I recently had a conversation with a friend, and she was almost relieved at one of my recent blogs that struck her as particularly open and honest about how much I have struggled with my riding this winter.  But, come on! Don’t we all struggle with something in our horse life at some point?

That got me thinking. When I look at Facebook, I see lots of people who seem to have a perfect life — perfect horses, perfect rides, perfect competition performances, perfect vacations, perfect everything. Fear not. It’s just an illusion.

the struggle is real-horsejunkies-united

Photo: Anna Freskgård

Maybe that’s why I love writing this blog. This is the authentic story of me and my riding — the good, the bad, and the ugly. And believe me, the struggle is real. I struggled with the process of buying a horse. I toil with keeping Charlie’s riding schedule filled. I grappled with saddle fit for a while. I fight for more time to ride. I work hard to keep my heels down some days. I exert great effort to keep my lower leg quiet and connected at times. I labor mightily with confidence — far more than I would like, or would like to admit. I struggle with lots of things.

But this blog gives me a group of friends who totally understand what it’s like in this wacky horse world. My fellow bloggers are a great resource for my goofy first-time owner questions. My barn friends provide moral support when my confidence needs a boost. My barn staff helps me stay on top of Charlie’s care and maintenance.

Make no mistake, Charlie is my four-legged child. It’s my job to be his rider, to teach him, to develop a relationship with him where he looks to me for leadership. It’s rather like having a 1,000 pound toddler. He needs help to learn what is expected of him, and direct his energy in a productive way. It’s fun, but it’s messy, imperfect, hard, frustrating, wonderful, exhilarating and worth every oops moment to get to the amazing moments. It’s definitely a group effort because even without my full-time job, I sure couldn’t do this alone. But it’s also definitely not Facebook. The struggle is more than real — it’s continuous.

So don’t worry about the illusion that everyone else’s life and horse are perfect.

Just keep moving forward…