NW Horse Source: From My Saddle

One of the benefits of getting older is all the great memories we’ve made. I remember 2014 quite well. It was one of the best years of my life. Why? Well, it was the year I won my first buckle, and I did more horseback riding that year than I’ve done before or since. My mare April had a knack for trail stuff—anything from natural obstacles to man-made courses. She was my once-in-a-lifetime horse. She loved her job, and I loved her. Life has not been the same since losing her in February of 2022. 

2014 started off with Equine Trail Sports and Fire Mountain Trail Challenge in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. April and I took first place in our intermediate division for both show series. Next, we were off on a week-long adventure to Yellowstone National Park with good friends, and lastly to another trail obstacle show at Bolender Horse Park. It was a bucket list year for sure. April’s lameness started getting worse after 2014 but we kept at it for a few more years and even competed in ranch sorting. 

Ten years later I’m living in Colorado. Recently, I’ve started working with Chip, a sturdy black gelding I purchased a few months after losing April. I’m finding it very hard to trust a new horse. The older I get, the more difficult it is to make the time, and I find excuses for not riding due to the fear that I’m going to get dumped. Chip is a bit spooky, and I just don’t know how far he’s going to bolt and if I can stick with him. 

After attending a Downunder Horsemanship tour in Denver I was motivated to start from scratch. I got started last fall and had some success with groundwork. I’m getting excited to get back in the saddle but focusing on the basics and groundwork. I’m shocked that I have this fear, especially after riding most of my life. Unlike trainers who make their living riding horses, my saddle time has been severely lacking. But I’m taking one small step at a time; even just 15 minutes a day is better than nothing. So, the adventure begins again!

It’s time to make the one thing I really love a priority now. What holds you back? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Email me at karen@nwhorsesource.com and have a great summer!

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell, American Author

See this article in the June 2024 online edition

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