Flying for a split second
Everyone hears about horses, especially being from Texas. Chances are, a friend has horses on a ranch somewhere in the middle of nowhere. But my relationship with horses is different. I am, by definition, that crazy horse girl you knew in high school.
I was 6 years old when I was first introduced to horseback riding, 8 when I began the hunter/jumper discipline. My freshman year of high school I moved to my current barn: Irish Day Farm in northwest Houston. Since then, I have traveled around the country to Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Colorado to compete. I currently own two horses, Don Johnny and Embrace, who are near and dear to my heart, although I still consider every horse I have owned to be like a child to me.
I show in what is called the Junior Hunters (3’6”) and the Low Junior Jumpers (1.25 meters, or 4’1”). I could get into the legalities of how hunters are different from jumpers, but no one really has time for that. To answer the question most people have when they learn I jump my horses over 4-foot jumps, yes, it is intimidating, but the feeling of flying for that split second in time is irreplaceable.
When I began to think about everything I could possibly write, two things come to mind. One is that the horse world is such a tight-knit community, and most of the population have no idea we exist. I stood on the property at a horse show last summer thinking, “This is my whole life, and barely anyone knows we’re here.” It’s really fascinating seeing all these people who devote their life to something not many people know about.
And more importantly, I think about the bond these people share with their horses. There is really something special about the bond between the horse and its owner. They get us in ways our friends never will. “Why do I ride horses? Because I look at my horse and I see my hopes and dreams. I see my happiness. I see my success. I see my pride and my soul. I look in a mirror, and I see a person. I look at my horse, and I see myself.” – Author unknown.
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