Dear horseman, riding instructors, fellow riders and trainers,
You all looked at a horse obsessed teenager living in the city, and decided to give her a chance at something she’s longed to do ever since she was a little girl….
You all have taken the time to answer all my questions, even the ones that to most shouldn’t have mattered, still you answered them, patiently, kindly. You showed me how to do the simplest of things, feed grain, fill water buckets and hay nets, and how to do complicated things, such as administer medication orally and ride.
I have made what feels like countless mistakes, some of them seeming to be ultra dumb at the time they were made. Still, you all have kept your cool and taken the time to explain why what I did was wrong, and then taking the time to show me how to do it correctly. You never got mad or exasperated, instead you seemed to be amused as you told me about all the mistakes you made when you were first starting out. You never make me feel insignificant or useless when you have to clean up after my messes. You don’t mock or ridicule when I struggle to something as simple as lifting a hay bale or getting on a horse. You know exactly what to say to encourage me when I’m feeling down, to cool me off when the frustration is building, and push me when motivation is waning.
Dear horseman, you’ve taken the time to show me how to do things such as drive a tractor, lead horses in ways that prevent them from getting loose. You’ve shown me I AM capable of being a great rider, I just need to practice and work towards getting there. You’ve shown me that I am capable of being a great horseman, I just need to work on the fine details of it all. You’ve shown me how to say ‘I can’ when others tell me “You can’t”. You’ve given me the benefit of the doubt, looked past the fact that I live in the city and don’t own a horse, and still given me a chance to prove myself and work at a passion of mine.
Dear horseman, you have taken me under your wing, given me your barn as my new domain and home away from home, embraced me, my flaws, screw ups and questions, and have been working on molding me into the best that I can be.
To everyone who’s ever taken the time to take me under their wing and will do so in the future, and shared with me the knowledge that they’ve gained, THANK YOU.