Before horses entered Dani’s, life there were dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and a BLM Burro name BJ. At age nine Dani became the owner of a black flashy pony named Stormy. Many of her childhood memories were racing Stormy down dirt roads, showing in 4-H and more often than not being doubled over with side aches as Stormy pranced and pranced.
Before cell phones and before the thought of a helmet, Dani was racing with friends through pastures or bush whacking it through the woods. Riding skills through the good old sticking on and going for it were developed. At age sixteen Dani went to a Judge asking permission to get an early withdrawal from a structured settlement from a car accident so that she could buy a horse and saddle. The judge gave his permission and for $800 Dani purchased her Thoroughbred gelding, Doc and a used English Saddle. Dani spent many years dreaming of jumping and taking more lessons, yet what Dani found was a beach to ride to from her home and drift wood to jump.
From her late teens to early-twenties Dani worked at various camps as a wrangler and or riding instructor, served in Americorps * NCCC and the California Conservation Corps, and wandered around quite a bit of the west coast. From San Diego to the Northern Sierra’s wanderlust and mountains were always calling. Dani completed equine courses at a local college in California where she was first truly introduced to training and the world opened wide and that was the moment Dani realized she had a lot to learn.
At age 29 Dani became a Mother to a big brown eyed girl. When Madelyn was young Dani spent several years horse-less, yet the desire to ride was always there and when opportunities came about to ride, Dani hopped on! The lifelong dream of running a barn had started to disappear amongst the stresses of life and work, yet it was still there, quietly waiting to take hold again.
Now Madelyn is a teenager. She loves all her critters, literature, creative writing, and performing arts.
Interesting fact about Dani:
After working in the backcountry with the California Conservation Corps in Yosemite, Dani volunteered with the packers and had a crash course in packing out mules and lead a string around half dome.
Dani, Sean, and Madelyn welcome all and are excited to see the Spirit Heart Community grow.