I have been labelled as “the crazy horse” girl for as long as I can remember. In fact, probably since “labeling” people became something that I was old enough to understand. Without a doubt I have also been labeled other things, but this particular claim never seemed to bug me – mostly because it is 100% accurate.
I am “the crazy horse girl”
There’s one in every school growing up – most times every grade.
The girl who doesn’t go to parties because I have a horse to exercise after school and chores to do in the morning. (What people don’t seem to understand is that my horse likes to be fed regardless of if I have a hangover and I personally prefer to go to the barn without one so I make that particular choice for me.)
The girl who’s Facebook is filled solely with horse pictures.
And the girl you find in jeans and boots more often then not.
I won’t deny that I am “the crazy horse girl” – not because this title defines me more accurately then any written description or picture ever could. But because being “the crazy horse girl” has saved me in more ways then one.
Since I was 4 years old I have been around horses. That means, for me specifically, that I have literally looked up to horses since my childhood – being 5 foot nothing makes this statement more accurate then some of you know.
Without a doubt, owning horses was the best possible parenting technique that my parents used on me. In fact, I would argue that horses taught me a lot of valuable characteristics and all my parents had to do was send me to the barn to achieve this. So it was a win-win because I got a 4 legged best friend, and they got a daughter who learned responsibility, compassion, trust, strength, and dedication without ever speaking to my teacher.
As I grew up this invisible bond only strengthened.
However, on top of all the great and honorable traits that horses have taught me over the years, this year they have taught me about heart break.
2016 is the year of the monkey according to the Chinese calendar – and I have absolutely no idea what this means, but I’ve concluded it’s not good.
It seems that everywhere I turn people are experiencing heart break within the equine world. And if you aren’t apart of the horse community you won’t understand how closely knit everyone is. You would be amazed by how quickly you can find support, compassion and love from people you haven’t spoken to in years when it comes to the loss of one of your babies. Or how quickly people rally together to help someone in need.
Every couple of weeks I seem to see a new Facebook post about the passing of an equine athlete – someone’s best friend – and my heart breaks knowing exactly how big that hole is in what feels like an empty heart.
And then I bow my head, and close my eyes, and pray for every single person who is hurting in the horse world – including myself. Even though I am not religious.
Owning horses has taught me more about life then school and humans ever have. They have taught me everything from smiling so big my cheeks hurt – to broken bones – to lying on my bathroom floor in hysterics because my heart is broken and my bestfriend is gone.
Being apart of the horse community has taught me that I am not alone.
Since I was 4 years old I have been “the crazy horse girl” and I have never been so honored to be labelled something that was suppose to be petty. Especially this year, when with every devastating loss, I watch people come together, grow stronger, and love deeper.