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Columnist Jody Jaffe

October 2, 2013

Horse Camp Is Even Better As A Grown-Up

Talk about extreme envy.

When I read Kristin Carpenter’s poignant column, “The Souls The Barn Builds,” I turned a deep and unflattering shade of green wishing I’d had her childhood. Then I imagined a version of reincarnation where you pre-order your upcoming life. “Just like Kristin’s,” I’d tell the Next Life Clerk.

August 27, 2013

Avoiding The Overthink

I’ve been overthinking everything since I could think. Part of it is my culture; I come from a people who, if they didn’t invent psychoanalysis, certainly perpetrated it on the world.

May 28, 2013

Making The Best Out Of Setbacks

It wasn’t a total disaster, as in no medics were involved. But short of an ambulance ride to the emergency room, my two weeks at the Lexington Spring Premiere and Spring Encore AA shows couldn’t have ended much worse.

February 14, 2013

These Boots Were Worth The Wait

The Vogel boot showroom in lower Manhattan isn't much bigger than a generous box stall. Three shelves line the front window, offering an assortment of Vogel footwear: dress boots, field boots, paddock boots, men’s shoes and, at the far right hand corner, a pair of hot red leather boots for when I win the lottery.

November 7, 2012

A Day Of Reckoning With Mr. Anxiety

I've been worrying about this day for more than two years. So in a perverse, Pollyana-ish way, I'm glad it finally came to pass.

Two years ago, I fell from my horse and hit my head hard enough to wipe out an entire day. I'd hit my head before from previous falls during my 40 years of riding but never lost that much time or memory.

September 20, 2012

A New Year And A New Beginning For Woody

It seems fitting that Woody, aka The Doctor of Confidence, leaves my farm right as my people celebrate the new year of 5773. He and I are both off to new and separate adventures.

June 12, 2012

Finding The Line Between Challenge and Overface

Any good teacher knows never to overface a student, be it horse or human. It’s the most efficient way to shred confidence. I teach writing. I’d never tell a beginner writer to start her novel. That would be like my trainer telling me to jump a 4-foot oxer. The difference is that my writing student might suffer a bruised ego if she confronted a blank computer screen, whereas there’s no telling how many body parts I’d break or bruise if I attempted that oxer.

May 10, 2012

Wearing A Helmet Could Be The Best Mother's Day Present

I’m saving the world one head at a time. Steve Leo’s head was the first. He’s the guy who taught my wrist to bend after six weeks of stall rest (a.k.a. a cast) for a compound horse-inflicted fracture. It turned out Steve was a horseman, in addition to being a physical therapist. One step into his Staunton, Va., office revealed that. He’s got horse statues, horse paintings and horse pictures all over the place.

March 8, 2012

A Small But Very Meaningful Triumph On The Road To Recovery

This road to recovery has two lanes, mine and Katie's. Mine, as you might have read in previous columns, has been a twisty, mountainous route full of switchbacks and delays. Katie's, on the other hand, has been a straight, slow slog across Kansas.

February 12, 2012

Horses Help Us Through The Roughest Times

Life keeps getting in the way of my return to riding. And this column.

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