May 18, 2011.

Does that date sound insignificant to the overwhelming majority of you who just read it? It was on that day, more than 4 years ago, that the very first Horse Junkies United post, was published.

It started with a quote: “If you face your fears, swallow your pride, and are willing to work at it, you’ll learn lessons in courage, commitment and compassion, in addition to basic survival skills. You’ll discover just how hard you’re willing to work toward a goal, how little you know, and how much you have to learn. And while some people think the horse “does all the work”, you’ll be challenged physically as well as mentally. Your horse may humble you completely. Or, you may find that sitting on his back is the closest you’ll get to heaven. ” ~ To Have a Horse in Your Life

Today the mainframe is changing, we have a different look, we have a different vibe, but we are still HJU and that passion remains unprecedented. When I think about HJU and what it means to me, I struggle to put it in to words which don’t sound corny. It is a family of thousands who (for the most part) I have never and probably will never meet…but if I did, I would be inviting over for dinner (and, as I think you all know by now, booze).

It is a place where, over the past 4 years, I have shared highs, lows, successes, monumental failures, struggles, personal feelings and on more than one occasion, it has been my personal soapbox. What better way to make fun of yourself for completely screwing something up than writing about it and letting thousands of people read it?

It takes courage to put yourself out there – especially when something that never scared you before – does now. Throughout the highs and the lows – HJU has shown me, that hey, I shouldn’t feel special, because, guaranteed, there are hundreds of you all out there going through the exact same things that I am at the exact same time.

More than 4 years later, that quote is still extremely relevant. HJU was dreamed up as an idea and is as successful as it is today, not only because of the group of talented bloggers, guest bloggers and everyone else in between who contributes, but mostly due to the endless and somewhat unhuman dedication and passion Patricia Da Silva has for the amateur rider – I am so so so looking forward to another 4+ years of awesomeness….

“If it is in your blood to love horses, you share your life with them. Our horses know our secrets; we braid our tears into their manes and whisper our hopes into their ears. A barn is a sanctuary in an unsettled world, a sheltered place where life’s true priorities are clear: a warm place to sleep, someone who loves us, and the luxury of regular meals. Some of us need these reminders.”