Running your own race...
One of our sponsored riders Josephine Drummond has very kindly written a piece for us about her riding journey, with a good reminder that everyone is running their own race.
I have loved horses since a very young age, and after several months of begging my parents for lessons I started riding at around the age of 8. I finally got my first horse at 12 and discovered the EA Eventing world when I was 18, and ever since then I have been hooked.
After finishing school I knew that I wanted to be able to find anyway I possibly could to support my horse riding dreams. Knowing it wasn’t a cheap sport, and a bit tough on the hip pocket, I knew I had to get a decent job to be able to afford it. I decided to put my self through uni and was lucky enough to land a fabulous full time job. After working for several years I was also able to purchase my own little parcel of paradise, with the help and support of my amazing partner and incredible parents; where my ponies now live.
But as many amateur riders know, juggling a full time job and horses can be tricky, particularly in the dead of winter, or during really busy times of year. It is even more difficult when you live hours away from your coach, riding club, training facilities and horse shows. I know that many people feel this struggle, as the majority of adult eveners are amateur riders who are also trying to balance work and family life. Sometimes I get frustrated, as I can’t train as much as I would like to or get to my coach as often as I need to and definitely, at times, impacts my progress.
Sometimes I compare myself to other riders and get annoyed as I feel that I should be at a much higher level than where I am. When I feel like this I have to check myself, and remember that comparison is the thief of joy, and everyone’s journey is different. That is what makes it so special! While sometimes I certainly struggle to get it all happening I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. I am one of those people who never grew out of their “horse phase” and it’s now such a big part of my life. Any day that starts off with a ride, is usually a fabulous one. It is my favourite way to start the day and I will ride rain, hail, wind, occasionally snow, and shine, as it’s my passion.
I know like many other people out there, riding is so much more than just a hobby. For me it’s been a lifesaver, supported me through stressful periods, severe mental health issues and has kept me going through some pretty tough times. Sometimes the world can feel so scary, hectic, crazy and loud, but when I am on the back of my horses the world is quiet, peaceful and a magical place, full of possibility.
So, to anyone out there who struggles to juggle it all and to anyone who is wondering how they can possibly balance uni, school work and riding, know you aren’t alone and be kind to yourself. Where there is a will there is a way and you just have to focus on running your own race. I hope everyone is staying safe through these uncertain times. I can’t wait until we can all start to venture out to competitions again and get back to a bit of normality.