Giving Thanks Entry #7

By Juliyana Straley

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to take the time to thank all of the incredible people in my life; the people who have helped me along this crazy journey and continue to believe in me. This whole horseback riding ordeal is incredibly rewarding, but it doesn’t mean it is without its difficulties (and trust me I can be difficult to deal with).

Whether it is a normal day at the barn or going to a show, I always have a slew of people by my side helping me get through the day in one piece. I do not thank you all enough.

To My Parents:
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I would not be here without you, literally, and you both constantly allow me to live out my dreams. It’s expensive and overwhelming at times I know, but you both never give up on me. It may not be interesting to hear about how I finally got a flying lead change or a perfectly balanced volte, but you have always listened to me with a smile on your face. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To Sandra Tull:
My wonderful, wonderful trainer and friend, thank you. You know firsthand that I am not always a ray of sunshine especially after a ride where the snow or ray of light and the end of the arena scares the living daylights out of DR. You have taken my riding skills from Intro to 3rd/4th level but most importantly, you have shown me the true joys of riding and being a true horseman. Thank you for never getting tired of my endless amount of questions about horse care or riding. Thank you for believing in me and improving DR and I every single day.

To Sarah and Laura:
If we really get down to it, I would not be the crazy horse girl I am without you both. Every ride at Xanadu was fun and I was overjoyed when I went to lessons every week. You both helped me find my true passion in life and I cannot thank you enough for that. I would not change anything about my time at Xanadu; it was the perfect place for me to grow up, find myself, and meet incredible people. You provided a safe, getaway for me from the people who didn’t understand the whole “horse thing”. Thank you for everything you did for me.

To My Barn Family:
You are all kind and genuine people and I love seeing you all daily. From words of encouragement to shining my boots before I go into the show ring, I love each and every one of you! Thank you for supporting me.

To Emily Fowler:
You get a thanks as well! I am so thrilled that we have connected and you can follow the journey of the amazing horse you bred. Thank you for your words of encouragement! DR is an incredible horse with exquisite talent; I thank my lucky stars every day I ride.

To My Friends/Family/Supporters:
Specifically, Ben Fridline, Lauren Straley, and Ashley Greenlick, thank you. I love you all so much and so appreciate that I can be my crazy horse obsessed self with you all. From supporting me at shows to lending a shoulder to cry on you are all absolutely wonderful and I am so lucky to have you in my life. Thank you for being you.

Take the time to thank the people around you; I know I would not be who I am today without each of these people.

Thank YOU!

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