Giving Thanks Entry #1

Happy Thanksgiving! The holidays are a natural time to relax and reflect on all the good things we have in our lives. Family, friends, horses, health and happiness are what immediately come to mind for me.

I feel so lucky every day that I’m able to have and provide for my horse, compete with her, and that I have all these friends who share the same special bond with horses.

Here’s a list of all thing horsey things I’m thankful for this year.

A healthy horse. Despite a few minor blips this year, my horse, Belinda, is happy and healthy. She’s fit and strong and happy to go to work. It’s so easy to forget how fragile these animals are, and how quickly things can go wrong. It talks a village to keep horses happy and healthy. I know I wouldn’t be able to do it without the advice and expertise of my hardworking barn manager, of my fantastic farrier, and my knowledgeable and approachable vet team. Now is as good of a time as ever to be thankful that my horse is healthy.

A barn full of friends. After a long day at work, my evenings are always brightened by the friends I see every night in the barn aisle. They’re the first to ask “how are you?” and “can I help?”

A compassionate and knowledgeable trainer. I’m so thankful for the guidance and expertise my trainer shares with me during every ride. I’m thankful for the watchful eye she keeps over my horse when I’m not there. I can’t imagine life without her.

The ‘ride or die’ barn family. There’s a special place in my heart for the horse show parents who get up at the crack of dawn to help their kids on horse show day. They make up a special part of our barn family. They’re the first to help out with a trailer or truck problem. They always have a bottle of water (or beer) waiting for you after a tough round and they go out of their way to help anyone associated with the barn in whatever way they can. That’s irreplaceable.

The non-horsey husband. My fiance knows nothing about horses, but never complains when I want to spend an entire weekend at the barn or at a show. He’s the first to hop behind the wheel of the truck to offer help loading up the trailer. He’s the man always behind the camera capturing every course. And he’s always willing to pull off my tall boots and rub my aching feet at the end of a long horse show day.

A flexible work schedule. I’m someone who is as passionate about my career as I am about riding, and I’m thankful that my job and my bosses understand how important the other half of my life is to my well being. I’m lucky that they’re flexible with my work week schedule so I can fit in regular lessons and schooling rides, and that I can sneak away a little early on the days before a big horse show.

The little things. Those quiet, early mornings at the barn while I sip a cup of hot coffee while the horses munch their breakfast hay. Drifting back and forth in the hammock while my mare grazes alongside me. The “Wine Wednesdays” crew when we bust out a bottle of red after lessons. The barn family bonfire parties. Laughing over silly life moments while mucking stalls. Watching a friend win that well-deserved blue ribbon after a really trying year.


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