Getting Back On…

Everything you do is work. Everything you do takes time. So how do you decide if it’s worth doing? Well I think it’s different for everyone but the best piece of advice my dad ever gave was this

“Do what you love”

I know I know how cliche and obvious, but it honestly is true if you do what you love you’ll be happy it’s as simple as that.

Now I’ve probably made it clear that I love horses and horseback riding by now, and it’s pretty obvious that it’s my passion.

But that doesn’t mean it’s all rainbows and butterfly’s 24/7. There’s work, there are good days, there are bad days, there are days I wanna scream, there are days I want to jump for joy.

I’ve faced hardships and setbacks and I’ve had to overcome fears because of this sport but that’s why I love it, it makes me a better person.

This past summer I had to literally face my fears it all began one Sunday during my group lesson with my three best friends. We were doing a jumping course and I’d just gone over the last jump and was going past the bottom right corner of the ring, Darla had been fresh all lesson but I’d been handling when all of sudden as we went past the corner she starts throwing huge bucks, putting her head down and taking off, and before I can even react I’m quite literally flying through the air and I land flat on my back on the hard ground.

The wind gets knocked out of me and I lay there, not moving because I can’t breathe and I don’t know what to do, I sit up and try to breathe but I can’t it’s like my lungs won’t work, my brain won’t tell my body to breathe. My trainer comes over to me and tells me to put my head between my legs and take deep breathes when I finally regain my ability to breathe I look up and see Darla standing there waiting for me. She was staring at me expectantly her big eyes watching my every move. She walks over to me and nuzzles me as if confused as to why I was on the ground.

I take a deep breath and I slowly stand up, I lead her back over the mounting block and I get back on. I walk around and I feel my muscles still tense with fear because I really didn’t want to fall off again, I didn’t want to have to feel that fear again because this was something I loved I couldn’t fear it.

Every experience you have on a horse is different and every experience shapes you as a rider, I still get tense everytime a horse starts to buck with me because I really never want to fall off because of that again, I was sore for weeks after that. But what I do know is this no matter what happens I’m always going to get back on the horse, I’m always going to work to make sure I’m better prepared for next time something does go wrong, I’m always going to keep riding no matter what this sport throws at me because it’s my passion it’s what I do and it’s what makes me, me and I’m always going to trust the horse I’m riding because they bring so much happiness and joy to my life.

#rideonstate

Moving on, Growing Up…

When you ride a horse even just once you feel a bond towards it. This might be because

-you work together to achieve something

-you learned something

-the horse was cute or sweet

but whatever the reason may be every equestrian will tell you that they have a bond with the horses that they ride. So although the reasons and strength of bond will always be different from each rider and your horse you can bet it’s there.

So for those of you who aren’t too familiar with the equestrian world let me explain to you how we learn and grow and as equestrians…

It all starts with that first horse, the kid tested and kid approved pony that maybe won’t move no matter what you do, but they also won’t react to anything, so you are perfectly safe with that pony and don’t have to worry about anything else but yourself and building your confidence on and off the horse.

Then eventually you’ll grow up even more and have to move on from that pony. You’ll maybe move to a horse or maybe onto another pony, either way, now comes the exciting part, you’ve mastered the poles and are comfortable cantering you are ready to start learning how to jump.

Now in case anyone was wondering jumping is my favorite thing in the whole world, it literally feels like you are flying no matter what height you are jumping whether it’s cross rails or three feet.

You start with cross rails, my first time jumping was an experience let me tell you. So I went into my lesson with my best friend Rosie and we had already walked, trotted and cantered, and gone over our poles at the trot, but then we see Pat setting up a cross rail with the poles we just went over. “She tells us don’t think about, pretend it’s the pole, stay the middle, release your hands forward over the jump and squeeze when you get about three strides out.” Rosie and I look at each other with nervous excitement. We’ve been waiting for this moment ever since we watched the older girls lesson and saw them jump. I nudge Chase into a trot and point him at the tiny jump in front of me like I did with the pole when I get close I give him an extra squeeze and he comes up to meet me in the air as he hops over the jump and I go into my two-point position which is basically where you get out of the saddle and bend slightly at the waist.  I remember I couldn’t stop smiling, when I come back down to a walk I tell Pat that “I felt like I was flying can I do it again?”

One of the most rewarding parts of horseback riding is mastering a new skill, learning and growing as an equestrian couldn’t be more rewarding because that is what you are striving for each and everytime you get on to fix just one flaw no matter how little because that is one more thing that will make you a better rider, and the different horses you get to ride and grow up with really all do teach you something a little different which is why you go in steps. Riding is a process, and you have to trust that the process will get you where you want to go and along the way they become some of your best parts of your life.

 

 

New Semester, Same Passion

Hey, guys, I’m back! So I figured I’d start off this new semester a bit different than last because you see I kind of started in the middle. I started with my time as an equestrian at PSU and this past summer but I didn’t even mention how I got there and how this passion all started! So here we go back to the beginning…

Well first let me introduce you to my best friend Rosie, we have known each other since we were 6 and since then did literally everything together.  Anyway, now you guys are all caught up and I can actually go back to the beginning.

 

Once upon a time…Joking, joking this isn’t a fairytale, my journey with horses began when I was 7 and I have my best friend to thank for it. You see I didn’t discover horses on my own she introduced me to them. My best friend Rosie, was always the adventurous one, the daredevil and that’s what made being her friend so fun, it was always unpredictable. So when she suggested that we start horseback riding, I of course agreed, because we did everything together, so why should this be any different.

Rosie and I went to our first lesson, and I instantly fell in love. I rode this pony named Gracie, she was sassy, sweet and I fell in love instantly. Now literally all we did that first lesson was learn how to get on properly and walk around but neither of us cared we were hooked from the moment we walked into the barn.

I have this passion for horses because of my best friend, and I have a lot to thank her for over the years but this is probably one the most important things she ever gave me, she gave me the opportunity to find my passion for horses when we were only 7 years old and I am so incredibly grateful because people spend their whole lives looking for their passion and I was able to find mine.

So that’s where it all began at Fox Ridge Farm in Newtown CT. 

My favorite memories of Fox Ridge were during the summer because of the week-long summer camp that they held every year. From the horseless horse show, trail rides, grooming all the horses, playing pony, pony horse (the horse girl version of duck, duck, goose) oh and my personal favorite the pony cart rides.

Now the pony cart rides were the best part because the adorable, fat and sweet miniature pony pulled a cart, made for 2 people took us up the long driveway and back.

I loved every minute of the time that I spent at Fox Ridge because it was a time when I was making memories with my best friends, and being around and growing my passion for horses and horseback riding each time I stepped foot in the barn and was around the horses.

My best friend gave me this passion that I now hold so dear to me and for that, I can’t thank her enough so this post was not only to kick off the semester with taking you all back to the beginning but to also show you that passions can begin because of someone else but that you choose to make it a passion for life.

#rideonstate #bestfriends #horses #equestrian