The Relatable Rider

the relatable rider, horse blog, equine blog, april d. Ray horse blog, canadian horse journal blog, horsejournals blog

“Do one thing every day that scares you” is one of my favourite sayings. This quote is often misattributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, who actually said something a little more meaningful: “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

the relatable rider, horse blog, equine blog, april d. Ray horse blog, canadian horse journal blog, horsejournals blog

I have been riding horses for thirty years and still I am often amazed, challenged, and even dumbfounded by these creatures. I have had many mounts in my life over the years. Some have broken my heart, some have broken my confidence, some have even broken my body, but all have taught me something. Each horse has taught me not only about riding, but also, if I’ve been open to it, about things that are super relevant to my personal life.

the relatable rider, horse blog, equine blog, april d. ray horse blog, canadian horse journal blog, horsejournals blog

As someone who always thinks that she wants downtime, I am surprisingly terrible at it when it does come knocking on my door. Especially when it comes to riding.

the relatable rider, horse blog, equine blog, april d. ray horse blog, canadian horse journal blog, horsejournals blog

A while back a good friend sent me the following: “You need to start loving yourself enough to stop letting people walk all over you.” And I’ve saved it on my phone ever since. Admittedly, I haven’t quite made it there yet. I am struggling, but I am trying. What she told me doesn’t just apply to the people in my life, it applies directly to my relationship with my horse.

the relatable rider, horse blog, equine blog, april d. ray horse blog, canadian horse journal blog, horsejournals blog

Recently, I competed at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC with my mare, Fire. It’s by far the biggest show we have done to date and leading up to it I was as excited as I was nervous. After showing in the Baby Green Hunters for the past year we planned to move up in height and likely go into the Jumper ring. I set goals for the week that were simple and attainable, having less to do with competing and more about just having a successful outing all around for my young and relatively still inexperienced horse.

the relatable rider, horse blog, equine blog, april d. ray horse blog, canadian horse journal blog, horsejournals blog

Anger is an emotion I am not very familiar with. It’s not something I typically experience, and when I do it makes me genuinely uncomfortable. To be honest, I’ve been having a tough couple of weeks with Fire. She has been difficult, spooky, and entirely unreasonable. After feeling as if we were finally getting somewhere on the ground and under saddle, we seem to have taken a few giant leaps backward, and no matter how much I wrack my brain I can’t seem to make sense of it.

the relatable rider, horse blog, equine blog, april d. ray horse blog, canadian horse journal blog, horsejournals blog

As a kid who didn’t particularly enjoy school, field trips were always a welcome distraction. Even that day we went to the local dump, I enjoyed it more than I would have enjoyed a day spent in the classroom.

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