The World Equestrian Games is going on this week and I splurged and bought the FEI TV live stream and have been watching the best riders in the world compete these last couple of days. (GO USA!)
Watching these incredible riders gives me inspiration for the future but also has me reflecting on my past and how my own dreams have morphed and changed over the 20+ years I have been riding.
The first big dream I remember having related to my riding career was that I wanted to be on the Olympic Eventing team. (Granted I was 15 and had competed in one green as grass horse trial but I digress) My grandma always told me, “If you’re going to dream, you might as well dream big!”.
Several years later I made the switch to Dressage and was hooked. Goodbye cross country fences, hello dancing horses! I remember, one day sitting in the high school cafeteria and ended up sitting with a Dressage rider and I remember being in complete awe that she was showing 2nd Level! At the time I was brand new into Dressage and had competed in my first training level competition. Even still, my dreams were big and each Olympic Games I watched, I would imagine what it would feel like to march in those opening ceremonies.
When I was 21 I was so sad to see my Young Rider Championship goals evaporate. I had not the trainer or the horse to help me realize that goal but I pushed on. I dreamed of going to Germany to ride and I did thanks to a very kind heated barn owner that I worked for for a time.
I dreamed of my bronze medal, then my silver and finally my gold. I held onto those team hopes and started breeding horses hoping to breed my own superstar. Then, I attended a conference several years ago where a prominent international rider said that in order to be successful on the international stage, you had to “sell and upgrade, sell and upgrade.” I did a little soul searching after that conference and decided that, although I could see her point, “selling and upgrading” just wasn’t what I wanted to do. I would much rather see the training through, all the way, developing a harmonious relationship as I go, even if that means I will be sitting on a little less extravagant horses. And I am 100% ok with that.
My Olympic dreams have changed into dreams of helping riders step into the best versions of themselves. I am loving developing my four current mounts, three of which are at the FEI level and the fourth is a super pony that I absolutely adore riding. Will I go to the Olympics on him? No, but he puts the biggest smile on my face everyday and that kind of joy is priceless.
This is my tenth year as a professional rider and trainer and even though the Olympic and WEG goals aren’t what I’m striving for right now, that doesn’t mean that I may not choose to pursue that in the future. That’s the beauty of Equestrian sport- there was a Japanese rider at the Olympics that was over 70!
My point is, goals and dreams change. They change as you change. If you are constantly growing as a person, it stands to reason that your dreams will shift as well. Let your heart guide you in the direction of your dreams. Dream, and dream big. Let nothing hold you back.
Don’t let anybody tell you that your dream is too big or too small. If you desire with all your heart to be the next Charlotte Dujardin, more power to you! If your dream is to compete at your first recognized show, your first regional championships or ride with an idol of yours, go for it! Imagine how it will feel, visualize the whole experience! Maybe you dream of riding a piaffe or you dream of owning your very own horse. Whatever your dream is, OWN IT!
Harriet Tubman said “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
If you don’t know what your dream is, what fires you up? What experience excites you? If money or time were no object, what would you do with your life? Do something each day that propels you closer to that dream. Your dreams truly can become your reality if you have the patience, determination, perseverance and faith to follow them. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
I invite you to Awaken to the Truth of your Divine nature. You are love, you are loved and you are always enough.