“I hate riding.” After a stressful ride on a new horse a few weeks ago, I was dismayed to find this thought pop into my mind.
When had this sudden and drastic change of opinion about something I’d previously loved, something that I earn my living doing, when had it shifted into this catastrophic and disheartening thought?
If you know me or you’ve been following my story these past 6 months, you can probably guess. Yes, I believe it stems from getting thrown from a horse in August. I believe it’s also been exacerbated by several stress inducing rides on a few various horses in my training program.
However, none of those are the root. No, the root of the problem stems from allowing myself to stagnate in my education.
I graduated from the Equine Training, Industry, and Management program at Arapahoe Community College in December 2017, I launched Sunrise Horse Training in January 2018. I enrolled in the Touched by a Horse Equine Gestalt Coaching program in late 2017 and began in January 2018. I learned and continue to learn SO much from TBAH. I view and hold horses in an entirely different and higher light, and it’s certainly improved my horsemanship skills and relationship with my own horses and the horses of my clients.
What TBAH didn’t teach me in the past two years, and what I didn’t keep up on, was furthering my horse training education. I took what I learned in 6 years of school w/ the ACC program and I ran with it … and did really well! For a while.
Then as has always been the case, horses stepped up to become my most profound teachers. In these past 6 months I have gotten my physical and emotional ass kicked by a few very wise equine souls.
Blue, who threw me, taught me to never ever ignore my gut instinct with horses (and life in general) and to stand my ground with what I know is right for the welfare of the horse, and my personal safety.
Rhett, who taught me the same lesson in a different way, to listen to the horses when they speak and trust that if something feels wrong … it probably is and even if it’s not better to rule it out. It’s better to be safe, than sorry.
Athena, who has been my most profound teacher lately as she’s showed me exactly where the holes are in my training. She has humbled me to my very core, leveled me to my breaking point, and inspired me to pick up where I left off. She is the catalyst for reigniting the flame of my passion for horses, horse training and horsemanship.
Lizzie, who spurred the thought “I hate riding” because I was enormously intimidated by her. She has a very clear world view and asserts what she believes is fair and not fair. She knows exactly who she is. She embodies the Divine Feminine Essence, you meet her and you know exactly who she is. She knows exactly who she is. She’s inspiring. We’ve since had a handful of rides where I don’t think “I hate riding” instead I think about all that she has to teach me and the women who meet her.
and of course most importantly, Molly, who is my steady girl. She inspires me to think outside the box in terms of partnership with horses, she inspires freedom and play, connection and friendship. She helps me find my confidence. By no means is she an “Easy” horse, yet I trust her with my life.
Upon her back or by her side, I model every client/horse relationship after our relationship because it’s built on a solid foundation that I hope to help all my clients achieve with their equine friends.
So all of these teachers combined, have helped me unlock my passion, and reignite my fire. I have dived headfirst back into my education and I am enjoying it more than ever before. I am gobbling up every morsel of information I can read, watch, and audit and stirring it all up, taking what works for my program and philosophy, and leaving what doesn’t fit in the sand.
I was ready to give up on this lifestyle and say goodbye to horse training. I’m so glad I got bucked off that horse. I’m so glad I’ve had difficult horses teach me difficult lessons. I’m grateful that they shone the light in the dusty corners of my soul and pointed out the holes in my knowledge, because now I can go forward and become a better version of me, for me, and most importantly for them.
An honorable mention to my friend, Amigo. Who has helped me find my confidence again by being a solid rock of a horse. No horse is “bomb proof” but he comes awfully close. He’s helped me re-learn to relax on the back of a horse and enjoy the ride.
Happy Trails to You,