I would like to share a little story with you. Like many of you my journey began when I was a young child and crazy in love with horses. All I ever wanted to do was learn to ride and one-day make horses my life.
However, my parents did not share the same enthusiasm for my dreams and they encouraged me instead to ‘get a real job’. Thank god I was a stubborn child and did not listen to everything my parents said, so after a short stint of working in a saddlery shop I ended up making horses my life. First by becoming a show jumping groom, then riding full time, competing and then becoming a full time Riding and Mindset Coach.
The reason I wanted to share this with you is not to encourage you to go against your parents advice or to become stubborn, I am sure your parents would not appreciate this and my own kids would probably call me crazy. No, I am telling you this because I want to encourage you to find your own inner voice and to learn to listen to it.
Ok, I might need to explain this a bit more clearly.
You see when I grew up I was very shy. In fact I was so shy that my Mum had to go to my school and talk to every new teacher I had and plead with them not to yell at me because she was scared that if they did that I would not go back.
I had always been terrified of being yelled at and so at school I was always the kid who sat in the last row and did not say a word all day unless someone asked me a question.
When I got the opportunity to learn to ride in our local riding school that was the first time that I came out of my shell and I would start to talk to people and make friends with some of the other kids.
Growing up in Germany, all riding instructors yell. They yell a lot and because I loved riding so much it didn’t seem to bother me. I kept going back even though I got yelled at.
What I am trying to say is that from a young age being around horses brought out the best in me. Horses taught me so much more than just how to look after them and how to ride. They taught me how to become a more confident person.
In order to ride I had to learn how to be brave and to face my fears.
I had to learn to speak up and how to be determined. I also learned what it was like to receive unconditional love.
My first horse was called Nimrod and he was my best friend. I would tell him everything and he was always there to listen to me. Being around horses made me a better person because I had to learn to stand up for myself and I had to learn how to be tolerant and patient at the same time. Horses have taught me to be determined and to forgive.
When I left school I didn’t know what I wanted to do and by following my passion and working with horses I gradually found my own path and discovered who I really was.
Finding yourself takes time and it is something that can’t be rushed.
When you spend your life doing something you love doing it helps you to grow and to stretch your own boundaries. That is how you gradually find out who you really are. Too many people live mediocre life’s, doing something they are told they have to do only to find out much later in life that they always had the choice to follow their dreams.
If you are still at school and you have your whole life ahead of you start to ask yourself; “What makes you smile?” “What makes you happy”, “What gives you more energy rather than makes you tired”. Working with horses is hard work and not always easy. You have to be prepared to work long hours and do all the jobs no one else wants to do like mucking out stables, cleaning gear, sweeping stables and mowing lawns. The hard work is what sorts out the people who really want to do it from the ones who simply like the idea of working with horses.
If you end up working with horses or not doesn’t matter, what matters is that you follow your dreams and give it a go, even if your dreams change after a while and you end up doing something different.
Don’t ever be afraid of failure, be more afraid of not trying.
Remember that whatever makes you smile and gives you energy is what gives you life. Follow your passion and be prepared to make mistakes along the way. Only by doing that will you find your own path through life and it will be a life that is worth living.