Thanksgiving on Christmas

Photo by Michelle Wadley.

I know. I know. It’s Christmas, and the title looks more like a Thanksgiving article, but bear with me. Besides being an adult amateur eventer and a blogger, I am also a server at a high volume restaurant. Combine those things with being a mom, church-goer, etc. … and my circle of influence, for lack of a better word (cough-cough), becomes pretty wide. Recently I have noticed that quite a few folks, myself included (my husband just lost his dad), have been experiencing some pretty tough times. Everyone, it seems, is more than ready for 2017 to go ahead and make its scheduled exit.

I have read more than once and in several different places that when you’re struggling to find hope or struggling to feel positive, one of the best things you can do is focus on the things you are grateful for, no matter how small they seem. Somehow the simple task of being thankful shifts your brain from grumpy to grateful. This article is my attempt to do that very thing.

I am super thankful to be an eventer! Eventers are resilient and hard-working. Yes, I get frustrated when my competition schedule falls apart. Yes, I get frustrated when I don’t even come close to accomplishing even the smallest of my goals for the year. Yes, I get frustrated when it seems that all I get are setback after setback. (I experienced all of those things this year.)

BUT I’m an eventer. I am resilient, hard-working and I do NOT give up easily. Yes, some of that is just my personality, but I like to think that part of the reason I fit into the eventing community is because we are all so much alike. I have found that most eventers have that same “grab on like a pit bull and don’t let go” attitude. I love that about us, and I am thankful for it!

Eventers are also kind and helpful. Forgot your pinney holder or even your eventing watch? The eventer across the aisle will more than likely volunteer to let you borrow theirs. Making the walk of shame off the cross country course after being eliminated? (Me, earlier this season.) Twenty-two people will offer their condolences and hugs. Support is one of the things eventers do best. And did you see the photo circulating the internet showing the line of trailers transporting horses out of harm’s way when the California wildfires were raging? I can’t say for certain, but I would be willing to bet that a large percentage of those rigs were being driven by eventers.

I am thankful that eventers LOVE their ponies! We do! Our barns are cleaner than our houses; our horses eat better than we do; our boots are duct taped together while our trusty steeds get new shoes every five weeks or so … and the list goes on and on. We love our ponies. They take care of us when we forget our dressage test. They take care of us when we get them into a very bad spot on cross country. They take care of us when we lose a loved one. Our ponies are the heart of the sport we participate in. We could NOT do it without them and their willingness to give us their whole hearts. I am ULTRA grateful for that and for the amazing 17-hand pony in my life.

Finally, I am thankful for Eventing Nation. I am thankful to have a platform for my sometimes silly, sometimes crazy, always “heart on my sleeve” blogs. Thank you Eventing Nation!

Yes, Christmas is Christmas. It’s busy and hectic, and it’s been a rough year. But stop a moment to be thankful for all the good things in your life, big and small. Be thankful to be an eventer. I am.

Hug your loved ones, hug your pony, and …

Go Eventing.