At this time of year, Americans give thanks for all they have. With 2015 being the Year of the Horse at our house, here is my equestrian inspired list of gratitude:
Charlie Brown — Yes, he’s “older.” But he’s got the right attitude and temperament for me. He can be a little lazy, and try my patience. But he’s also responsive and willing if you’re consistent and committed to your aids. Did I mention he’s incredibly handsome?
My Rig — I’m grateful to have my own truck and trailer to give us mobility and the ability to take advantage of off-farm opportunities. How many people can say they got their first lesson in backing up their own trailer from an Olympic rider? I can!
My Helmet — I’ve put it to more use than I would prefer, but the manufacturer gave me a good discount in exchange for my old helmet and some mildly embarrassing information about how exactly I came to fall off my horse.
My Daughter — She shares my passion for riding, and is always seeking to be a better rider. It’s fun to learn together, and to hear her perspective on how Charlie’s training is going.
My Horse Hubby — He’s not a rider, but he supports my being one. He did the research into our truck purchase. He tows the trailer when I’m too tired. And he brings us coffee on those cold Saturdays when we’re at the barn all day long.
My Barn Buddies — My friends at the barn will tell it to me like it is. But they’ll do it with compassion and authenticity. We support each other in our successes and our trials. And this roller coaster ride of horse ownership wouldn’t be the same without them.
My Barn Crew — These are the people who take care of Charlie when I’m not at the barn. They do the 6am feedings, muck the stall, and do all the other innumerable jobs that keep my horse healthy, sound, and ready for riding.
My Trainers — I take lots of riding lessons, ground lessons, and one-off clinics from lots of trainers at my own barn. I learn something key from every one of them. Sometimes it isn’t what I expected, but it’s always useful.
My Clinicians — I took several clinics and camps with several high caliber trainers and riders who aren’t affiliated with the barn where we board. I appreciate their willingness to teach someone who will always be an amateur, and their humility as they do so.