Hi! I’m so excited to be the newest blogger to join Sidelines. I can’t wait to fill these entries with stories, questions, and other musings, and mostly, look forward to hearing from you all! I wanted to begin this first blog with a quote, and there’s one in particular that always sticks out in my head.
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
This quote more or less sums up how I feel about riding, and horses in general. I figure, seeing as you’re here reading this blog, you probably agree with me. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to ride some wonderful horses throughout my lifetime – from my very first pony, Texas, to Lando, my favorite Stanford University team horse, to Palermo, my partner of three years who successfully showed me the ropes in the Young Rider arena, they’ve all taught me something.
Texas, for example, taught me perseverance. I went through a phase, like most kids do, when I fell off on average twice a day. Texas, who was my 5th birthday present, would stop and come stand over me, occasionally nudging me with his nose, encouraging me to get back on. I’d get up, brush off the dirt, and shimmy my way up the stirrup leather (at this point, I was not tall enough to get my foot in the stirrup, so I’d use my knee instead. Not the most graceful of mountings, but it worked!).
Texas introduced me to the magical relationship between a girl and her horse. Seemingly endless days were spent at the barn, trail riding (bareback, of course!), competing in Pony Club rallies, and learning to appreciate barn chores. Texas faithfully went on to teach other girls to love to ride as much as I did, but remained mine until he died when I was 17.
My current horse, Palermo, calls everyday on the skills and dedication Texas taught me. Palermo, unlike Texas, was not born with inherent patience. He is shamelessly stubborn, but strikingly brilliant. He has the ability to see things and understand them on a level far more advanced than I ev er thought possible, almost as though he knows what I’m thinking (or maybe he really does?). I always say we’re lucky to have found each other – every horse and rider partnership is unique, and we are definitely not an exception. He’s been a faithful and dedicated partner throughout my Young Rider experience, and I can’t wait to see where our partnership takes us into the future.
This blog will document the adventures that come as I learn to balance my studies at Stanford University with my dedication to riding, as well as the trials and tribulations that we all face as riders and horse-lovers. I hope you’ll join me for this journey!!