I don't remember ever not riding horses- I began as soon as I could walk. After a year of college, I began training horses. In April of 2002, as I was leaving the ranch i was working at, I was t-boned by a truck pulling a horse trailer with two horses in it. I was in a coma for seventeen days and the doctors told my parents I would probably never walk or talk again. On the seventeenth day, I opened my eyes, and began my jouney back to wellness.
I spent three months in the hospital, and another six months in brain injury rehab, both inpatient and out, learning to walk and talk and trying to figure out what to do as a career after this. I was told I could not ride horses for at least five years. My last doctor's appointment fell on Halloween, and I thought it would be fun to dress up as a rodeo clown for my visit to the hospital. I painted my face white with a big star on one cheek and and heart on the other, put on a big cowboy hat, certain that I was, indeed, a clown..
At the hospital my mother and I ran into an acquaintance of hers. Seeing me in clown, she began telling me how she put herself through college working as a clown, doing parties and special events. I was very intriqued by this idea because I was having such a blast that day. Everyone stopped to talk to me, and I could put my natural love for people into action. That night my brother JD helped me search online for clown education, and I found a clown college that was being offered in Reno the following April. April came and off I went, with my dad as my driver and helper. I learned to put on make-up and to do a few simple balloon sculptures, among other things.
I had purchased a horse earlier that year named Patches and she came with a baby named Dally. I changed the momma's name to Dilly, so they become Dilly and Dally. On the way home from clown college, my dad and I were tossing around different clown names, and at one point he said, "Why don't you just be Dilly Dally?", and Dilly Dally the Clown was born.
I found that I had a real love and talent for balloon twisting and I started learning more and more. I began doing parties for neighbors and clowning at community events and fairs. My business has grown over the years, and I have won awards in balloon competitions and have had my designs chosen for the Klutz Book of Balloons.
I started riding again a year after my accident and still love being around horses. I clown around every chance I get and love every minute of it!