This Thanksgiving afternoon I had all to myself, so (of course) I decided to spend it out on the trails with Mel. As we were sauntering down the dirt paths I ticked off the endless things I am thankful for. There's the usual: health, home, family, etc... and the more specific: Taking lessons all summer, getting to (finally) enjoy several USEA recognized events with Mel this year, having a sound and happy horse to do all of this with.
That's when the thought occurred to me that I think I am REALLY, really grateful for arriving at a point in life where I can appreciate what a magnificent gift getting the opportunity to be grateful for all of these things actually is. Did you follow that? Yeah, muddled, I know. I chewed on this concept for a while today and the words are still figuring out how to communicate the emotion.
Lots of people compete in equestrian events and own horses. Lots of people care for these horses, ride and interact with them daily. And this is a realm where you don't stick around long if you're not passionate and driven because there's not much other reward in it. Not many make money. Not many break even. Not many withstand injury. All of us endure extreme weather, excessive labor, exhaustion and (yes) a certain degree of humiliation when things don't go right. And then we do it again. It's a kind of "crazy" to anyone who does not know what a deeply seeded passion is like. But, here we are.
And, here I was today, on Thanksgiving afternoon, alone with my horse, walking down a dirt road. And to be able to do this...I am thankful.