Posted in Lydia Duce Blog
My blog post today is really an appreciation post as I have recently been reflecting upon my childhood and how grateful I am to have grown up alongside horses. WARNING: I am about to get totally emotional!!!
I owe a lot to horses and I don’t think anybody who isn’t an equestrian will be able to appreciate what I mean by this blog post. Horses have been many things to me, my friends, my team mates and most importantly my teachers. Below are the lessons they taught me whilst I was growing up and how they have prepared me for life.
They taught me to get my hands dirty. From an early age I soon realised that horses aren’t all fun, they are hard work. You unfortunately don’t get to just turn up and ride. Sometimes there are jobs involved with horses that you really don’t want to do some days, such as mucking out but they need to be done. I believe this is the same in daily life or especially at work. Some things you really just don’t want to do but you must just get your hands dirty and get them done.
From the age of 16, my parents encouraged me to get a weekend job in order to help pay towards the livery of my horse. Out of all the amazing things they have done for me, I am most glad that they encouraged me to do this as it gave me my ‘money sense’. It taught me the reality of how much horses cost and that I had to work hard to keep my horse. So at 16, I would go to school, see to my horse, revise for my exams and then also work at the weekend. I guess this is where my work ethic came from. I realised you must be hard working to get and then keep what I have.
Horses have also taught me to never give up and to try, try and try again. As they say ‘once you fall off, you get straight
back on’ and this old equestrian saying resonates a lot in my mind. Sometimes in life when at first I haven’t succeeded or something hasn’t gone to plan I remember ‘to get back on straight away’. With horses, you get chucked off a lot (or at least I have been ha ha) and it is the same with life I guess. It will try to chuck you about but you need to remember to always get straight back on with it.
In addition, being accountable for the care of an animal made me extremely responsible from a young age. It made me realise that when you are responsible for something or somebody else that you must put their needs before your own, always.
Horses have taught me to be patient and to be understanding. With horses it is true that we do not know what they are thinking, we can only make assumptions based on their behaviour. I like to apply this same theory to people. So be patient, be understanding and be kind always.
Unfortunately, when I discovered boys, I realised to get my priorities in order and to do it fast. Horses have never broken my heart or let me down and what I learnt from this was that this is why horses are the greatest friends you will ever have. By this I mean your friends will always be there for you, keep them closer than anything else.
My parents caved in and bought me my first pony at a time when I was struggling with being bullied at school; I was becoming quiet and unable to mix. Horses have helped me to make friends and some of those friends are friends I will have for life.
Also, because of my hard time at school, horses also taught me not to take my frustrations of life out on other people.
Horses taught me how to control my emotions. If you are in a bad mood sometimes you have to control your emotions.
For example, when you are angry sometimes you cannot show it, you have to channel it in a different way. Or if you are sad, you can go to your friends and they will be there for you when you need them to be.
Finally, horses taught me to be respectful and considerate. Horses are powerful, beautiful animals and they deserve respect. ‘Respect should be earned to be returned’.
Horses made my childhood positive and have taught me many important life lessons. They have always been there for me and I owe them everything. Horses have been with me from the beginning and they will be with me till the end.