Horses, Our Identity, Our Opiate, Our Community

  • 2 min read

Treating horse in the aisle

Landry and I are riding six days a week at boot camp.  We are currently taking one dressage lesson with Jenn and a show jump lesson and cross-country lesson with Jon every week.  Yes, it rocks!  Each day, as I take a long walk around the property to warm up or cool down, I reflect on what the days that have passed and the days ahead mean to me in my journey #backtobromont.  (If #backtobromont doesn’t make sense to you, read this blog post.)

This week I have thought about accountability, self-sabotage, being on a “program,” taboo equipment, and even the longing to be “worthy.”

But mostly, I have thought about all the people who have reached out to say, “I relate!” 

I am astounded by how many friends have become disconnected from their passion or intimidated by finger-wagging from the internet.  I am going to quote one of my newest Barn Buddies, Shelly, from a text she sent me today, “This horse thing we need so dearly is maddening at times but also our lifeblood, isn’t it!?” I have heard similar thoughts more than a few times since I started posting about boot camp. 

Identity is at the root of so much, who we think we are and who other people think we are.  For many of us, horses is our identity, or our opiate, or the source of our community;  our “maddening lifeblood.” 

I am blessed to have a safe space with a very small group of girlfriends who are completely non-horsey, but bless them, they are supportive.  We talk about all of life.  We don’t judge.  We do a lot of prodding.  We send random gifts during hard times.  We offer advice when asked and don’t care if it is taken.  We really love to hang out in our pj’s and debrief.  Sometimes, we just talk about how to make great pesto and freeze it. 

It is a pretty amazing group of women and yet we all need to be held up and acknowledged for our greatness.  These are women you would never expect to say, “I am terrified,” when they are about to cross the threshold into the job/life/relationship they have dreamed of.  And yet we all just need to hear “you’ve got this”, “you’re awesome”, “I believe in you”.  

So here I am in boot camp.  I spent many days feeling terrified about packing up my life and heading south.  I had friends who removed all the obstacles, leaving me with no excuses.  Right now, I am feeling worthy of the experiences I am having.  I’ve got my opiate, my community, my identity, and my safe space.  I think we all deserve these things.

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