My name is Aurora, or Rory.  Where to start? Well I grew up riding horses.  I fell madly in love with ponies as a young girl and although there have been hardships, it is a sport (it’s so much more than a sport though…) that I believe will always be a part of me.  I’ve always ridden hunter/jumper, with an emphasis on equitation, which is something I will discuss in this blog.  Although the past two years I’ve done more dressage and cross country, my heart is always in HJ.  When I was 14 my barn burned down, killing 31 horses and ponies, including mine (Donner and Wally).  This was a tragic event that has no doubt shaped my life, taught me my stregnths and my weaknesses, and will always be in the back of my mind.  It is something I don’t often talk about, but as evidence from the picture of Donner at my desk, and Wally on my nightstand, it is never far from thought.  The fire never diminished my love of riding however, and for years I continued competing at the top level throughout the east coast.  Although I no longer own any horses, I still ride and train every chance I get.

Four years ago I was forced to undergo a complete transformation.  I needed to drastically change my lifestyle, and running became my savior.  It has provided me with structure, balance, stability, and a clear mind.  If I’m unable to run, you can count on seeing me at my gym at 9pm every night.  Over the past few years I’ve been able to take the competitve energy that I always had with my riding and channel that into becoming a fairly succesful (by my standards) middle-of-the-pack distance runner.  Running has been life changing, and just like riding, I believe that it is something that I can take with me through my life.

Oh, and the title of the blog? I used to own a beautiful black Russian Warmblood named Riley whose showname was Life of Riley after the old series “Life of Reilly”…you get the picture.



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