Sunday, December 11, 2011

Real Inspiration

For many years I have been rather apathetic towards the holiday season.  To my jaded, grown-up sensibilities this season has become narcissistic and self-serving.  I have seen people I thought I respected become raging maniacs at Christmas, only interested in their own agenda and forgetting the meaning that this time should have.  I lost hope in the season, because of what I saw portrayed.

But then, this year, my three year old daughter has become old enough to understand what is going on.  She is excited for the tree, the decorating, the food, and the camaraderie that is this season.  She is excited to do all these things, and she has none of the negative experiences to dampen her enthusiasm.  Her unbridled joy has inspired in me a new hope this season.

I am reminded of another creature who rekindled my joy.  Many years ago, I was burned out in my pursuit of being a professional dressage trainer.  I had given it my all, but I had been badly injured and many of those who had supported me when I was whole had turned their backs on me in my disability.  I was broke and unemployed, with no prospects and no future.  I had become jaded with the entire industry.  And so, I picked up my toys and I went home.  I turned my back on the dressage world, the world that had chewed me up and spit me out.

But, before I burned out and picked up my toys and went home, I had bought one of my sale horses.  A horse named Spider.  And that horse, through his enthusiasm and willingness, rekindled my passion for dressage.  He brought me through my injuries.  He taught me that in this sport there is joy, there is love and passion, and there is more than scores and paychecks.  He renewed my faith in my sport, and he cemented in me a desire to make my sport better.

I have the same feeling for my daughter now.  I see her enthusiasm for the world, and I am determined to make the world meet her expectations. 

I know I can't really change the world.  I can't really change the sport of dressage, either.   But, I can make damn sure that my daughter sees, through me, the world that I have seen through her and Spider.  I will try my best to teach her the lessons she has taught me.  I know I can't change the world, but maybe she can. 

I try to do the same with Spider.  He is enthusiastic and willing, and I am determined to make the world meet his expectations.  I know we're not setting the sport on fire.  But, I hope that maybe someone sees our story and is inspired. 

I believe that it is the passionate idealists who refuse to give up that really shape the world.  They don't get much credit, but they inspire others who keep the passion aflame.  And that's all the credit they'd ever want, anyway.

My Inspiration


  1. It is difficult to be jaded when experiencing Christmas through the eyes of a child. It is wonderful that you are going to be able to do that.

    I truly believe that children and animals are the best company a person could have. You have reminded me of that tonight with your post.

  2. Lovely post in "season" with the real spirit of Christmas.

    I agree with you people whi shape teh world are the people who keep going never mind the others.

    When I was younger, I was told to work hard So I thought that working hard, was pushing myself working long hours, intense with tension and stress.

    Now I know that working hard is not the intensity in the tension, but it is the consistency and the determination, to keep going despise illness, boredom, distraction, delusions. That IS working hard! People call it passion.
    I think it is just working hard ^-^

  3. A great post. I do not know about your injury, but it seems that you are in a good place now. As a Mom, you can have such an impact on your daughter (and Spider too). Everyday we learn something.

  4. I'm so happy Christmas has come back alive for you through your daughter's bright eyes. That's better than any present under the tree.

    As for dressage--I've decided it's not about the showing, but about the challenge of making any horse a better athlete. The training, the intellectual effort, the joy in getting a horse to understand what you want and helping him do it all make for a worthy and often exciting journey.

    But, when you have a horse like Spider, it's even better. A willing partner who tries to please you makes it all even better!

  5. What a beautiful post! I'm so happy you have two wonderful sources of inspiration. :)


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