That's the implicit deal Jill and Matt made years ago after debating
who had the more expensive hobbies. Jill has been riding since she was
three- years-old, but has never owned or leased a horse. Matt has
always had a love of flying, but didn't actually begin to fly until his
30's. He now holds a private pilot's certificate, and during a stretch
of unemployment, allowed his endorsements to expire. He has never
owned an aircraft. Each of them has adopted each others' hobbies with
varying degrees of success...
Matt took up horseback riding primarily while vacationing, as opportunities allowed; a cattle drive in Utah one year, a canter on the beach in Aruba another. But first came a horseback ride that they'll never forget in the Dominican Republic. Up until that point, virtually every ride was a simple walk on a "push-button," "coin-operated" horse. On this ride, Matt learned to gallop. Like it or not. He got fitted for a horse that had to be at the back of the pack, and the "guide" galloped off into the forest. Matt didn't know what to do, but his horse sure did! By the end of the hour long ride, in which maybe 45 minutes was at a full gallop, Matt had learned how to duck branches, and keep his butt in the air. But not until the end... He dismounted his horse, and hobbled away, bleeding through the back of his jeans... Two days later, bandaged with every Pocahantas Band-Aid for sale on the island, he was riding again.
Jill never had the desire to learn to fly herself, but would fly with her husband every chance she got-- despite suffering from motion sickness! They rented a Cessna 172 while on their honeymoon in Hawaii, and flew out of Honolulu International Airport, and took a private tour of the islands. They have hundreds of pictures, predominantly of the north shores of the islands. What happened to the south shores? Well, the trade winds blow from the northeast, and produce very nice, smooth, air. Then they hit the islands, climb the volcanoes, and tumble over the southern side. As did Jill's stomach. While Matt held the controls, Jill held the camera. And her breakfast.
Together, Jill and Matt share a love of dogs; specifically, Alaskan Malamutes. Both are volunteers for Malamute rescue, and have provided foster care for numerous four-legged "children." Most have been placed in permanent homes, but three became naturalized... Jill knew there was hope for Matt when he first sat atop a horse, leaned over and whispered into the horse's ear, "Good puppy..."
Years later, an opportunity arose for Jill to put her MBA and her love of horses to task, and Hunter Pace was born. Matt? Yup. Along for the ride. Hopefully, this one won't induce any bleeding...
So, the airplane vs. horse debate is probably a decade old, and still rages on without resolution. If this deal holds water though, neither will likely ever get to own the vehicle of their respective passions. In the meantime, if you'd like to vote, donations to the Airplane-for-Matt Fund and/or the Horse-for-Jill Fund might help them decide...
Oh, since everyone keeps asking why we chose Hunter Pace as our name...it only made sense to use my last name in the name of the store...besides, it will always be run at my pace.
- Jill Hunter and Matt Fienberg