Practicing gratitude is not something that comes naturally to me. I thought it was only something that new-age millennials (yes, I’m technically a millennial, but I wouldn’t use “new-age” to describe myself) preach about on their Instagram pages or blogs. Gratitude? So…do I just say I’m grateful for [insert something to be thankful for here], and then I’m magically a better person?
Of course, it’s not quite that simple. Gratitude, as I’ve come to interpret it, comes in many different forms. It can also be something that you only practice when things are going horribly, awfully wrong – a way to keep yourself from throwing in the towel and taking up knitting instead of riding.
So, on this day of thanks in America, here are a few things we can all appreciate as equestrians:
I am grateful that my horse only lost one shoe in turnout last night, and I’m also grateful that it’s not currently muddy which means the shoe may actually be found.
I am grateful that, while our show season may have ended up a bit on a low, I have a happy and healthy horse who doesn’t understand why I’m so upset – did you see how fun that cross-country course was?
I am grateful that my horse only has a left drift and isn’t a dirty stopper.
I am grateful that my barn family is always around to lift me up when things are a bit down.
I am grateful that our barn owner invested in the wheelbarrows that have two wheels and not just one. People underestimate how big of a difference that makes!
I am grateful that Facebook groups such as English Tack Trader exist, as it allows me to exercise my shopping muscle without completely deflating my bank account. #EquestrianLifeHack
You see, gratitude doesn’t have to be anything large or major. Sure, it can be – and that’s great! But don’t get caught up in looking for the BIG things. If you do, you might lose a bit of faith because you feel constantly reminded of what you don’t have, what you haven’t achieved. The list above might seem trivial, but they all make up a bigger picture.
Give it a try this holiday season. After all, it’s that time of year when we’re all doing a bit of self-reflection. Practice gratitude, even in the smallest sense of the word, and you might be pleasantly surprised at how different the world looks with just a bit of reframing.
So, what are you grateful for this year?