About Kacey Cleary

I am so happy you are here. My name is Kacey.

You may know me from my YouTube channel Kacypony, which I changed to Sparkles Rainbows And Unicorns and more recently, Joyful Equestrian.

I’ve been absent from YouTube for a while, which I started before this blog. Life throws lots of curve balls. I plan to continue blogging to help people grow in their journeys as equestrians.

That’s why I became a riding instructor when I was 18 years old; after all, to help people learn about riding and horses.

Right now, I am leasing a wonderful quarter horse named Chip.

I left my most recent job as a barn manager and riding instructor and am now a full-time stay-at-home mom to a very energetic, independent, and opinionated 3-year old. My husband is not a horsey type guy, but he is supportive of my endeavors and I appreciate it!

This blog, which I started in October 2018, has definitely been a learning experience for me and quite a journey. To say the least.

My Equestrian Story

I grew up in a non-horsey family but my parents supported my love for horses. I would go on pony rides as a young child and visit my cousins who had horses in the summers.

I begun horse riding lessons at 8 years old thanks to my best friend from school who was already taking lessons. That helped convince my parents who kept saying I was too young.

From their on I was absolutely hooked and obsessed with horses.

Over the years I have taken lessons at many different farms and. I started off hunter/jumper and then moved on to dressage and eventing barns, which I found was more my style.

I was in Pony Club for a year or two but couldn’t afford a horse. So I left because I only had the opportunity to ride during rating tests. I was always the barn manager at rally’s.

I grew up being a working student on weekends at different barns. This gave me more opportunity for riding because my parents couldn’t afford more than the weekly lesson.

I also volunteered and eventually worked at therapeutic riding farms as a side walker and horse handler. My latest job as a barn manager and riding instructor was actually at a therapeutic riding farm.

I leased a couple horses a few years before I bought my first horse. A standardbred mare who could trot for days, and an older off the track thoroughbred that acted like a 4 year old.

When I was 16 years old, I saved up and bought my first horse. An old off-track thoroughbred broodmare. She was in rough shape. I had 3 side jobs to afford her, plus high school.

I ended up giving her to a companion home where a horse lost his buddy to cancer. It ended up being a bad decision and I was lied to. She went to several homes before I found her. Luckily long story short she lived the rest of her days at the barn I originally boarded her at as a companion horse.

During the time I had my first horse I was also riding other horses that were at the barn. One woman owned three horses and I was riding her horses for her. This lady ended up becoming one of my best friends. I continued to ride her horses off and on through high school, college and up to only several years ago.

After high school I went to UMass Amherst, in the Stockbridge School Of Agriculture program and got an associates degree in equine industries. Basically the program prepared you to become a riding instructor, horse breeder, horse trainer, groom, stable hand or barn manager.

In college I joined the dressage team and was leasing an appaloosa and riding a thoroughbred. We were also required to take two riding lessons a week. So I acquired a good amount of riding time during my college years.

Towards the end of college I bought my second horse which was to be a project to resell. Another off the track thoroughbred. Beautiful gelding often mistaken for a warmblood or an appendix quarter horse. I worked off his board and did an internship for college at the farm he was boarded at.

After college I still had the thoroughbred gelding. I bought another project off the track thoroughbred. A smaller dark bay gelding. This second gelding was straight off the track so that was an experience. But he ended up being my best horse. His name was Storm.

I ended up selling my second thoroughbred. That also fell through and was a nightmare. Another long story short he is in a home that loves him.

I then moved to Maryland and joined the resident program at Bascule Farm; an eventing stable. It was the hardest work I had ever done in my life. But I am glad I did it because I learned so much and my riding skills really leaped forward. We rode 3 horses 5 days a week and I had my horse Storm with me. He was to be ridden in my own time.

That’s where I really started to gain experience teaching riding lessons as well. We showed many weekends at schooling events with the green horses. The program was worth the effort and time. I sold Storm which I regret to this day. I bought him as a sales project but he was awesome.

Shortly after coming home to Massachusetts once the resident student program was over I started working at Gaston Farm as a stable hand, which turned into a riding instructor and horse training position.

It was such an awesome experience there. I also fell in love with a young Hanoverian mare which I ended up buying, my fourth horse.

The lesson program I started grew fairly big and the only reason I left was because I wanted to start my own business, where I could be the boss, do things the way I wanted to do. Also the barn had several instructors so it got a bit crowded when we were all teaching lessons.

I started my business Holden Equestrian in 2014 where I boarded horses and gave riding lessons. It was about the time I started my YouTube Channel Kacypony.

I also was teaching on and off at a nearby barn called Windkist Farm while I was starting up my business. It’s funny I used to take lessons at Windkist when I was 10 years old. Little did I know I would be teaching lessons there.

A couple years later I transferred the farm lease and moved with my horse to my friends house that had a small farm. I was helping her with her grandkids and horses while she was going through tough time.

I got married and then a series of unfortunate events happened and I had to sell my mare after 6 years of owning her. It was really hard to do so, but I didn’t have much of a choice.

I tried to start a blog but I ended up being too depressed to do anything. I suffered from the worse depression I have ever had. During this time I leased a palomino quarter horse named Spike for a while and that lifted my spirits a bit. But it took a long time and therapy to get out of that funk.

Eventually I got a job as a barn manager and riding instructor at a therapeutic riding farm called Rein In A Dream. Everything started to look up from there.

I worked there for about a year and during that time moved to a new house and got pregnant. I ended up leaving when I had my first child. A boy we named Colton.

A couple months before Colton was born I attempting blogging a second time.

I became a stay at home mom, trying to create an online business about my greatest passion.

During the first year with Colton I struggled with depression and old feelings came back. That was while still trying to keep up with my blog.

Luckily I found an equine therapy program to help me through and Colton got to see horses every week while he was only a few months old.

I found a quarter horse. At the end of my therapy sessions I started to lease Chip. An older quarter horse I found for lease near my new home.

Chip hadn’t been regularly ridden in years. So it has taken a bit to get him back in shape. But when ever I am down when I go to the barn my spirits are lifted and I feel like me again.

That is basically where I am at now. Raising a young toddler, managing the house, continuing my blog, going to the barn whenever possible to see Chip and the other horses there and spending time with my husband who tries to support me however he can.

I left out some of my equestrian journey. But this page would turn into a novel. Anyway I am excited to be a part of your equestrian journey!

A Few Random Facts About Me

  • I am an ARIA certified and MA licensed riding instructor.
  • I have an Associate’s Degree in Equine Industries.
  • I think groundwork with horses is very important for relationships and communication under saddle.
  • I was in Pony Club for a year at 12 or 13 years old. I was always the barn manager because I couldn’t afford a horse.
  • I have ridden hunter/jumper, eventing, dressage, bareback, western pleasure, and trail riding.
  • Thoroughbreds are my favorite horse breed.
  • I have worked with horses as a barn manager, horse trainer, riding instructor, working student, stable hand, groom, side walker for equine therapy, and business owner.
  • Horses have always been my “main thing.”
  • My favorite movie series is Jurassic Park.
  • I struggled back and forth to believe God was real for a long time, but had eye-opening experiences that made me come to believe in Jesus.