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I Try – An EC Blog by Jessica Straus Boppe

Filed under: Blog Post,Current Articles |     

Image by Jessica O’Connor Equine Imagery

I think we are all feeling the loss of two young professionals. Beneath the smiles, the pictures with tricolors, and the palpable excitement, there often lies much that remains unspoken. I’ve experienced my fair share of highs and lows. A month ago, events left me pretty down. Lately, I’m stoked for what’s to come! Life is cyclical.

Check in with your people. To my trainer friends- I see you. I see your efforts. This is for you.


I try.


To be a better person every day.

I’m not perfect, but I’m trying.

A constant balancing act of external factors and internal thoughts.

How can I be better? What should I have done differently? Oops- I really messed up there. I need to apologize. I thought things were fine. How was I so wrong?

Things are going great. I think I finally have it!

I’m exhausted. I’m really trying.

I try.


To balance relationships and boundaries.

You’re leaving? That makes sense. I’m not good enough. I know. Yes, do what’s best for you, it’s just business. I don’t matter.

But I tried. I answered late night questions. I helped outside of lessons. I waived late fees. I gave grace, I gave time.

My mistake. My fault. It’s just business.

I am sensitive. I care deeply. It’s just business.

Was the pain inflicted intentionally?

I am human, I’m flawed, I feel.

I try to balance. It’s just business.

I try.


To look out for others.

Do I speak up? About the ‘amateur’ that rides horses for clients under a business, or teaches lessons to beginners? We waited two hours for four horses, everyone was complaining.

I see the kids getting yanked around by the arm by their parent for missing a change. I heard a rider being told to make the pony bleed using their spurs. I help the family that cannot buy, or show every weekend, understand how and why their child competes with kids whose family can.

I see. I want to make things better. For everyone. See something, say something. Be quiet. Silence is acceptance. No one wants to hear you.

I try.


To provide.

But my resources are limited. I’m not able to fund everyone’s dream, even my own. I see the rider who missed a lesson and wants to make up their ride, but what about me? My trainers? My horse’s workload?

I want to give. How do I meet expectations when I have limitations? My truck is no longer reliable. Can I buy a new to me truck? What will everyone think? I need a truck to safely haul.

My business is going to fail. The truck passed inspection! Hay just went up $1/bale. It’s just an abscess! Another vet bill.

“Did you raise prices so I could pay for your truck?” I have no answer.

I try.


To manage this vicious cycle of worry and dread.

When did this happen? When did I start feeling this way? I want to feel better.

I don’t want to be weak, I don’t want to take the medication, but I do.

I feel better. I’m happier.

I can’t show despair. I make a joke. I laugh it off. I’m fine.

I try.


Thank you to Jessica, who is a high school chemistry teacher and owner/trainer at Haverhill Farm in Ashland, Virginia, for allowing us to share this beautiful piece.


If you are in need of help or know someone who is, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24/7 in English and Spanish.

“We can all help prevent suicide. The 988 Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.”

The 988 Lifeline also offers the confidential service of text and chat: 988 Lifeline Chat and Text – 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline


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