Remember That Kid?

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The Relatable Rider

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. Some might call it an obsession. I call it life, and I can’t imagine mine without horses in it.

Sometimes I think I have strayed a little too far from that kid. Being an adult is hard. Being an adult in the horse world is full of its own unique challenges. It was not financially responsible for me to buy a horse three years ago, but it was the best decision I have ever made for my heart and my health (both mental and physical), and I have zero regrets about every cent I have spent on that big, black mare. But it’s easy to get caught up in the things that really don’t matter at the end of the day – having the right tack, the right clothes, going to all the horse shows, and taking all the clinics. Last year I did everything I could to be able to “keep up with the Joneses” and admittedly burnt myself out in the process.

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

This year, with a focus on paying off debt and having a life outside of work (is that even a thing?) my priorities have had to change. I can’t go to every horse show, and I’m not even sure I will go to any. And I can’t take the clinics I would love to participate in. And that’s okay because at the end of the day, I want to honour that kid who would do just about anything to simply glimpse a horse. Petting a horse was the next level, and when my parents finally gave in and agreed to riding lessons, you’d have thought they had just bought me my very own unicorn. 

I want to be that kid again. I want to appreciate how fortunate I am to be around these animals, no matter how much involvement I get in the actual sport. Looking ahead, I have no idea what is in store this year for my mare, Fire, and me on the riding side of things, but I know that no matter what, I will do everything I can to keep her happy, healthy, and continue our journey, even if I’m not entirely sure where it is we’re going.

"Life is a journey, not a destination. Happiness is not ‘there’ but here, not ‘tomorrow’ but today." – Sidney Greenburg 


Photos: Scott Douglas Hemenway Photography