I was that horse obsessed girl.
The one that was told how horse crazy they were before they could have even told anyone themselves.
The one who would excitedly point out a horse anywhere and everywhere.
The one who was attempting to save up enough money for one of their own since they were 3 years old.
I know this tale is a familiar one. Us horse crazies are not a hard lot to spot, even from a very young age. There truly must be something in our blood. Our DNA. Something so deeply rooted that there is really nothing we could do about it.
I was fortunate enough to be brought up in a way that my horse obsession could be fed. I sat on my first horse at 9 months old and began lessons at 5 years old and haven’t stopped since.
Looking back, that young girl I once was just had a pure love for the animal. I was an animal lover through and through. As years go by, we are molded more and more by the outside world and our motives and drive begin to change based on the motives of those around us. Especially the ones doing the teaching.
I can’t recall ever having a “bad” teacher or someone I did not respect. I learned a substantial amount and am very thankful for the large impact they have all had on my life and my riding.
But their views no doubt impacted mine.
Just like my newly formed views, motives and techniques had been shaped, I have then shaped the many, many students I have subsequently taught over the years. All the subconscious things we pick up without even being aware that we have.
Over the years, it became less and less about the love of the animal and more became more focused on the sport itself.
It was not a difficult transition. It was actually quite exciting. Instead of having a lad back hobby, I now had this sport which filled me with intense drive. I was passionate. I was determined. I had goals.
How are any of these things negative? They actually aren’t at all!
But the real question is, where does the horse fit in?
If we are being frank with ourselves, the sport is not about the animal. It is about our own ego. Our own goals. What we want out of the situation. As many sports are. But our sport is unique. Our partner is alive and has no say. Our partner gets passed around. Our partner is at the mercy of whichever hands they end up in. Wonderfully enough, many of us do a remarkable job caring for these amazing creatures. But we are fooling ourselves if we say we do it for the love of the horse. We are in it for the love of the sport.
What would our younger horse obsessed self think?
Maybe we can do better.