Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blog Hop: Why Do You Ride

From Viva Carlos:

...with all the ups and downs experienced in riding, the expense, the pressure, the stress horses being giant and yet fragile. Some of us are sidelined due to physical conditions, horse injuries, finances or even a lack of an equid to throw a leg over, Why do you continue to ride? 

This is a great blog hop. There are so many reasons to stop riding the biggest being the expense and time suck. I have certainly contemplated what my life would be like if I could just give up the horses... I would definitely travel more. I'd have more time and money to do things with my family. I would feel a lot less guilty.

There have been a few extended periods of time when I've been forced to be horseless, when we were living in Japan, when we first joined the Army and were studying in California and for a short time in college. I can tell you that each of those times have been among some of the hardest for me and I do think that not having my equine outlet had some part in it.

The truth is horses are so much a part of my life that it is hard to imagine my life without them. For as long as I can remember I begged/wished/hoped and dreamed about having my own horse. I saved babysitting money to go ride at the local horse rental place and made lists of names for my future horse.

Dusty, my very first lesson pony.
Kharisma, another lesson horse that taught me so much.
Once I finally did get my own horse it truly was a dream come true.
Zelly and I at a CTR. I'm not sure my smile gets much bigger than that.
I pretty much love everything about horses. They are the most beautiful creatures on earth in my opinion. I love just being around them. I still get excited when I pass horse trailers on the road or when I see random horses in pastures. I love riding them. I love the hard work and the relationship building. I love long, quiet trail rides and time spent sweating to get better transitions or the perfect halt. I just love all of it.

I love those quiet moments when I'm grooming or cleaning a stall. I love the feel of their warm skin under my fingers. I love brushing their manes and tails and picking out their hooves.
I love those few times when I get something just right, find the perfect distance to a jump, ride a great dressage test or get my horse to pass something scary on the trail because they've learned to trust me.
And even when I have rides like this past Sunday where things don't go the way I'd like or when I watch videos and see so many mistakes and things I need to get better at I still love it. I might get discouraged and there might come a time when I give up certain aspects of riding such as competing or jumping but I just don't see how I could give up horses all together. If that time ever does come it would be a huge sacrifice on my part or it would mean that I somehow fundamentally changed from who I am right at this moment. I hope and pray that I never have to face that circumstance. Horses are like air to me; necessary.

On another quick note here is a short video from when I was trying saddles on Monday. You can tell that the saddle doesn't fit me or Loki very well but I wanted to share the video so that I could remind myself that not all of our rides are like the one on Sunday. Loki and I are capable of jumping normally. There is still a ton of stuff to work on but I have to keep my head in the game and continue to work at it. #1 on my list is to work on being a quieter rider!


  1. Totally a part of our life!!!

    I love all of your pictures :)

    Feels like so long ago that you were in Japan ... happy you are back in the states!

  2. I agree, and nice read :) Looking forward to an update about this weekend!