It feels pretty good when you achieve your goals. Especially when they seem so out of reach that you wonder why on earth you're even trying. That's exactly how I felt about three months ago, when I knew I needed to set a goal towards self-improvement, but it just seemed so unattainable that I didn't know where to start.
So I started with what I know best; the only thing that has truly uplifted me when I'm down and has always helped me through hard times: horses. I'd been riding off and on but it had become hard for me, and with no horse of my own I couldn't keep it up consistently. I wanted desperately to get back into it and become an even better rider than I had ever been before. I looked ahead to the end of the summer, and decided that my goal would be to compete in the annual Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, my favorite horse show, but also the largest and most competitive of any I've ever done.
It was such an ambitious thought. Not only was I so out of riding shape, but where exactly was I supposed to find a horse to take? I felt like my life was all over the place. It was so unrealistic, but I settled on that goal, because I knew that if I was able to accomplish it, I'd be back on the right track that I know my life is supposed to be on. It would make me happier than anything else, and it was something to motivate me through a tough summer.
Fast forward roughly three months, and I actually made it happen. I'm not even sure how, but here I am, and I couldn't be happier if someone told me I'd won the lottery. I'm sitting here, the morning after the two weeks have come to an end, and my legs are about as sore as can be, but I had the best two weeks of horse showing that I have ever had. Sweet Kasper, the horse my trainer was able to pair me with for this show, took excellent care of me every step through the adventure, and I feel more confident than ever on a horse.
It's an extremely competitive horse show, with some of the best riders and nicest horses in the region, so I usually feel completely overshadowed and unseen in the classes of 25+ entries, but I felt very present this time around. Not only because learning to focus on the present moment has been a huge part of the past few months, but also because I felt confident and proud, knowing that I was equally as capable as the other riders around me, and my horse was beautiful and we made a great pair.
I wish the show wasn't over already, but it was definitely a sign to me that I should keep up the momentum. This experience brought me more confidence and pride than I've felt in a long time, and I am so grateful to everyone who helped make all of it happen, from the beginning of the summer, to this very moment.