In this day and age, we have much to be thankful for. While on any given day we can always find something to complain about, now is the time of year when Americans pause to show genuine gratitude for all the benefits they enjoy in this life.
So in that spirit, I offer you my things to be thankful for this year:
- My family — My daughter has joined me on this horse-loving adventure. She corrects my position, and chides me about my often uneven stirrups, and helps me clean the tack. My non-horsey husband supports us as much as a non-rider can. He fixes jumps, and hauls saddles an hour away to return them before the trial period expires, and dutifully carries armloads of stuff through the tack store. This is my passion, and they support me in it. For that I am grateful.
- My barn friends — They provide both actual and moral support when I need it. They take me on trail rides to parts of park where I would otherwise get lost. They helped us find our horse. They provide adventures to other horse events like Devon and Wellington, which are always more fun as a group. I am happy to return the favor however I can. Their knowledge, and friendship, and support are invaluable to me. For that I am thankful.
- My barn staff — The staff at my barn is helping me navigate the details of farrier visits, and vet visits, and schedules. They teach us and our horse in our lessons. They are willing to go the extra mile for us. For that I am grateful.
- The park — We live across the street from a national park, and we ride through that park many times each week. To the founding fathers who created the park, and who required that there be bridle trails throughout the park, and a boarding barn within it, I appreciate their foresightedness.
- My HJU friends — I kinda’crashed the HJU party, and invited myself to be a blogger. Patricia and the gang have graciously taken me in their embrace. From them I have learned more than I can ever express. From them I have gained a new appreciation for other disciplines. And with them I am free to ask even the craziest of questions, without fear or embarrassment. For that I am thankful.
- The horses I didn’t bring home — Our shopping adventure took quite a while. And in that time, I rode a fair number of horses. And even though I didn’t choose them, I learned something from each and every one. Sometimes it was what I didn’t want. Sometimes it was a sense of accomplishment at getting on a horse that scared me. In the end they collectively gave me the sense of purpose to find “my” horse. For their collective effort, I am grateful.
- My horse — Charlie Brown is now my horse. I’ve waited a long time to be able to say that. He is admittedly the newest part of the horse adventure. The relationship I have with him is just beginning to take shape. But he recognizes my footsteps when I come down the aisle, and he nickers for me now. And for that I am humbled. I only hope I live up to his expectations and potential.