Have you ever had that feeling that you are always been tugged in a certain direction?
My entire life I have been drawn to horses. Growing up it could probably like any horse loving little girl phase, except I never outgrew it. But I also never had horses. They were always just out of reach. What do I mean by that? Well, I grew up in a family of horse people. My grandpa was a racehorse trainer, my uncle was a racehorse trainer, I had cousins that were jockys and at some point, one of my aunts was breeding horses. And, here is the interesting part… my mother was a trainer as well.
But my mother’s situation changed after I was born, and sometime before the age of two, there were no more horses. We moved from the farm, and my mom walked away from that life. We were never close with my family, so although they all still had horses, we never visited and I don’t have a single memory of being around a horse with my family.
But I grew up with pictures and paintings of horses in the house. And I wanted to do something with horses so badly. I repeatedly asked for riding lessons. That never happened. Any chance that I could find to ride my friend’s horse I took, but we were never really good friends so that only happened a couple of times. Any opportunity I could find to hang around horses I took, but it honestly just did not happen. But that tug… that never went away.
As some point in my teenage years, I put the horse fantasies in the back of my mind. They would always come up through any time I watched a horse movie. There was serious consideration about taking a vet tech course specializing in large animals, but the timing was never right. I found myself in love and moving from Canada to Denmark, and again horses were pushed to the back of my mind.
Fast forward some years… I was at home with my youngest who had just been born, scanning through Netflix for something to watch while I was trapped on the couch feeding her. I came across Heartland, a tv series about a girl and her experiences with horse training. And I was hit hard with emotion. Now, I think in part, it is because the series is filmed in Canada, and I was feeling super homesick at the time, but I would cry through every single episode. In fact, every time I see the opening credits, I still get that feeling. This show gave me such a huge longing to have horses in my life. It made me feel so many different emotions about a life I never had but felt like I should have. I come from a family of horse people… yet have never had horses… it just doesn’t make sense!
It was at this point that I started to look at local riding schools to see if I could maybe enroll myself in riding lessons. Most places didn’t seem to offer adult beginner classes, and the timing just was never right.
And then… it kind of was. We moved to a new town 4 years ago. And I met Confusion, a horse who would be my first horse, but only for a couple of weeks. And then there was Shanni, who I got to spend about 5 months working with, who taught me to listen, observe and follow my heart and not rush things. The picture at the top of this post is one of her and I and is my favorite picture of me and a horse. I will have to do a whole post about Shanni…
Confusion and Shanni came into my life at the begging of 2017. They both exited my life in the summer of 2017. I spent a good part of that summer searching for my own horse, and a place to keep it. However the timing again was not right, and nothing seemed to work out. I actually became very frustrated about it all, and again pushed horse thoughts to the back of my mind.
However, I had a taste of it, and it was never going to go away. And that brings us up to the past couple of months. In January, a local riding school advertised on Facebook that they were opening up for people to be ‘halv parts’ for some of their horses. This is basically a lease type thing where you get to work/ride with a horse a couple times a week. I thought about the idea for a few weeks and I finally took the first step and contacted them to see if maybe they had a horse that would match my skill level (in other words… very little exerprince). I was so nervous that they would reject me right away. Instead, they welcomed me and ended up with a more of a project horse than an easy riding school horse named Angel.
Side note… people seem to trust me with their horses. In the year I have been in the horse world I have had a few people tell me that I am more than welcome to work with their horses. I am always clear about my skill level with them, and yet they tell me that they feel confident that I will be fine. I never understand this, but perhaps it is just because I am not nervous around horses, cautious yes, nervous.. rarely. Anyways… that first meeting with the riding school started a whole new path. My two oldest girls are now in riding lessons there. I and the owner hit it off very well, and now I am the project manager there. So I have gone from no horses to horses becoming a huge part of my life.
And I couldn’t be happier about it and I am excited for things to come.