Do you think that our horses are as excited about their Christmas presents as we are? Or is it really just us getting things for ourselves?
Every year like clockwork, I find myself at the barn, arms full with things that I didn't need. My excuse? My horse will absolutely love it! Then I proceed to make him stand there as I play dress up, as if he just can’t wait to try all of it on. Why do we do this? Because it’s fun. Because what’s so bad about one more saddle pad? It’ll match that new shirt that we also just got.
In reality, our horses really, truly do a whole lot more for us then we give them credit for. They support us emotionally and give us something to look forward to each day. To me my horse is like my own personal therapist. He is my shoulder to cry on. He listens to me talk about my problems and doesn't judge. When I'm riding, I feel free of troubles. I can forget about everything else that’s going on in my life. Whatever is bothering me suddenly disappears, like I’m able to escape from the outside world.
When I was younger, my parents tried to get me to do the usual activities, everything from ballet, to soccer, to swimming. Eventually they pretty much gave up. That was until I went on a pony ride at a party and asked if I could go again. Ever since then I was hooked! Little did I know that I would still be riding 13 years later.
Over the years, horses would teach me more life lessons than you or I could ever imagine. Confidence and patience. The value of hard work. Awareness and responsibility. Dedication and time management. They even taught me how to control my emotions. Horses gave me the confidence to believe in myself, because I had to believe in the instructions I was giving my horse, or else he wouldn’t believe in me. They taught me how to be patient when things didn’t work the first time. They showed me that hard work pays off. They taught me to be aware of my surroundings, as well as their feelings and reactions. Horses taught me responsibility, for I was suddenly responsible for another's well being. I learned dedication, that if you really truly want something then you have to put in the long hours and work your butt off for it. They helped me with time management. I needed to be on time for my lessons and learn how long it took me to get ready, or else I would miss them. Finally, horses taught me how to control my emotions. Horses sense how you are feeling. If you are stressed, scared, or anxious, they will begin to feel the same.
Horses made me who I am today. I wouldn’t be myself without them. So that brings me back to where I started. Do our horses really enjoy all of the presents that we give them? The truth is, who really knows? Maybe this is our way of giving back for everything that our horses have done for us. What I do know is that our horses deserve our love and affection. Our gratitude and our respect. Our patience and our forgiveness. And of course a lot of treats.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Written by - Carly Costello
P.S. To follow my equestrian journey, follow @costellocarlyequestrian. I hope that you enjoy reading these posts just as much as I enjoy writing them. Be on the lookout for more blog posts in the future. Till then!