Happy Thanksgiving! The Horse Nation Staff Counts Their Blessings

From all of us at Horse Nation, we wish you a most happy Thanksgiving! From riding across Mongolia to riding for George Morris — and of course, for you, our amazing readers — we have a lot to be thankful for this year.

Meagan DeLisle: 2017 has been a year out of this world for my little mostly-four legged family. There are so many things I am thankful for… the list truly could go on and on. For the sake of keeping it simple, I am most thankful for the love and support I have received throughout this entire year. I have had family drive HOURS to watch me show for a whopping 10 minutes. My husband has sacrificed multiple days off (which he rarely gets between two jobs) to play trailer hauler or emotional support. Friends have cheered me on and given endless high fives — even when it didn’t feel like there was much to high five over. And the internet, a community of strangers, rallied around me after my George Morris fiasco to lift me up and root for me as I trudged on to be a better me. We hear the saying countless times in the industry “it takes a village.” It wasn’t until this year that I realized just how true that is and I am so thankful for my little village of supporters. You guys mean so much to me, no matter if we are besties in real life or just internet pals. I appreciate you and am so thankful for you.

Leslie Wylie: 2017 has been an amazing and wild year for me, and I have a lot of thanks to give! First and foremost, I’ll never forget the generosity and support I was shown before, during and after the Mongol Derby by readers, family and friends. How fortunate am I to have had the chance to ride 1,000 miles through such an incredible landscape on the other side of the planet, in the seat of where horsemanship was born. It was truly the ride of a lifetime. I’m thankful that I get to wake up each morning and go to work at a job I love, amidst a talented and hardworking crew of colleagues. And that, at day’s end, I get to ride my own perfect pony, Princess, who tries so hard for me and loves the sport of eventing as much as I do! I’m thankful for the eight years I got to spend with my horse, Esprit, who passed away this summer, and for my 28-going-on-4-year-old Mishka, who continues living his best life amidst an adoring fan club of horse-crazy young girls. I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given to be a part of this amazing project called Horse Nation. I’m thankful for everyone who has supported us along the way, including our talented contributors, generous sponsors, and of course HN’s loyal readers! You guys re-energize me every day with your love and devotion to the common denominator that unites us all: horses.

Picture by Julian Herbert/Mongol Derby/The Adventurists.

Biz Stamm: 2017 has been the year that my flighty little mustang transformed into a confirmed (if not still a bit flighty) show horse. We’ve both gotten a lot braver over the course of the year, but there is no way we would have survived without the support of our Oregon dressage community. So for my fellow riders always ready to provide an encouraging word, the show videographer who watched us bolt sideways across the arena at our first schooling show, saying “you got this, Helix” as we rode around the outside of the arena at our first rated show, the continually smiling, hardworking  venue staff, the big name trainer who rushed to my aid when Helix and I suddenly found ourselves being pelted with hail in the warm up, and the random people who approached me to tell my horse was cute, I am forever grateful. Oregon is a truly wonderful place to be a dressage rider and I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of the community. I am also thankful for my friends and family who provide me endless support in all of my horsey endeavors, and the Horse Nation readers who give me the opportunity to write about them. Go riding!

Photo by Biz Stamm

Kristen Kovatch: Old horses who have never looked better; young horses with old souls; good grass pastures rotated to feed the herd all summer long; one particularly most noble Percheron named Derek; a supportive family that stands behind my horse habit 100%; the horse community that welcomes all with open arms even if we don’t always see things the same way; the best job in the world with the best team in the world that allows me the flexibility to enjoy all of these things. If we’re lucky enough to have horses in our lives, we have so much to be thankful for: today and every day, hug your horses, hug your friends and family and be grateful for the gifts and blessings we enjoy.

Photo by Kristen Kovatch

Happy Thanksgiving! Go riding!

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