There’s been several iterations of this page (and the blog itself) usually based on my ambitions at any given time, but right now I’m focusing on two constants in my life. One I couldn’t imagine my life without (ponies) and the other I don’t really have a choice in, so I better make the best of it (narcolepsy). Hence, the sleepy equestrian.
“The Horse Thing”
It started with collecting your breed and “all about horses” type books. I don’t actually remember when the fascination began, but it was sometime before first meeting the horses owned by an aunt’s friend (Cheyenne, Sierra, Legend, for the record, and a fourth whose name I don’t remember) and I was barely in school at that point.
Thanks to my obsession, a love of reading ensued and I quickly advanced to riding manuals and The Thoroughbred Series (all caps necessary). From there it was lengthy (and dry as dirt, let’s be honest) books on horse care, stable planning and management, and eventually I was bequeathed with racing periodicals from the 1940s and ’50s that are basically stacks of statistics looking about as exciting as paint drying, but actually carry some intense history if you’re willing to take the time to analyze it (still on my to-do list).
This “thing” gave me a best friend in third grade, which led to my first ride, which led to riding anything from ex-racers to big lick Walkers (and the gamut in between).
I discovered neglect before I really understood what that was, and saw the rise and fall of new (and old) stable owners. I worked on a farm for a few years and gained an appreciation for the mechanics and logistics behind any business – but especially stables. In volunteering with therapeutic riding programs, I’ve seen the sparkle that can come with just being near a horse. On the opposite end, I’ve witnessed the weight of equine responsibility following loss.
In typical girl-obsessed-with-horses fashion, I begged and pleaded for a horse of my own for years. In not so typical fashion, the dream became a reality sooner than I expected, and I treasure the time I had calling a pony my best friend, even if I spent most of our first year scared to ride her and even if our time was cut painfully short. I had the fortune to be the single student of a retired old jockey-turned-cowboy with a bowlegged gait and an endless string of stories. Older me discovered riding for a collegiate equestrian team to be an entirely different game, as was lessoning with a trainer who once coached an eventing team for the Asian Games.
“The Other Thing”
Unfortunately, my riding was sporadic at best after being diagnosed with narcolepsy in early 2015 (still
struggle-bussing in college at this point, still many commitments) up until summer 2017. Life with a chronic illness was not something I had factored in to any of my 101 life plans, nor is it something I’ve mastered. I go too hard one day and pay the consequences tomorrow. I don’t budget my time right and set myself up failure. I avoid my emotions (yes this is a weird one), stomp them down or decide I don’t have time for them and it can really put me in a pickle. While I’ve always been a bit of a planner, that’s had to increase… a lot. Through much trial and error I’m sloooowly learning to put my body first, but it’s not something that comes easily.