For the love of the horse!

All riders, no matter their level, will sometimes become frustrated and have bad days. Whether you are a beginner, experienced happy hacker, or out competing regularly, Ian Harris, nutritional consultant, and our guest blogger today has this inspiring insight:

For those who feel stuck, frustrated, are having a bad day…

For the last three years my wife and I have attended the National and International horse shows in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Two summers ago we were fortunate enough to get to the V.I.P. area and mingle with some of Canada’s and the United States’ top riders. We were even invited to stand at the ingate as the riders entered and exited the course.

We spent some time chatting with Ian Millar and his amazing family and the one thing that stood out for us while we were in the V.I.P. tent was that all the competitors were having fun. Telling jokes, critiquing each other as they completed the course.

That day I realised that riding wasn’t just about goal setting, ribbons or prize money – it was all about attitude. We watched riders absolutely fall apart. Between time faults and rails down there was no hope, but trip after trip they improved and some moved onto the medal round. Through it all they were still laughing, joke-telling, and most importantly having a blast doing what they love to do.

We’re all so lucky to be around horses, we’re all so lucky to be healthy enough to ride, and we get to do what so many dream of doing but never get the chance to do.

So the next time you get up in the morning and it’s way to hot or way too cold to ride or your body aches, or the finances are being depleted, or a judge just doesn’t see a great ride, or someone else receives a perfect score… Remember that it’s all about the journey and having fun because when the fun is gone so too will the ribbons.

So on those days when life and riding seem to be getting you down, remember why you’re here in the first place: for the love of the horse and the journey wherever it may take you. And be thankful that we get to do something that brings a smile to our face and overwhelming joy to our hearts.

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