I grew up in a family that always pushed me to try new things with my best effort. I’ve always been competitive, so when I would pick something, I would work as hard as I could until I obtained my goal. Whether it was softball, basketball, or running, I would change my whole lifestyle to meet the goal I had set. The one thing I always went back to was being an equestrian. There are pictures and videos of me on a horse at the ripe age of 6 weeks and I’ve been hooked ever since.
I would end up skipping the softball practice for a 4-H meeting, quitting basketball due to an injury and stopped running to have more time to catch up on sleep after a horse show. Horses were just always there growing up; they were either eating in Grandpa’s yard while I did homework against the oak tree, in the trailer behind my trainer’s truck as we drove across the country to get that last point, or standing beside me as I cried tears of happiness. Competing and training with my horse was my escape from the cruel world. Some of my best moments and worst moments were at a horse show. And then one day it wasn’t an option anymore.
Sure, I tried to stay involved; I did the collegiate equestrian thing and rode horses, but it wasn’t feasible to be at the level where I once was. It sucked and I was heartbroken as my last horse was shipped to a different state.
I had to give up my passion and not by choice. I didn’t choose to say goodbye to my horse, I didn’t choose to sell a bunch of my equipment and didn’t choose to be told to find something else.
I think what sucks the most is the fact that everyone always says, “you will find something else that you will like just as much,” but those people don’t understand it wasn’t the horse or the winning, it was the feelings.
It was the feeling was having a “something” I was good at. It was “something” I could say I was better than other people at. It was “something” that always made me feel like the best version of myself.
It was the smells, feelings and sounds that were like home. The smell of sweat after a long workout, the feeling of leaving everything I had in front of the crowd and the sound of your name on the loud speaker.
I am forever grateful for the blessing of having a chance to do what I love for so long, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. I am constantly trying to find something that makes me feel the same way I felt when attained the unattainable, but I always feel like there is something missing. It’s that missing piece I don’t think will be back anytime soon.
Losing my passion has affected my whole life. I approach things differently than I did before and hold everything that gives me a glimpse of the same feelings harder.
Written By, Brianna Slager. There are many stages in life and horses are such a blessing in all of them. Share this on Facebook if you agree!