All my life I've been a horse freak. Yes, I say freak. Freak because that is what you become when horses are the only thing that you ever really think about...dream about...and want to be around. I knew at a very young age (3 yrs old) that horses and I were destined to be together. I did not own a real horse until I was 12 years old however. That was of course the best day of my young life!
As I grew older, and years of 4H traumatized me, I realized that I needed MORE. I needed the real stuff. The real trainers! The ones that taught you how to be realllllly good! I found that in FL for a few years. Richard Cyr (God bless you!), was an amazing trainer and friend. He helped me overcome some fears after I'd fallen and dislocated my elbow. To this day though, I still drop that left shoulder when I ride.
4H is usually those golden years of youth! Not for me. Sure, I had a lot of fun! Lots of trail rides with my buds, and a few clinics where I learned some good stuff. BUT...that did not save me from the snotty girls. The ones that were reallllly good and knew it. I was chubby back in those days too. Or so I thought. Plus, I wasn't very good as a rider yet, and that put me on the 'stupid green horn' list. Or, as we lovingly call stupid people who cannot ride...Back Yard Rider. Yup, I was one of those.
The things I've learned through the years though have lasted and given me so much more than what I'd ever expected. I just have to remind myself some days of how much I DO know, and how much I have inside me that I can reach in and use again and again when life seems to get me down. All I need to do these days anymore is to just BE with my horse for a few minutes. It somehow brings me back to earth, and settles the clouds of worry, stress, and irritation. Horses are more than just animals to me. They have been a life saver in several storms in my life. Without them, I think I would have drowned over and over in this sea of life that tosses me around.
The days of riding are finally here again for me. I've lost enough weight now that I do not feel I am causing my poor old horse distress.
So, today I am grateful for the memories...yes even the painful ones from 4H. I'm thankful for the people like Richard Cyr that gave me back some confidence and never stopped believing me, or making me feel like a great person. I cherish the fact that I am a horse back rider, and today would be considered a good one (not great mind you!). I've worked hard, and that has paid off. In life you can work hard and it seems like you never see any real results. However, when you spend your life around horses...you tend to learn a few things that you can put to work in real life as well. I just forget to use them. Now that I'm back to seeing my horse on a regular basis, it is all coming back to me. Lessons learned that I can put to use in my life today.
1. Patience. Oh how we forget how to be patient with one another!
2. Kindness. We have to be kind or there will be no true results with people.
3. Peace. The thing we all seek. Peace within and peace without.
If you do not practice all three of these around horses...you will never know how it feels to be 'grounded'. Meaning, that place...that perfect place of serenity. That moment when God just holds you, and you honestly know it's all going to be OK.
That is what horses do for me. They give me back my connection with God.
What is your 'place'? Your hobby? That one thing in life that makes you feel alive again?