Girls Horse Club Blog

The Journey

Published by • Oct 1st, 2012 • Category: by Madelaina, Non-Fiction, Riding Advice

by Madelaina, age 16

The Journey by MadelainaPeople say that all you really need is a dream, but taking that dream into reality requires more time and dedication than some of us might’ve been prepared for. This was the case with a horse I used to ride.

The bond we formed was sort of like a latch on a gate, where at one certain angle everything has the magic of gliding smoothly into place. Some days it only lodges jaggedly, other times it loosens and the whole gate gives way to a flood of apprehension. At those times I stopped counting the rides with falls and somehow started counting the ones without because those seemed rarer and more important, as if staying on was all that mattered. In actuality, I’d forgotten not just how to move forward, but how to move at all. I forgot that a goal wasn’t enough – that time progresses quickly but you might not necessarily be doing the same.

Having your eyes set on that one ideal aspiration can make you blind to everything else, even to how little you may be doing to reach it. Because of this, things like perseverance and courage can be the core of a rider’s vocabulary, but all the same they might not even realise how much they actually lack these qualities. It is only when we finally clear the jump, perfect that collection or control the canter that we realise how much we needed to ask of ourselves. Only then do we learn that all along we’ve been misled into not fulfilling our potential. Only then do we become more overwhelmed by our passion than our discouragement.

Why did this happen in my case? Because I also forgot that horses aren’t metallic skeletons void of human emotions. Because, at some point, we all forget they aren’t just a friend we can be angry at, or afraid of when they try to be a teacher. Horses have their undeniable doubts and fears, and once in a while our high pursuits leave them behind. Trying to achieve anything independently is hard when it is meant to be done with the help of another. It’s even more difficult to fight whole battles with only the ability of conquering half ones. In the end, being proactive isn’t effective without exceeding whatever limits this entails as part of a team. Never giving up on ourselves also means never losing faith in our partners, because in them we’re also privileged enough to find trust, love and a will to please that can take us far. More importantly, they can save us from chasing endeavours without knowing we are really missing out on cooperative opportunities to catch them.

The idea of progress as a team is something I’ve become familiar with at Girls’ Horse Club, where the herd forms as much of a barn as any non-virtual ones I’ve seen. And like every barn, there are many different gates secured by many different latches. Some that glide, others that get stuck, but none which shouldn’t be fixed, because I still remember the one I had which kept breaking, the one with a horse who – despite that – remains my favourite to this day.

After all, the bond you have with your horse is a journey in itself along the path to your aspirations. And while a journey has no set time or direction, you can only embark on it by working hard every step of the way, and you can only reach the destination through mutual support, with the best four-legged partner anyone can ask for.

4 Nickers »

  1. This is truly inspiring and it has changed my perspective on horses and riding.

  2. Beautifully written, Madelaina. I’ve definitely had “tunnel vision” about achieving a goal at times, until something knocked me to the ground (literally or figuratively) and I was jolted into the realization that most achievements are dependent on cooperation or support from others. You would think that once that lesson is learned, it doesn’t need to be re-learned, right? Well, I’d certainly have fewer bumps, bruises, and scars if that were the case… ;-)

    Thank you for sharing The Journey with our herd.

    ♥ LeadMare

  3. very well done

  4. this has deffinatly changed the way i think of horses