I was always told that you were lucky if you found a ‘one in a million’ anything.
Yesterday I was watching Iota (my young Lusitano) going and my trainer/mate said that I have two, ‘one in a million’, horses.
Maybe it was luck.
Mum said it is because I just wanted to find that one in a million horse more than anyone else.
Maybe there are actually lots of one in a million everythings, but it’s just up to the person deciding, to determine if it’s ‘one in a million’ or not.
On Tuesday I got a rather big scare, when a truck hit a tree just metres from Batialo’s nose. He reacted on instinct, but then did that thing that makes a rider feel so amazing, he waited for me to tell him what to do. Some horses lose their mind, while others, if they know the rider, will in situations where they are really afraid, put their faith in the rider. They will wait, and listen, until they are told what to do.
Other horses go that one step further and protect the rider on instinct. My quarter horse Kaptain, used to keep me safe from anything, and it was lucky I had him growing up because I had absolutely zero fear, and I never thought about where I went on him, I just went, and I went as fast as I could.
On Tuesday my confidence took a beating, until I woke up the next day and the physio said my hip is “impeccable”, and I have to actually start to believe that the year of work I have put into my body, (pilates and stopping all my instincts to push myself too hard), actually helps me!.
Physical injury is one thing, mental recovery can take forever. I miss the way I used to ride, like nothing could touch me. I miss just being able to enjoy it. But I guess everyone misses some sense of their younger self, and everyone has something they lose when life gets in the way.
Animals teach us so many things. Empathy, trust, love, friendship…People ask me why I am in Portugal, and there are many reasons, but when I arrived here I was weak, and then I got Batialo. I knew that I was lucky to have him, so I had to get strong, to ride him. And my desire to ride him and be the best for him was greater than any bullshit in my head about not being good enough, in life or in riding.
Sometimes we are better for other people. I became the person I am today, because my instincts said to take care of my mum, and I learned to love being there for someone else.
My Pa would say that my nen made him a better man, because he wanted to be strong for her, she would say the same.
I am often asked how to become stronger, how to overcome injury, or most often I am asked how do you overcome fear?
You just have to want to do it, more than what stops you. There will always be reasons not to do things. If I didn’t ride I would not have pain, yah, and I would be miserable.
We all go to the same place. We can’t take a perfectly formed bone structure with us. So we ride around all day and our muscles ache, and our neck cracks, and our back gets blocked, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you want it badly enough, then all those reasons won’t matter, and then you have to work so hard that no-one will make you doubt that you are not the one in a million rider, for that one in a million horse.