Mama’s, Let Your Daughters Grow Up to be Dorky Horse Girls
In fifth grade, I moved to a new school. While most of the other girls were rockin’ the Mudd high heels, I rolled in wearing black and white ‘saddle shoes’, because ya know, saddles. Jeans day at school? You know I had to wear that oversized tie-dye horse t-shirt. Gym class? I don’t run, I gallop. Growing up, I was the definition of the dorky horse girl.
While there were certainly a select few days throughout middle school and high school where I wished to be part of the cool kids crowd, I wouldn’t trade my time as a dorky horse girl for anything in the world. First of all, I can stack ‘likes’ like nobody’s business on #ThrowbackThursday. Secondly and most importantly, I learned far more at the barn on a Friday night than I ever would have at the mall or a party.
Horses taught me confidence. From a young age, I was pretty aware that I was not very cool (as it turns out, that actually hasn’t changed at all). I often felt timid and shy in new situations. There’s a special kind of confidence that comes from being able to work with a 1,000 lb animal. Being able to handle an animal with as much power as a horse is something to be proud of in itself. With so many victories and milestones, small and large, to be had in horses, it’s a constant process of progress. I’ve learned to feel proud of myself and confident in my abilities.
On the flip side, horses have kept me humble. Just when you think you have “it” (that being the blue ribbon, your horse finally figured out, etc.) nobody can quite deliver a big ol’ slice of humble pie quite like our equine friends. Horses don’t often allow you to sit around and sulk though – you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back in the saddle (literally or figuratively). While it’s important to approach life with confidence, it’s equally important to learn from those not so successful situations and to handle them with grace.
Lastly, horses have taught me passion. Us horse girls are so truly lucky to have found something that we genuinely love and can bring so much happiness. When you’re used to having something in your life that is so all encompassing, it makes it natural to throw yourself fully into all aspects of your life. Having a passion for something in life is so important in driving success and overall happiness. While you might be permanently tired, I promise your heart will always be full.