Not “just a horse,” Teddy became an inspiration.
Teddy wasn’t the calm willing horse I had imagined — more like stubborn and passive-aggressive. So anxious to show, I jumped in a little fast when I joined the equestrian team at my high school. But with only a year left, I wasn’t going to let that goal pass me by. Teddy did well, though I was still figuring out all of his buttons and quirks — but we never placed last, which for my first time showing was a good thing. Far from perfect, I was still able to achieve a goal I had for the past five years. There was still a long way to go, but we had gotten past some of our original issues and had finally established a bond that would only get stronger.
I decided then that it was time to slow down and focus on our issues and find a discipline we could both be happy in. Deciding on giving pleasure a go, we buckled down and got to work. Finally having a hobby I enjoyed soon started to get me more involved. The more I thought about what I wanted to do as a career, the more I couldn’t think of anything besides horses. I started taking agriculture classes in high school and loved it, and ended up applying to an agriculture-based college, where I now pursue an equine management major. Teddy has been the inspiration and motivation behind everything I do.
Last spring is where I got my biggest kick: sick of working retail, I left as early as I could some days just to see him. Even if I was cleaning his stall, I was enjoying myself and loathing the time when I would have to return to folding clothes. I had noticed and admired the Fjord farm off of my bus route and out of curiosity I found their website. With no expectation of even a reply I emailed them about any job openings.
It’s been 10 months since I sent that email, and since then I have quit my retail job and embraced my new job as a farm hand/training assistant to the fullest extent. Learning how to ride the horses there, just the environment, has helped me to better understand my horse to the point where we have never been closer. When I come home from school, he’s always the first thing I see. More than just my therapist when I’m feeling down, he’s the reason I am where I am today and the meaning to my life. Without him I wouldn’t be pursuing my major, I wouldn’t have my job, and I would have no determination and appreciation for the small things in life. One step in the right spot, how he wraps his neck around me when I hug him, these are the things that make me cherish life and makes all my days beautiful.
Here at Horse Nation, we believe that the best therapists are our own horses. We love sharing the stories of special equines and the lessons horses have taught us — email yours to [email protected] to be featured in an upcoming edition of Back on Track “Horse Therapy.” Go Back on Track, and Go Riding!