Everyone is currently engulfed in the warm glow of hope brought about by their New Year's resolutions, the dreams everyone has for the success and achievements 2018 will bring, the better, more accomplished, happier you that will inevitably emerge. I am thoroughly in support of setting goals and establishing a path to reach them, but not of these fleeting resolutions.
There has been a bit of a controversy surfacing in the equestrian Instagram community recently. Many popular accounts have already voiced their opinions on the current status of this popular social media practice. I admire those who are sensitive to the plight of others who are less fortunate than themselves, but many disagree in that trying to control what others post is both impractical and rude. I believe that the inequalities in our sport are unfortunate, but a largely unchangeable reality. This is why many equestrian Instagrammers are urging others to resist from posting Christmas haul videos or pictures of their gifts on social media.
As I sniffled, sneezed, and itched last night my parents made a remark that really got me thinking. My dad said I was crazy, that there was no hobby he wouldn't give up if he was allergic to it. My mom then responded, pointing out that I don't know any other way. I have immersed myself in allergens for as long as I could remember, and have never known a life without daily pills, nasal sprays, frequent showers, and sleeping upright to battle the swelling of my nostrils.
I want to preface this blog post by saying that NO horse deserves to be slaughtered. I despise those who participate in this business and want nothing more than for it to be shut down permanently. Inhumane slaughtering of any animal is detestable. Now, here is where it gets controversial.
It happens to the best of us. No matter who you are, where you live, or what your dreams are, we all hit a dead end at some point in our career. This is when an important decision must be made: to quit or push through.
Remarks I have gotten regularly since the beginning of my riding career include "You're so brave!" or "I would never get on that horse!" or even "You're crazy!". While the latter may be true, I struggle daily to explain to fellow riders that I feel the same way as they do when a horse rears up in my face or bolts under saddle. It is not a matter of fear, it is simply a matter of how you choose to respond to the emotion.