visit so I could feed and hang out with her horses. Unfortunately though, as every equestrian or parent of an equestrian knows, horses aren't cheap! So, as much as I wanted to learn to ride, my family couldn't afford it. Fast forward to Christmas a few years ago, my boyfriend actually surprised me with horseback riding lessons. As you can probably guess, the rest is history!

Tell us about your life with horses today. 

Currently I own my first horse, Petri and I honestly pinch myself everyday that I can say those words. It's something that I have wanted my entire life and I still can't believe my dream came true. He actually came into my life by total chance. I had recently switched barns, but was still great friends with everyone at my old barn, and I still am! They had acquired Petri when his owners were moving and wanted him to go to a good home. A month in he actually injured himself in the paddock and was going to take quite some time to heal. I visited my friend who was keeping him at her property and immediately fell in love with his personality (I always said I hoped my horse would have a fun, goofy personality like Petri's). I had this special feeling about him and after she told me that they would probably have to find a new home for him to recover, I asked if I could have him. This December it will be one year and I'm honestly so excited for what's to come. I didn't start riding so I could show (I actually didn't know what a horse show was) but I do love going to shows! We actually just competed in our second show together (and my third ever) over Halloween and placed for the first time! I had an absolute blast and am so excited to do more shows together and just have fun!

What does a “day in the life” look like for you now? How do you manage work/life/school/family etc. with horses?

Balancing horses, my dogs, family and my job is definitely hard. I wish I could say that I manage it all well but I definitely don't, ha! Right now I help out at the barn a few days a week from about 8 to 3/3:30 and then once I'm home on those days and on the days I'm not at the barn, I'm working on my blog, Sparkles and Sunshine Blog! I'm an equestrian and dog blogger who shares product reviews, everyday life in the saddle from a beginner adult rider and more! I decided to take the plunge in February to take my blog full time when I lost my job. It's been a crazy journey that is definitely teaching me a lot, but it's connected me with so many amazing equestrians and dog moms, many of which that have become good friends!

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