Giving Thanks for my Equestrian Life

Today I am giving thanks. I am so grateful for the role that horses have played in my life, and especially to my mom, who enabled me to ride throughout my life.

Thanks to my mom, who got me in the saddle before I was born by riding while she was pregnant with me. She taught me to ride, hauled me to lessons and 4-H practice and shows, bought me my pony, my first Arabian, and gave me the horse she bred out of her mare. When I was in college and couldn't afford a horse, she hauled her two horses to meet me in downtown Portland (and parallel parked a 4 horse slant) and pick me up to take me riding while she had drill team practice.

Thanks to Honey, the solid chestnut Appaloosa mare who was the first horse to teach me to ride when I was a toddler, and took such good care of me.

Thanks to Blue, my grulla Quarter Pony, who did whatever he wanted, pretty much when he wanted. He taught me how to convince an equine that it wants to do what I want to do. He taught me to get back on after falling off and made me a confident rider.

Thanks to Subiah, my first Arabian mare, whom I loved more dearly than anything in my early teens. She taught me how to train a horse and just how deep a friendship can be. She also taught me that sometimes you just have to say goodbye.

Thanks to Fatima, who taught me how to start a horse from scratch, how to safely handle and calm a nervous, high strung horse, how to keep my seat when the horse suddenly moves sideways, and most importantly, she taught me patience.

And last but certainly not least, thanks to Bella, pictured here, who has taught me that unshakable trust between a horse and rider will overcome fear any day. She taught me that the adoration between a horse and rider can be completely mutual. She gives me friendship and love every day, and has helped immensely to cure my depression. She has shown me that horses are incredibly intelligent animals, who know when they are in a dangerous situation and will be forever grateful if you help them out. I call her my angel pony and often wonder - did I save her, or did she save me?

These are not all of the horses I have ridden or leased, and am thankful also for each and every horse who made me a better rider, a better horsewoman, and a more patient, kind and thoughtful person.

What are you thankful for in your equestrian life?