“The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us into contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and freedom.” Growing up on a small farm with horses and competing up to a national level asssuredly shaped who I am as a person today. Discipline, respect, responsibility, tenacity, mental fortitude, sportsmanship, teamwork, patience, humility, caring for others and living things. My mother (today a noted equine artist), with no family connection to horses, was born loving horses. She instilled that love of horses in me and my two sisters. She taught us how to ride, and along with my Dad, never missed a 4-H, Pony Club, show, or other horse event. Along with learning to ride we also learned the daily work habits and chores involved with owning horses, early morning feedings before school, late evening feedings after school and before homework, stall and barn cleaning, vet and farrier appointments, to name just a few. Horse back riding and owning horses also involved hard work and being attentive, as well as responsive to the needs of living things. I am so grateful for my upbringing with these wonderful creatures. Today, for my my parents—and seven grandchildren later—the tradition continues. I am teaching my son to ride, about horsemanship, and the work that goes along with the great sport of horseback riding.
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