The Relatable Rider

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

There is a saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup. The idea is that if you take care of yourself first, you are better able to take care of those around you. It makes me think of the pre-flight announcements when we are reminded to put our oxygen mask on before helping anyone else. If you can’t breathe, you certainly aren’t going to be able to help anyone else. Yet here I am, feeling a little like I can’t breathe.

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

Sometimes you get to the point where you can no longer accept “no” as an answer. Recently, that happened for me with my mare, Fire. There is a beautiful five-acre park behind our barn that we can ride through, and it’s a nice loop to cool out on. I have made it there a few times with the help of a horsey babysitter, but never managed to do the loop with Fire solo. So, on Saturday I decided I was going to try again.

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

Do you remember that kid? The one who always begged her parents to drive the “horsey way” to the lake to catch a glimpse of horses in the fields? The one who didn’t run, but cantered everywhere instead? And the one who could find the one-horse item in any store no matter what the store was selling? I sure do. I am that kid. And while many years have passed, and so many things have changed, I am still head-over-heels in love with horses.

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

Ghosting: The practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

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

After being late to work one morning due to a disagreement with my horse, a friend said to me: “Nothing to do with horses can be put on a timeline!” I couldn’t agree more.

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.

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