If I accomplish nothing else in life I can die feeling like I've succeeded and accomplished more than I ever thought I would or could when starting out on this journey over 4 years ago. This is my horse, whom I've trained from his first day off the track and my young rider whom I've birthed and instructed from her first day in the saddle. If I had a dream about what my life could be this beauty of a video would sum up all of those dreams.
So much has gone into this moment. Time, money and sacrifice being a few. All the struggle and challenge that I have dealt with and worked through to make this life a reality not just for me but for my children have all been worth it to see this.
I'm telling you it hasn't been easy and some of you that have been around this blog from the beginning may remember some of those struggles. There have been money struggles, marriage struggles, guilt struggles and let's not forget to mention the seemingly endless training struggles with this giant 17 hand athletic, intelligent ball of fire. Then there is the chance that your children won't even want to ride horses and even if they do not with the same passion you have for it. To work their butt off and over come difficulties to keep at it to become great. There are so many variables and if and when they fall into place you just never know, until they just do. And they all did for me this week.
This was a purely experimental experience. I put Elaina on Steady in one of her lessons at pony club camp just to see how they got along. I thought maybe they would go over a few single x's at a trot. But over the course of the warm up it started to become clear that she was riding him perfectly. She was nervous. You could see it on her face but she never once rode like she was. She never gripped the reins and held his face and instinctively made every right decision. She was a very quiet rider. If he got quick she didn't react she just sat up and half halted. If she need him to slow down more she circled. I was floored. Of course I do think my daughter is a good rider for an 11 year old but I NEVER expected her to have those instincts. I then had to tell her that she is a better rider than she thinks she is while she was up there. Because she kept looking to me and the instructor with this look of "help me, what do I do" all while doing exactly what she was supposed to be doing. So we had nothing to instruct her on except for to realize she has got this! The humility in her abilities makes the whole thing even sweeter.
Here it is folks my 11 year old daughter showing us how to ride a beginner novice height show jump course. She has not jumped a course that high on any horse let alone on a tough to ride 17 hand OTTB for her very first time ever over fences, like she was born doing it.
Someone said the other day, "some Mom's have to worry about their daughters stealing their clothes as they get older, but I have to worry about my daughter stealing my horse."
The problem is real people! I also have to worry about the day that her abilities pass up mine and then she will start bossing me around. I am not quite ready to let my spot in the saddle go yet but I do believe I can share.