An amazing surprise from the NCHA earlier this year. So incredibly proud to have this in my living room. It reminds me that anything is possible. I started back into horses in 2013 after a 20 year break and after a year treatment for breast cancer. Now, five years later its almost unfathomable the transformation my life has undergone. I am very grateful to Clinton Anderson for his help in teaching me great horsemanship, training fundamentals for horses, horse psychology and helping me to meet so many awesome friends. There are hundreds of lessons Clinton has taught me, but there is one compliment that means the most to me. In 2016, the Colt Starting Clinic was filled with 45 people eager to start their colts. On the day the colts were to get there first ride, Clinton gathered everyone to give them the very serious safety lecture. Its one that's meant to get peoples attention on how dangerous starting colts is for both horse and human. He told everyone they are like a stick of dynamite. You just never know when they might explode. Remembering his words during the talk he said, "No one except for two people in this clinic will be given the opportunity to put the first ride on their colt. It is just too dangerous for almost all of you." He then pointed to me and another participant and said we were the only two who could put the first ride on our colts. I will never forget that day. If you know Clinton, you know he has quite the sense of humor. Retrospectively, I'm not sure if he just wanted to see a good show with the two of us or if he was SURE we wouldn't fall off! I'm voting that he thought we could ride safely.
I am also grateful and so appreciative of Hall of Fame Cutting Horse Rider/Trainer, Kathy Daughn for taking me on as my cutting coach! Riding a performance horse, not to mention a cutting horse, is an awesome experience. Thrilling in fact, but also very hard. It's taken a long time to even get to be decent at the sport. I am eternally appreciative of the life, horse and horsemanship lessons she has taught me. One day I was complaining about not having enough experience and needing more practice to get better. I told her that I didn't have 4 Million dollars of earning experience to fall back on - that I needed more practice. What she said to me was eternal. Her reply was, "Yes, that's right. But, you have my 4 Millions dollars worth of knowledge that I'm sharing with you. You can do it."
That's the cool thing about awards, they represent a journey and an evolution in knowledge, beliefs and skills. Most importantly, though, the represent relationships between people, and in my case people and horses. Those relationships, struggles and whatever successes being ultimately so very delicious.