This I Believe

Kelly - Riveriview, Florida
Entered on May 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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This I Believe Essay

I believe in the power of the lessons I learn from horses. I have been riding horses for 7 years now. My parents would never let me ride, for fear I would injure myself or simply grow tired of it. I desperately wanted to ride, and in college, cleaned stalls for lessons. I began riding a horse named Rebel, who was a large plump Morgan. There I learned my first lesson, patience is a virtue. Rebel had been a lesson horse for quite some time, and would not let you misbehave. If you try to force Rebel to go, he would plant all four legs like stones. If you asked him nicely, then he would proceed. After graduating from UF I moved to Tampa to start my teaching career. I started back into riding on a new lesson horse, Legs. Legs taught me that you must try and try again. On one lesson day, I fell off Legs three times in the same lesson, at the same jump. Each time I fell, I got back on, wounded ego and all. Until, finally, I realized my error and made that jump. I still watch Legs teach young riders at our farm today. Then finally that magical day came, I was able to buy my first horse, Fig. This brought the lesson of responsibility. I had to ensure that he had a good quality life and that he was happy and healthy. Another lesson came with Fig as well, humility. After six months it became clear that Fig and I were not a good match. I had to find him a home where he would be happy, and sold him to a fellow rider with more experience. They are doing great on the show circuit together, and I am at peace with my decision. The next lesson was probably the hardest. I purchased Glory after selling Fig. We were a perfect team, and totally in sync. She taught me to be confident in myself. Then Glory suffered a traumatic injury, she severely strained the tendons in her back after a jump. I was horrified to see my perfect partner, unable to put any weight on her leg. We followed the veterinarian’s directions to the letter, and Glory regained some function of her leg, but she would never jump again. I had to come to grips with one of my hardest lessons, letting go. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Glory found a new home, where she is going to have a new career taking a child on long leisurely rides in the woods. I love her dearly, and at least know that she will live her days out happily. Yesterday, I found a new friend, Darwin. Who knows the lessons that he will teach me.