In It for the Long Ride

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“What keeps you so involved with and interested in horses?”

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This is a question I’m often asked when I talk about showing or spending time with my horses to my non-horse friends.

Horses are very interesting, complex animals. Think about it, I tell them, I ride a 1,000-pound animal that at anytime has the power to hurt or even kill me. Yet, I trust that my horses Willow and Craig would never do so. The thought of this intrigues me.

They also have something of a sixth sense. For instance, Craig can tell when my five-year-old cousin is riding him, and that she doesn’t yet have the ability to sit the trot or maintain balance through sudden, tight turns. So, he doesn’t make these maneuvers.

Horses give friendship and a sense of security that no other animal can. A dog or cat can be very comforting; however, it just isn’t the same as having a 1,000-pound horse friend that’ll allow you to ride him. When I’m having a bad day, my horses can always tell. They sense on these days that I’m just in the mood for a comforting, slow stroll around the pasture or through the woods. But when we enter the show pen, they can also sense my excitement and nervousness. After a couple deep breathes, we’re both ready to give 100 percent to our performance. They’ve also provided friendship to other types of riders, to, opening doors for many disabled and troubled kids and giving them the confidence to get through each week.

Horses are like no other animal on earth. They have hearts full of compassion and embody everything a girl could dream of.