This is to all my friends I’ve made along the way thanks to horses:
Only fellow equestrians can understand the magnetizing pull that horses have on our hearts. I mean how can we expect ‘normal’ people to understand why we wear our most expensive clothes and shoes to only have them get covered in mud? Or why you can’t go out this Friday because you’ve got a horse show this weekend?
Throughout my entire life I’ve leaned on my horse friends just as much, if not more, than I rely on my horse.
Growing up I was lucky to have other horse crazy friends. The barn is a Mecca for all the weird horse girls in the area to congregate and share in their mutual oddities. We spent our weekends and summers running around the farm jumping courses on our own two feet, painting jumps, trail riding, and honestly having the times our lives.
Looking back now those were the best times of growing up, and how happy my parents must’ve been to drop me off at 7 in the morning to pick me up late in the afternoon – free child care am I right?
Many of my friends from my early riding days are still my friends to this day, some of the friendships spanning 20 years. My horse friends have supported me in every hardship and helped celebrate all the milestones in my life. All of this built on the basis of our mutual love for horses.
From the first friends I’ve made at my lessons to my teammates on my college IHSA team, these are my people and they get me. They understand how important this sport is because they take it as seriously as I do, their love for their animals knows no bounds.
But we eventually grow up. We move away from home or start a brand new life somewhere else and even though we’ve never lost touch I get to see them less frequently than before I started my career.
Becoming an adult amateur changed things, I found myself riding a lot more in solitude. Riding alone is something that I don’t always mind but in my job I work mostly by myself so having the company of a friend to ride sweetens the deal. Plus, in starting my career I moved to a new area where I didn’t know anybody besides my employer.
That was until two years ago when Miranda brought her mare Gerti to the barn where I ride. It would be a lie to say we became friends right away – our mutual RBF kept the other one from coming too close those first few months.
But, once our faces relaxed and we started chatted we noticed how similarly we thought about all things horses. It’s pretty rare to meet another equestrian that you see eye to eye with on all things training, riding, and horse care.
Since then, we’ve basically been inseparable. Supporting each other whenever one of us is feeling challenged or celebrating our success together. If I was going to be totally honest there was a few times before I started riding with Miranda where I seriously considered quitting, but having someone there to encourage me and help me on the days where things weren’t perfect made me fall in love with our sport again.
I feel like I’m back to being 12 year old me – practicing my lead changes running around the farm!
If you listen to the podcast you know that Miranda is soon embarking on a trip to Scotland to learn to make a saddle from scratch, how cool is that?! But she made the wise decision to send Gerti for training while she is gone, since her mare does not do well sitting idle…
That is one reason why it was so hard for me this week as I helped my best friend put her fiery mare into the trailer to move onto their next barn home. My horse will probably feel it as well, believe me or not but her and Gerti actually become best of friends as well. Although I know our friendship will only grow, we’ll miss them dearly on our afternoon hacks.
I carry all my riding friends in my heart, no matter how long its been since we’ve talked or how far they might live from me they have shaped me into the person I am today just as much as our four–legged friends. I’m grateful for our each and every one of you has helped shaped me into not only the rider but the person I am today. And the advice I'm going to leave you with today? Never, ever take your friends for granted.
Meet the Bloggers
Miranda and Julia bringing over 20 years of experience in the horse industry in a wide variety of experiences and disciplines. Here on this equestrian blog we'll share our horse experiences, tips, plus advice on surviving as an adult amateur rider.