My horse riding experiences haven’t always been easy. As a teenager, I had a bad fall when jumping and ended up in the hospital. To get back on a horse was terrifying. To canter was unthinkable. There was a pit of dread in my stomach whenever I got on a horse. I’ve been there. I’ve been that person who had so much fear and didn’t know where to begin to conquer it.
I’m also not a “natural rider” with an innate talent. I look like a sack of potatoes on a horse, but I was never going to give up trying to look “dressage elegant.” I am basically stubborn, and refused to take “no” for an answer. Every step of my horse journey has been about me pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and being truly terrified of not knowing what I was doing.
Wherever the twists and turns of my life have taken me, I always end up coming back to horses. I can recite to you the names of the ponies and horses that touched my life, stamping their hoofprints on my heart. I have been riding since I was seven years old. My favorite riding school pony was midnight black with a white star on his forehead. His name was Fondant, and I would dream he was mine. The years passed, and as I grew I continued to ride. Goblin, the clever white pony. Broaha, the Connemara. Horses held a magic I couldn’t, and didn’t, want to escape. Horses are a constant in my life. They have always been there for me, listening to me, teaching me, always accepting me as I am. Dixie, the dapple grey jumper. Brave PJ, a bright chestnut with a punk-style mane, who was as honest as the day is long. Over the years, I show jumped, trained for dressage tests, and rode bareback around the fields on brave little Alfie who was flame red with a black mane and tail. I played polo on crazy-fast polo ponies who loved to chase the ball, and I spent countless hours with horses hanging out, just being.
Along my life journey, I have been so very lucky to have met amazing equines, like Tiko the thoroughbred who helped me on the path to both understanding horses and my own self-discovery. These horses have given me the gifts of their friendship, patience, belief, and trust.
I want to pass on these gifts, so generously bestowed to me by the horses who touched my life, to others. I want to pay it forward. I want to help other people connect with horses, release their fear, and become the best rider they can be.
p.s. I am also an artist who paints, draws, and works in clay. Please have a look at my sister site, FreedomArtcoaching.com, to find out more about my creative side.