Alyssa came out and took some BEAUTIFUL pictures of Courage and I the other day.
|right? how did she do this in an indoor??|
First level is stressing me out. Mostly in a good way, but it's there. Even with an indoor, it's hard to ride in the winter. It's impossible to be consistent, and 85% of the time, I'm more concerned with relaxation than actually doing anything interesting (though when I word it that way, it actually seems like a good thing).
|we've come a long ways in two years|
But I can't.
My horse would go nuts.
More importantly, I'd burn both of us out and change riding from a hobby that I enjoy to an all-consuming task that isn't fun for anyone.
And no one wants that, really.
So when Alyssa came out and took some beautiful pictures of us the other day, it was an amazing reminder of what I'm building with Courage. Not just pie-in-the-sky goals. Not just a vehicle to chase an arbitrary award from a bureaucratic organization that really is just in it for the money. That isn't what first attracted me to horses. If and when we achieve it, that won't be the pinnacle of why I'm here. I came to horses because I want more.
A relationship with a living being.
A partnership between predator and prey.
A subversion of the natural order of things in a way so simple and beautiful that it defies explanation.
Horses bring out that which is most in us--cruel people are made crueler and kind people are made kinder, all from the influence of the horse. They are a breathing thousand-pound microscope highlighting all that which is strongest in us.
And to me, the most and dearest and best thing is that relationship, that partnership. Not the awards. Not the satin. Not the glory.
It's going into his stall and breathing in the essential aura of horse. It's knowing that despite our disparate backgrounds--predator vs prey--centuries of blue blood vs middle class girl from nowhere--we can come together and be something more than just the sum of ourselves.
Something indefinably beautiful, even if only to ourselves.
I know everyone else sees a stiff old warhorse, a washed-up racehorse, a lower level dressage horse that's never going to "amount" to anything. He's a failed event horse. A creature too difficult for the average ammy and too old and plain to interest top talent.
That's not what I see. To me, Courage has become one of the most beautiful and amazing horses to ever grace the planet. I see the fanciest horse I've ever been lucky enough to call mine. I see soft brown eyes and a fighting spirit. A worthy partner. A fellow creature who challenges me to be the very best version of myself, every single day. He's someone who pushes me. Someone who makes me try. Someone who reminds me every day that success isn't counted in year-end points or national awards or public recognition.
Success is so much more than horse shows.
But if we never show again, never garner another ridiculously overpriced piece of $2 satin, I already know I've achieved everything I came here for.