A girl and her horse.

“A horse is the projection of peoples’ dreams about themselves – strong, powerful, beautiful – and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existence”  ~Pam Brown

I started working with Cody after she retired from the racetrack and began living at a breeding farm, she was definitely not ready to retire and proved too much to handle without having a job to do. I knew very little about horses and riding then so the both of us learned a lot together. When Cody lost her foal she had a lot of issues with trusting people, she was scared and not very willing to co-operate. We got her out of that place and into a quiet training barn closer to where I lived. I was determined to make her into something special and together we built a bond that will never be broken.

As an adult amateur, I realized long ago that I wasn’t going to the Olympics. And that was fine. I am happy doing what I love, riding my horse for fun and working towards goals I set for myself along the way. Sometimes though, the pressure catches up to me. I feel like I should be riding better, jumping bigger. I get frustrated because I’m falling behind the others and I worry that I’m not doing Cody justice. What if she could be better without me? What if I’m holding her back?

Last week, I was having a particularly rough ride. Cody wouldn’t go straight, at all. She was perfectly content to trot around the ring with her body on a complete diagonal, tossing her head around. We fought and struggled for an hour so I managed one lap of the ring without holding her straight. I patted her and put her back in her stall, having accomplished what was needed, but frustrated with how long it took to get there.

The next time I went to the barn I decided to just relax, take a break and enjoy the ride. I’m happy to report that my mission was accomplished. I got to breathe in the beautiful summer air, galloping around a beautiful grass ring that I had all to myself. And, wouldn’t you know it, Cody was perfect. No more trotting on a diagonal. No more struggle. She was perfectly happy to do the work when we weren’t at odds with each other. I got a chance to enjoy my riding, to remember why I work so hard and love it so much.

Whenever life or the pressures of riding is stressing me out too much, I go sit in my horse’s stall, listen to her soft breathing, and let the smell of hay and shavings bring me back to my happy place. For that time at the barn, I can forget about all the nonsense and stress. As I pick shavings out of her tail I think “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but here”

Sarah Ann is 23 years old and spends most of her time in the saddle or cuddling her chinchillas! She was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. Sarah is a proud animal advocate in helping those without a voice to find the love and care they deserve. She works at an animal shelter and enjoys helping out the Canadian Chinchilla Rescue, they help abused and unwanted chinchillas in the area. 

If you would like to donate or check out their website:  http://canadianchinchillarescue.webs.com/

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