An Open Letter To The Coach Who Changed The Game

I am willing to bet that every equestrian has had at least one special coach who has really made a difference in their life. Or maybe just a person who has always been in your corner; a person who is always there to cheer you on and push you just a little bit farther with every ride. Someone who throws you out of your comfort zone and into a new place that you didn’t ever think was possible, but a place that takes you closer to where you want to be.

For me, I met that coach when I was 19. Approximately after 15 years of riding experience, I met the coach who changed the whole game.

I can’t even begin to count the number of days I have shown up to the barn convinced that the entire world is against me. Maybe I got a bad grade at school or next to no sleep the night before, but every time I drive down the very familiar driveway, whether it is with a smile or a frown, I am greeted with both a nicker from my favourite steed, and also with a big hug and fatherly advice.

I never thought that when our paths crossed two years ago that I would gain more advice and tips then I could ever imagine, and even more importantly a place that has become my home away from home, which without a doubt made being away at university a little easier to handle.

And now, in the last few weeks I have finished all my final university assignments and wrote all my final exams. And as I get ready to pack up, move out, and start my next adventure I am both heart broken to be leaving and so unbelievably thankful for all the lessons and the memories that I will be taking with me. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to find the words to explain to you how big of a difference you have made for me in the last two years, but like you taught me every time I swing my leg over the saddle if you don’t try you’ve already lost.

So here it goes…

Thank you for showing me my own potential. Especially when I thought I was finally ready to sell my finished bombproof horse and invest my time and energy into a prospect. I never would have made that leap without you encouraging me and believing me.

Thank you for trusting me to ride your horses. Especially the ones that are 3 and completely opposite from what I am used to, but also the ones that are 10 and ready to go. I never would have gotten the opportunity to see how capable I am without you putting me on horses that never would have crossed my path without you.

Thank you for investing your own time and energy into me every single time I saddle up my horse. Whether it’s the days when you saddle up one of your own and ride with me, yell at me from the ground, or hide away in your house and force me to be brave enough to do it on my own, I always learn a valuable lesson.

Thank you for never giving up on me, even when I am ready to give up on myself. You seem to always know when I need a hug or a kick in the ass in order to get back in the saddle.

Honestly, I don’t know how you do the things you do. But I do know that when I stumbled into your barn two years ago with more boxes for my horse then I could ever carry on my own, I never expected to form the relationship that I have now. In fact, I never dreamed that it was possible for one coach to completely change my outlook, not only with horses, but also on life in such a short period of time. So thank you for truly being the coach who changed the game on horseback and on the ground.

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