2017 one of my life long dreams finally came true. On July 30th Basilio was born, and after riding everything and anything under the sun I was finally able to say that I had my dream horse. He has his dad’s uphill canter and clean changes, and his mom’s fire and love of being fiddled with. I was so excited to watch him grow and develop. Every day I spent as much time with him as I could, getting him used to being handled, or even just brushing his mom and watching him explore the world. I’m pretty sure the first day he finally walked up to me that my heart exploded with happiness. I was on cloud nine and couldn’t have been more ecstatic about having a horse that would have the potential to do what I wasn’t able to accomplish with Achates (Note: Achates is and will forever be the horse who built me. I just need to make it clear that there would be no possibility of Basilio if I didn’t get my patient and loving OTTB first.) and hopefully develop into an athlete that could compete at the upper levels.
That happy bubble came crashing down around me a couple weeks later at a clinic. There was an individual who took it upon themselves to tell me and I quote ‘You don’t have enough f-ing knowledge to deal with a young horse’. Their tirade proceeded to go on for another 5 minutes or so lambasting me with how I would fail and how this was the worst choice I could have made for my riding career. They did this in front another rider and one of my other friends, there was no pulling me aside and having a private conversation, no common courtesy or decency. And while I’m a fairly secure person it was an incident that cracked my hard shell and had me questioning my abilities.
Looking back it could have been something that changed the course of my riding career. I could have given up and decided to move on. I could have listened to this person and let them dictate where my life goes. The thing about big dreams is that there will be people along the way who tell you that you can’t do it, that you’re to old, that you don’t have enough knowledge, that you’re crazy. And to them I say you’re so wrong, I can do it and I will, that I’m not dead yet and that I won’t stop trying until I am, that I can learn what I don’t know, and that it’s only crazy to them because they don’t understand it.
It was crazy to this person that I could successfully raise a young horse, but here I am doing it every single day. Over the past year Basilio and I have dealt with minor injuries, the drama of getting him gelded, and everything else in between. He’s a happy and strong yearling, who is so excited to work and be handled, he runs up to the gate to greet me everyday, and when things get hard or difficult he thinks his way out of them. I did that, me. And if I would have let someone I barely interact with on a yearly basis tell me different then I wouldn’t have experience any of the joy and pride of seeing him grow up.
Dreams are important. Don’t be afraid to pursue yours, no matter how crazy or wild. Protect them ferociously, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve the things that are important to you. You can and you will. Bit by bit, day by day, year by year, that crazy thing that you thought you could never achieve will happen, and you’ll be so thankful that you never gave up. That instead of listening to the doubts that you listened to that voice in your head, the one telling you that the possibilities of what you want to achieve are endless. That when you get to where you want to be you won’t stop one second to look back, you’ll keep moving forwards because bigger things await.