Hurray for the unusual Horses
Updated: Oct 30, 2018
Being different, out of the ordinary, strange even? Many find this something to prevent, avoid, hide... But some very unusual people exist that enjoy being different. How do I know this you ask? I am one of them ;-)
When I was a young girl, my parents moved four times due to my father's job. And every time we moved, this meant: new country, new school and new future friends... I stood out without even trying!
And for some reason I enjoyed the process every time. I could listen to new stories, discover new places and find out even here I find my spot. Nice benefit: I never adapted myself to completely blend in, because my surroundings would change sooner.
With horses I have also experienced many different places and many different riding cultures. In France I learned riding on small ponies without saddles. During summer camp we would ride all day and sleep in a cabin in the woods with the ponies outside right next to it.
On holidays I experienced the Spanish horses, I got to ride on the biggest horses although I was the youngest to participate in the trail rides.
In the Netherlands I learned about dressage and jumping, about competitions and all that's goes with it.
Again my surroundings would change over time, I learned from every environment and I grew.
So yes, I adapted to many situations but my goal was never to blend in. I stood out without trying: I was the girl in the dressage lesson always asking if we could ride bareback this time. I was the girl at competitions that is spending more time with the horses backstage as watching the performances. I was the girl that trained dressage in the forest and played all kind of games with my horse. Long before I ever heard of natural horsemanship or liberty, I spent time with my horse and we had fun. This has always felt natural to me.
The nice thing about not blending in, is that you see a broad horizon. No options are left out upfront. I have also learned so much in unusual situations, from unusual combinations and that's why I say:
Hurray for the unusual Horses!
With a Fjord horse that could not turn, I took lessons until we could participate in a jumping competition. We won second price at our first event!
With my first own horse I did a lot of trail riding. This was not so unusual since he was a purebred Arabian. But we also took Western riding lessons and reached a decent level in reining.
With a mare that had a pure jumping pedigree, I competed in dressage successfully. This horse was blind in one eye from birth. I had to work through all the difficulties in the beginning. I kept believing, found good support and kept looking for the next step. The result: we competed in the regional championship individual and team Dressage!
My current best friend Kai is a Quarab, that I bought as a colt. We take on every challenge that is fun enough to try. Because we really developed together it doesn't feel like a lot of work, but we did put in the effort!
Dressage, jumping, eventing, TREC, demonstrations of natural horsemanship... This is one versatile pony and not specifically bred to compete against the big sporty warmbloods, but he does it!
Never let anyone tell you that you or your horse are not good enough, not suited, not ... enough for what you want to achieve.
Shoot for the Stars and be very thankful for what you will learn along the way.
As long as you keep focus on the next best step for your unique horse, you just might start to enjoy being the one that stands out! ;-)