It’s that time again. Time for the Congress, World Championships, along with a few big money futurities thrown in for good measure. It’s time for the best horses and best riders to find out who is truly the best. We have been planning for these moments since the same shows ended a year ago. Now, it’s time to prove that all of that preparation, practice and effort was worth it.
Do we ever think about how we got here? What drove us to develop our skills from beginning horsemen and horsewomen to world-class competitors? What made us hang in there through every defeat and disappointment in pursuit of rewards that at one point seemed out of reach? The fact is that many of us have traveled a similar path to success.
I have talked to so many Congress and World Champions about their background in horses. Most told me their love of horses developed during their childhood. They either had a pony or wanted one. Those who had a pony had experiences they remember to this day. Those who didn’t have a horse or pony begged their parents for one. Their perseverence led them to a lesson barn and, later on, a horse or pony of their own. Others have told me about their desire to have a horse that didn’t come to fruition until later in life.