Imagination vs Reality

First riding habit This is me in my first riding habit. I’m six. I don’t have a horse but at this point I have ridden many ponies on the many  “pony rides” found, at that time, in grocery store parking lots or the occasional circus. Since I know myself pretty well, I can tell you with confidence I posed for this picture as if I had just won the Olympics. Despite the fact that I have a chin guard the size of my face, I am undeterred in showing the world who the next champion will be. In my mind, I rocked it.

Now in reality, I did not know how to ride. I did not own a horse and that chin guard was in fact ridiculous. But I had a dream, not to win the Olympics, but to ride my own horse, to compete and to be successful.

Horseback riding is the number one cause for sports related head injuries in the world. By the time I had this picture taken I had suffered my first of three major concussions. The last one was 22 years ago when I was trying out a dressage horse that was highly trained. I found out later they took short cuts on the basics.

This was discovered when I was cooling down with a loose rein and instead of coming to a halt I somersaulted into the air, landed on my head and skidded for fifteen feet on my face in a relatively soft arena. If not, I would have broken my neck. Instead, I nearly tore my nose from my face, broke it in several places, had a severe concussion, both eyes hemorrhage, my lower lip torn after I almost bit all the way through and I had a giant knot on my forehead. This was not what I had imagined when I decided to buy the horse.

Two days later I got out of the hospital, decided not to buy that horse, found another one that was much better suited for me and spent the next year getting my confidence back. IMG_0424I recovered.

I have ridden and owned many horses since then. I thought my show career was over when I had to put my last show horse down due to unrepairable soft tissue damage in his legs. I was very sad to say goodbye to this life but grateful for all the memories. Then two years later I get the horse of my dreams, through a series of interesting events,  and I find myself caught up in the imagination of possibilities.

Obi is the trained at the same level the horse that dumped me twenty plus years ago was trained. He is nothing like that horse. He is happy, willing and likes to work. But I recently discovered that my underlining fear of landing in the hospital is still there. It comes when I compete and need to assert myself. In truth, I lost my confidence twenty years ago and its time to get it back. Obi is the perfect horse to help me because he captures my imagination while getting me to face reality. Thank you Obi-Wan Kenobi, you really are my [true] hope. FullSizeRender-9

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