The Parallels Between Riding and Life

Editor’s note: We announced the 13 finalists in the 6th annual EN Blogger Contest last week, and now we’re bringing you their first round entries here on Bloggers Row. Each entry will be presented unedited for fairness’ sake. Thanks as always for reading, and please leave feedback in the comments section.

Fence 17c

Photo via EN Archives

“To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail” -Abraham Maslow

I say, to the (wo)man who only has a horse, everything (s)he encounters begins to look like a cross country obstacle.

When you think about horses as much as I do, you can’t help but to make everything you come across pertain to riding. After all, life is like riding horses. You never know what striding you’re going to get. Goldilocks and the Three Bears is the true story of a girl on an epic quest to find the perfect saddle. Too big, too small, too hard, too soft, and juuuuuust right.

Snow White had to deal with some really grumpy school ponies until Prince Charming OTTB came along and swept her away to her first horse trails completion. The Ugly Duckling was clearly a story about the roman-nosed, ewe-necked quarter horse I had in my teens that blossomed into a solid training level competitor. Therefore, I present to you a collection of famous quotes about life. And by “life” I mean horses, because of course.

“The most important thing is to enjoy your horse- to be riding- it’s all that matters.” –Audrey Hepburn

“Riding is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” –Confucius

“Riding is ten percent what happens on course and ninety percent how you respond to it.” –Lou Holtz

“I have found that if you love your horse, your horse will love you back. Sometimes.” –Arthur Rubinstein

“My life is my horse.” –Ghandi

“Don’t cry because you were eliminated, smile because the TD gave you permission to ride tomorrow.” –Dr Suess

“In the middle of every red and white flag, lies insanity.” –Albert Einstein

“That which does not buck us off, makes us stronger.” –Nietzsche

“A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the saddle you may never get over. Remember to check your girth.” –Benjamin Franklin

“The geldings believe everything, the mares suspect everything, and the ponies know everything.” –Oscar Wilde

“Eventers rule the world.” –Napoleon Bonaparte

“The man who has no horse has no wings.” –Muhammad Ali

“There’s a genius chinchilla in all of us. LOL.” –Albert Einstein

As you can see, the parallels between life and riding are endless. If you need some life perspective, I encourage you to enter your OTTB in his first event, get eliminated in show jumping, promptly get permission to ride cross country, and then decide not to ride because your horse loses his mind in warmup. Exactly like I (cough, cough) didn’t do last weekend. It will really make you appreciate being alive.

I leave you with this limerick that I wrote while I was at Badminton. And by “at Badminton”, I mean sitting at home daydreaming about what it might have felt like if I had gotten through the finish flags last weekend.

When life starts to make you feel little

And everything seems like a riddle

Keep the red on your right

Don’t give up the fight

Jump the insanity in the middle!