I had an “aha” moment recently. I’m not sure why it hit me- my lessons have been going well, but they haven’t been earth-shattering. We are consistently and steadily improving, but there wasn’t some huge breakthrough that changed my whole view on everything.

But for whatever reason, I had a flashbulb moment:

I have to go after this whole horse thing with everything I have right now. I have to see how far I can go.

Since I’ve gotten back in the saddle, I’ve set goals for myself. Big goals! Ones that I would’ve never dreamed of achieving when I was a kid! And we keep meeting them, thanks to my ever-wonderful steed and the guidance of a fantastic trainer.

But if I’m meeting these goals so easily, it means I’m not thinking big enough. Six months ago, doing the 1.0m was daunting. It was a HUGE goal for me. Now we’re schooling 1.15-1.20m courses and it ain’t perfect, but it doesn’t feel like a big deal anymore. It isn’t scary or intimidating.

I have everything in the world going for me right now: my youth and health, a horse that is so game for everything I want to try, a trainer that believes in me and pushes me and is flexible because she knows how much I want this, friends and family who are always there for me, a Manfriend who is amazingly supportive in so many ways, a boss who approves time off for horse shows, no kids, no mortgage, a steady career, and so many other things.

So if I don’t take advantage of this incredible confluence of blessings, I have no one to blame but myself. I am beyond extremely fortunate and I need to grab this opportunity while I can.

Because I really do think that if I push myself and work hard and stay the course, I can achieve some crazy cool stuff. My goal is not to go out there and win every class at every horse show, but to stop setting arbitrary goals and push so I can see what my potential is.

I know that riding is not my career. I know that I’m toeing the line financially. I’ve had several people tell me that I shouldn’t be making major life decisions based on my hobby. I’m choosing not to listen to them.

If I don’t put everything I have into this sport now, when will I ever get that chance again? Maybe there will be another time that things line up and that would be amazing, but do I want to gamble on that?

Nothing has changed really: I will continue to ride 5-6x a week and compete as often as finances allow. But I felt a physical sense of relief when I gave myself permission to put my whole heart into this. I’m so hungry to be a good rider and I’m beyond excited to see where I can go from here.

I simply love sharing the journey with you all. It’s a hell of a ride.