|aw look how i'm not on her|
1) You have no idea what you're getting in to.
I rode as a kid, on lesson horses and half leases here and there. I worked hard and cleaned stalls and did 4H and never had the newest, nicest, or best, but I read everything I could get my hands on, spent every moment I could get at the barn, rode anything anyone would let me, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.
|best old man horse|
2) You have no idea how much you need this.
Horses and horse people have been a driving force for good in my life on so many levels. The people I've met and connections I've made have shaped the life I lead today in more ways than I can count. No matter what was going on in the rest of my life, I was always surrounded by passionate, intelligent, driven women who became role models to me whether they knew it or not.
|possibly our best jump lesson ever|
3) Even your lowest moments will shape you in positive ways.
When I had my wreck on the hellmare and was too afraid to keep trying but too stupid to quit, I found a community of people to ask hard questions and help me find perspective. When I lost Cuna, I was surrounded by once in a lifetime friends who carried me through dark times I couldn't handle alone. When I had to let go of Courage, I was again among incredible people who helped both of us find a resolution.
|and this is how you jump a bank with 3 broken bones|
which is apparently a thing i can do
Every one of them has something to show me and learning to listen and communicate, shape behavior and respond, has been transformative in my life. To me, it's not about the shows and the ribbons and the outfits. Learning to connect and trust another living being is a truly amazing experience and to me it makes the blood, sweat, tears, and dollars all worth it so many times over.
I love how horses can continue to evolve with us. My goals and approach now are completely different than they used to be. I'm more relaxed and more focused. I never expected to be where I am today, but now that I'm here, I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Here's to the horses that made it possible.