Wednesday Morning Feed from World Equestrian Brands

So, I ran a marathon over the weekend (I use the word “run” VERY loosely.) It was probably a bad idea, my knees are hanging on by a thread, but I thought I’d give it one last try.

A handful of gals from my barn were running the half, and we kept each other company until about mile 10. After that I was on my own: alone with my thoughts, alone with my body. As I sprinted away from the group, I thought I heard one of my friends say, “Hope you find it.”

My “it” she meant “the wall,” that mythical bonk-point runners talk about. It feels, literally, like there is a wall pushing against you as you’re trying to move forward. It’s the point at which your body is totally depleted and your confidence is wavering–you’ve come a long way, sure, but the finish line is still nowhere in sight.

For me, it always happens at around mile 20-21 and lasts about three miles. My legs feel like concrete sacks. My head is pounding and my entire body aches. I can’t even smile back at the strangers lining the streets who are cheering for me. I want, more than anything else in the world, to have a horse underneath me that will carry me to the finish line.

But instead, I tried to savor the moment. This was what I’d come out here looking for, after all. I’d wanted to find “the wall,” because I needed a reminder that I was capable of breaking through it. I slowed to a very slow walk but I made my legs keep moving.

There are times in life, and in your life with horses, when you’re going to feel the same way. Like every force in the universe is conspiring against you, and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. When you choose to pin your hopes and dreams to something as predictably unpredictable as a horse, the occasional heartache and disappointment is just part of the package. That’s when, I think, you have to downshift into that gear of “One foot in front of the next, repeat.”

Eventually, you’ll find your second wind.

Go Riding.

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