The best laid plans often fall apart into something better.

When we first team up with our partner, the vision of our future is clear. It is filled with unlimited accomplishments brought about by a perfectly laid our plan. However, more often than not, this is far from the way things actually turn out. The straight, well-lit path to victory that we saw ourselves walking down actually turned out to be one of those curvy mountain roads where you aren’t exactly sure what is coming next around the corner.

The Journey Hardly Ever Goes as Smooth as Planned

When we are amid our journey, it is difficult to view the road block and plot twists as a good thing. It isn’t until we arrive at our destination that we may turn around and realize how those moments are what helped us to get to the final point where we needed to be.

Horses rarely make sticking to a plan easy. Sometimes they get hurt, sometimes they progress slower than anticipated, or sometimes we have life circumstances that force us to put our journey on pause. But we keep pushing, no matter the setback we keep moving forward.

Challenges Really Do Build Character

The age old saying, "it builds character!" when describing a tough event couldn't be more true than when applied to horses. The challenges we face along our journey make the moment when we finally accomplish that thing with our horses so much sweeter. Whether you win a World Championship, mark a score you’ve been working towards, or simply get on your young horse for the first time, you will revel in the sweet success of victory for a moment, but it is the journey that you find yourself feeling most grateful for. Your mind flashes back to the

times when you could barely lope three strides without breaking, but with endless perseverance you figured out how to lope for laps around the arena. It flashes back to the times your horse wouldn’t load in the trailer, but with ferocious tenacity you overcame it. It flashes back to the hours of lessons that you put in with your trainer trying to grasp the concept of a two point at the trot, but by not accepting failure as an option you can finally two point with confidence. It flashes back to when your horse tried to colic, and you we were terrified that he would never get better, but through sacrificing your sleep and a little bit of walking he pulled through without any issues.

The Win is Sweeter because of the Journey

It is the culmination of these moments that makes us most grateful for the success that we ultimately achieve. We learn to be grateful in the good times, and the bad times, because we know that any experience with our horse is better than a million euphoric ones without them. They are our best friends, our secret keepers, our biggest trials and our biggest triumphs. We are so grateful for the journey with our best friend.

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