I will never forget the day I was swept off my feet by a dashing 1200 pound, 16.1 hand, black and white Appendix Gelding named Tuxedo.
Believe it or not, I found him on Dreamhorse and in an instant I knew he was my horse. He was the right age (11) and he could do Dressage, Stadium and Cross Country Jumping. He had been competing at Training Level and Schooled Prelim. He had trail riding experience too which was very important to me. Basically, all the skills and more than I would ever need = a partner for life! So, after several trips down to San Juan Capistrano to try him out, both with my husband and then my Riding Instructor, it came to be.
Here's the funny thing. I rode a little when I was a young girl. Nothing structured and no lessons. Just me and a pony named Red who I Ioved with all my heart. He was kept at a farm - the only farm in our area - just outside of town and my mother would drop me off every day after school and I would gleefully ride around the rectangle path that surrounded the corn field on the property. It was heaven. I loved the smell of horses and the farm on me and sometimes refused to bathe for days just so I could keep smelling it! I'm sure I was a pleasure to be around!
Fast forward to life and horses were not to be a part of the picture as I worked and traveled to New York, Chicago, Mexico and California.
At 42, I was overwhelmed with the desire to ride again. There was a local arena with an Instructor who taught English Style riding. I'd only ridden on a Western Saddle so I was put off by that initially. One day I just made the call, signed up for a lesson and figured that I would just go along with this until it stuck. I mean, I didn't even know what posting was! But I didn't care. I just wanted to be around and on a horse.
I went from one or two lessons a week to about 4 or 5. Walk, Trot, Canter and finally got the Posting down! About 3 months into it I got this overwhelming feeling that I needed to have my own horse. This came as a complete shock to me. Seriously. My husband, who is always supportive of everything I do, had said to me one day before all of this "maybe we'll get a horse" to which I alarmingly replied "are you kidding, they live forever! what if there is a fire in the area what if I die before the horse does?" I like to plan in advance - and I am very careful when it comes to commitments. I don't have children or dogs. Cats, who generally take care of themselves was just about as far as I went with that sort of thing. Meeting my husband and getting married also came as an overwhelming feeling - I just knew it was ok to make that commitment. But a horse?
Turns out, getting a horse was truly one of the best,most amazing things I could have ever done and it changed me on a cellular level.
The deep connection that I developed with this magnificent creature is what moved me to really learn to ride and then to create an apparel line called...Horseworship.
The word Horseworship was what ultimately described my awe, my love, my trust and the daily heart-bursting gratitude I felt for the profound life-changing lessons and challenges that Tuxie and I faced together. To have a horse as a companion is to have a mirror to your soul. You really have to be ready for the strength and honesty of an animal who demands a leader and in return, will give you everything they have--if only you ask for it.
Well, fast forward to one year later and not only have I learned to post, but I have learned the basics of Dressage and we are jumping coursed of up to 2'9 in Stadium and Cross Country. I will be competing in Beginner Novice level Eventing this season and have signed up for my first registered Event Derby which will be at the end of March.
Last season, we entered a few competitions and won 2 First place ribbons in Dressage and First place in our very first Eventing Schooling show.
I love what my relationship with Tuxie has created for me - a life beyond my imagination - both in the arena and out in the world.
You can check out my celebration of my new life @ http://www. horseworship.com