The People You Choose to Ride With: A Life Lesson

Go find your herd: Maria Wachter knows the kind of people she wants to go riding with. And in doing so, she may have discovered a larger life lesson too…

Photo by Maria Wachter

If you’ve been in the horse world long enough, you will come across all different types of riders.

After a while you chose the people you ride with. You stop riding with those “train wrecks” and surround yourself with like-minded individuals.

After a long week of work, I want to ride with people who I genuinely enjoy their company.

When I’m riding a green horse or a mule, I know the day will never go as I planned it out in my head, so I make sure the people I ride with know this, too. (Shoot, it might take me 30 minutes to catch my guy out in the field. Sorry for all the times I’ve shown up late, friends.)

If my mount is having a hissy fit and refusing something I’m asking of it, I need to know that the people that I’m with will have patience and a sense of humor when riding with me. I can’t put myself into a situation where we need to get back by a certain time or they’re going to be late. It might take me an hour to get them to take one step, and I’m not going to rush it so someone can get back home to catch the football game.

This also means I am there for my friends when they can’t get their horse across water and need to be ponied across, or they need to plant their horse up my mule’s butt because their horse is green and unsure, or it won’t stop jigging and trying to rush home.
The people you surround yourself with become a reflection of yourself. The older I get, I have stopped riding with people with short tempers, people that try to micromanage their horse and everyone around them, and people that just aren’t fun to ride with.

The people I ride with now are all amazing in their own ways. Even if they’re new to riding, they mentally have it figured out: all you need is patience and a sense of humor in the saddle, the rest will fall into place. No one was born knowing how to ride. We have all learned by lots of time, energy, error, and a few broken bones.

My friends don’t rush one another and no one acts like they’re better than someone else. It’s friendships like this that make you want to get out and ride, instead of dread it. If I can’t ride with respectful riders, I’ll ride alone rather than ride with someone who’s going to make the situation worse.

So, surround yourself with people that lift you up instead of bring you down. We’re dealing with horses, after all, an animal with a brain of its own that might not agree with what we think we want it to do.

Sure, I might get bucked off today, but I know my friends will be there and not leave me…even if they’re dying of laughter.

Go riding.

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