It’s Kind of Like This: The Life of a Rider is more a digital poem than a digital essay. Its aim is simple: to showcase how – even when my horse is uncooperative and my boots are caked in mud and nothing seems to be going quite right – the sport has totally captured my heart, and there’s never a day when I’d want to be doing anything else. Of course the tears and triumphs aren’t unique to my experience alone, but the photos are – I hope that they’ll serve as a visual representation of how I, as a rider, feel every step of the way.
This presentation was created using VuVox, a platform that was entirely new to me just a month ago but has quickly become a favorite of mine. It lends a sort of slideshow feel to my photos while still allowing for them to flow cohesively. My original idea had been to use a Prezi and have different sections for different aspects of my equestrian life – riding at my barn at home in Michigan, my relationship with the horse I lease here in North Carolina, and my experience with the Duke University Equestrian Team and coach. That quickly seemed too formulaic and – honestly – boring, and I needed something that moved more like a narrative. I wasn’t just looking to educate viewers: I wanted my passion for the sport to shine through. VuVox allowed me to wax (just a little) poetic on behalf of my love for horses while still putting these multifold aspects on display. The narrative came about organically, just from all the things I encounter during all my days at the barn and at horse shows – I threw in different ideas as they came to me over the course of a few weeks.
Selfishly speaking, I also wanted a reason to show off all the photos of my adorable horse that I’ve taken since I started leasing him at the beginning of the year. I took hundreds of photos (and had two of my friends at the barn take several of me riding) with no plan at all about how to use them. It didn’t matter, because I had so many that I found I could represent just about any sentiment that came to mind, and if there was one photo I particularly liked, I structured a piece of the narrative to fit it. Lucky for me, riding is a highly visual sport, and my horse is pretty photogenic (if there are treats involved), so I was able to integrate all of the best shots (like the one below) into my presentation.