There are days when I feel like a big fish in a small pond but more often than not I feel like the one just getting by. I try to put myself (and my horse) in a position to be empowered by our surroundings and encouraged by the people around us.

I own a boarding barn and lesson program and on my farm my horse is revered as royalty. He is spectacular and powerful and oh so talented and my clients love to watch him work and follow his competitions. My dear friend has a farm across town that is full of top quality imports and when my horse spends time there he is “the Thoroughbred who is really tough on the flat.” (That said, they are SO good to my horse and me and they don’t have any attitude about him at all. He’s just a different creature from the horse flesh they are accustomed to).

It’s all relative. What I have found is that it is important to take what you can from every experience and environment. I try to soak in the confidence that my clients give me both in my own abilities and in that of my amazing horse. I try to ride him to the standards that they expect from him and it helps me to keep my expectations up. I also so appreciate the perspective I get from the other farm, where we often go for lessons, training rides, and time with friends. My lessons there help me to stay honest to the process and not get carried away with his big fun trot and lofty canter but to spend time with every step of his training and to sacrifice some ‘pretty’ work for a day of teaching him the little things that will make us successful in the long term.

My friends are all so impressed with my workout routine, especially since I have a two-month-old baby at home. When I’m in that gym I’m the weak link though for sure. I’m so proud of my progress and I’m getting stronger every day! When the class does pull-ups, I do ring rows. When we do push-ups, I do mine on a box (for now … I’m almost back to floor push-ups!). I also happen to go to the 5 a.m. class which is full of the strongest most dedicated athletes.

I try to not focus on the fact that I am not quite performing the way the other athletes are, and try to use them as my motivation. I work hard so that I can keep up with them and do as many reps as them, knowing that even though my bar doesn’t have as much weight on it, it’s as hard for me as the weight they are lifting is for them. The result is that I push myself further and harder than I would if I thought I was the strongest in the class. I’m so thankful for the athletes (Crossfitters and riders) that I work around that push me to be better and stronger. My weakness is everywhere, but my motivation and work ethic are bigger than my weaknesses. Every day my weaknesses get smaller so I just keep working.