The Pursuit of One's Passion

Ever since my daughter received her driver's license, my exposure to her riding exploits has decreased dramatically. The last time I went out to the barn, there was green grass on the ground - I know - eons ago. While I miss the serenity of being out in the country, I don't really miss the mud, the wind, the damp and cold that accompanies barn life in the winter.

Nothing deters my daughter from getting out to the barn - she's driven out there in a blizzard (and got stuck in the snow three times), in sub-zero temperatures, wind and rain. If the country roads are icy, she'll (in my AWD vehicle) take the longer route that turns a 25 minute drive into a 45 minute one. She'll go out to make sure Caesar has the proper blanket on for the forecasted weather, to make sure his water isn't frozen over (it's happened this winter) and to let him out in the pasture for 30 minutes. She'll take an hour out of her day to spend 20 minutes with her horse - that's love and dedication.

This spring, she decided not to try out for her school's soccer team. Instead, she's focusing on riding and starting to compete in horse shows. Truthfully, I wasn't sure of her decision - I guess the not knowing what we would be getting ourselves (the horse competitions) vs High school soccer (looks great on college applications, we know exactly what to expect) was the driver. But I know I need to let my daughter make decisions for herself, so here we are, getting ready for her first horse show.

She participated in a Riding Clinic last Sunday and I played the part of proud mom. A Riding Clinic for an equestrian is much like a Master Class for a musician [OK, I bet that didn't clarify anything to most of you out there, sorry] - a skilled teacher travels to a barn and holds private coaching sessions. It's a great way for a rider to gain exposure to other trainers in the field, and of course, receive specialized instruction.

During the course of their lesson, others in the barn watched as my daughter maneuvered her horse around the arena, into a "posting trot", then into a cantor and finally over some jumps. The owners of the hosting barn started asking me questions about Caesar - "How old is he?", "Does she take him on trail rides?" and then the unexpected "Is the horse for sale?". Wow, really? [and I mutter there's NO WAY she's ever going to sell that horse]. The girl and her horse had made a positive impression - deservedly so. I watched as they moved in one fluid motion and realized she had made the correct decision to drop the soccer and pursue her passion.

I took many other photos that day, but this one is my favorite.
Well Done #horse
Taken after a series of jumps - both are a bit winded, but exhilarated and satisfied.

That's my wish for each day of life - to pursue one's passion and get winded, but to be left exhilarated and satisfied.

Amy at love made my home  – (March 26, 2014 at 4:42 PM)  

How wonderful that your daughter has this great passion and that she can pursue it, she obviously made a great impression at the event!! I hope that she keeps on loving it for a long time. xx

Sherry Bowman  – (March 26, 2014 at 5:52 PM)  

Look into USEF equestrian athlete program. They can letter thru USEF after 100 hours of riding & 3 shows in a year (their year is June 1 to may 31)...that way you have something for that college app & a nice patch for jacket (& pins for every year you complete requirements). My daughter has completed for this year (need to send in show forms) -- but most is entered online. Let me know if you can't find it online - I'll send a link. USEF is for all equestrian sports regardless of discipline.

Sherry Bowman  – (March 26, 2014 at 5:54 PM)  

And I've been out in the cold, mud, wind etc for both of us. Those horse blankets are great for adding another layer to the observing mom! I'm happy (for now) about the longer days - but I'll appreciate warmer weather when it decides to stick around.

Nicki  – (March 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM)  

That is also called maturity. My niece has been riding and competing for the past 3-4 years. It is her first love. It is her life. It is WHY she picked the college she did.

I know what you mean also with 'after' the kid gets their license experience. At first it is all "wow, I no longer have to ...." - but at some point it hits you, "I no longer get to ...".

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