Updated: Jan 25, 2021
I’ve been asked several times recently by my “non-horsey” friends and family what horses give me, and I thought it an appropriate topic of reflection between the thankful holiday and the gifting holiday. For the true horse-person, we know intuitively that horses fill our cup, but pointing directly to the root of our obsession is a bit more difficult. Today it finally struck me what it is that horses give me. There are three things; instant community, daily purpose, and big dreams.
The year 2020 has very much highlighted the importance of community in my equestrian lifestyle. In many ways, I believe that COVID-19 has brought us closer together. For some of us, masked and socially spaced on horseback in the arena, at shows and on the trail were the only safe ways that we could interact with our friends. In addition, I moved back to Montana in early 2020 where I had not been a part of the equestrian community for 20 years! Within months, however, I found my posse by Messaging people with cross country jumping profiles, organizing clinics, and joining boards. My new community was almost instantaneous. The common denominator of horses bridged age, politics, backgrounds, and disciplines. Within my first year I had found a mass of humans that I can rely on, play with, and care deeply about.
Getting up early each morning to feed my little herd is priceless emotional therapy for me. I realize that my greatest purpose in life is NOT to feed and ride horses, but there is something about those nickers on cold mornings and the pressing need to prevent ulcers that gets me out of bed each day. Even as the COVID quarantine days blended together, I could mark the progress of my day with feed times and bareback rides. Horses give me daily purpose.
Finally, there is no greater gift to my equestrian brain than the idea of future progress. No matter what the changing seasons bring, there are big and little, simple and complex, day long and decade long goals that swirl together to make really big dreams. This is most apparent to me around the holiday season when weather and family commitments make me slow down my equestrian pursuits, ponder the previous year, and start formulating goals for next year. I get really excited! And it’s not just the accomplishment of these goals that floods my brain with oxytocin, but the creation and determination of these goals. I’m sure that I’m not the first one to say this, but “horses give my dreams wings”.
To my horse community- THANK YOU! May your horses gift you with daily purpose and big dreams in 2021!!!
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