“Thank you for letting my ride the magical black mare…HIGHLIGHT of my day. She was so much fun. I couldn’t stop smiling”
This is the text message I got this evening from a good friend of mine here at school, Lisa.
Lisa is an eventer; she leases one of Otterbein’s horses and together they have been kicking butt and taking names at Training level, with their sights set on Prelim in the future. The horse she leases may very well be one of the fancier horses in our barn, and while he’s gorgeous to watch, he’s a total workout, and probably one of the bounciest horses I’ve ever sat on. I give her a lot of credit for what she has been able to accomplish. She is also a member of the university’s Intercollegiate Dressage Association (IDA) team. In short, she’s a heck of a rider with a ton of ability and lot better things to do than bee-bop around on my little mare.
Lisa has seen The Mare almost the entire time I’ve owned her; and has been witness to the transformation that The Mare has made since she first came to Otterbein (trust me, we’ve made a lot of progress). Lisa is the first to take a picture or capture a video during a lesson and send it to me, the first to offer a compliment, or to ask me how my lesson was if she wasn’t around. Once we really started jumping and flatting with consistency last summer, Lisa had made several comments on how fun she looked and I told her she should get on her sometime.
We’ve been saying that for the past year now.
Today, while we were hacking our horses around, and I turned to her and asked if she’d like to sit on her (The Mare was being rather good, so why not?). Lisa responded with a resounding, “YES” and we swapped horses. Lisa got on and walked, trotted, cantered around, did a few lead changes and was laughing the whole time. While we were walking out, I proposed an idea to Lisa. I personally am a total chicken when it comes to cross-country; and when I get nervous, The Mare tends to lose her confidence as well. I know she’d go over just about anything if she had someone who actually enjoyed it.
Lisa and I made a deal: She is going to take The Mare in our cross-country field sometime this summer. (She also claims that I am going to also get on her and jump around cross-country, and that’s pretty debatable, but we’ll see).
Her response: “I’m so honored; she will be a blast, I can already tell”.
I think it’s probably one of the nicest things I’ve ever been told. I think equestrians have rose-colored glasses a lot of times when it comes to their horses (I know I do sometimes…The Mare is perfect, 99.999% of the time, no matter what). So to hear another person — especially one who has seen our beginnings and known some of the struggles we’ve had training-wise — compliment my little kid, and tell me how much fun she is, it makes my heart so happy.
I know how much I love The Mare, and it’s really cool to see other people fond of her as well.
It was a good reminder to me as well that sometimes the equestrian world (even the little collegiate bubble I’m currently in) can be very catty. If you don’t have anything nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say it. BUT, if you do have something nice to say, say it! You never know, it might just make someone’s day.