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Those Who Cast Shadows

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He’ll never be good enough. Why do you waste your time? He can’t jump. He’s not fast enough. He doesn’t move right. He’ll be broken before you can even show him. These are things I have heard on a regular basis for the past few years. I love my horse but he was not one that many saw potential in. I try not to let things people say get to me but words can hurt. When I hear something over and over again, I can’t help but wonder if it is true. Was I really wasting my time? Is he really that bad? Do I look stupid because I am trying to make him something he is not? When the odds are stacked against you, it is hard to believe in yourself.

My horse Polo is my best friend and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. He has gotten me through so many hard times and road blocks. He is amazing but no one saw anything in him. When I bought him he was overweight, under muscled, and untrained. On many occasions I felt like we were never going to be good enough. Everyone put us down and told us we couldn’t do it. I tried to just block them out and keep pushing through but it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I put all of my blood, sweat, and tears into that horse but I didn’t always feel like it is worth it. Just when I was about to give up on Polo for good, I found Meg. She saw potential in us. I took a shot in the dark and trusted her.

Meg is a horse trainer and a competitor herself. She has inspired me more than anyone else. She has helped me through so many problems, horse related, and not. She is an incredible role model and has kept me working towards my goals even when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have been through a lot with Polo and everywhere we go is still a battle. Everyone takes him at face value and makes me feel like he is nothing. Meg is the only one that has helped me see that Polo could do it and I was the only one that could help him get there.

There were so many times were I felt like giving up. I put everything I have into Polo’s training and care. I am fifteen years old, I have a life I could be living but instead I choose to take care of Polo and help him to shine. He is an incredible animal but can be very frustrating. I feel like because I try so hard to make him be the best he can, that people should support me. Sadly, in the horse world that doesn’t matter. All that matters is what they see and what their opinion is. Where is may seem like this shouldn’t matter to me as long as I am happy, it does. Words can hurt and things people say can really put me down. Meg has been the one person to pull me through the daily abuse in the beginning. It seemed to me that everyone that laid eyes on Polo had some crude comment about him or something I was doing. I try so hard to be all I can for him so this really put me down. I trust Meg more than anything and I really take her opinion to heart. When in numerous situations she told me that there was hope, I believed her. Looking back, I’m glad I did.

One day, a couple years ago, I was so upset and discourage, I thought even Meg couldn’t help me. I drove myself crazy going back and forth about what to do but I finally made the decision that I had to sell Polo. I thought it would be best for both of us. I told Meg and say the words out loud to her broke my heart. I never thought it would come to this but I had made up my mind. I needed a horse that could bring me along, not bring me down. She told me that there was so much I could do with Polo and wanted me to really think about it but she would support me either way. I insisted it was what I wanted. Meg accepted it and we put him up for sale.

Melinda was a woman at my barn that happened to be looking for a low level horse. She liked Polo and Meg and I both felt that it would be a good fit. Emailing Melinda back was so hard but I knew it would work out. She was going to come out and ride him on Thursday night. The days, hours, and minutes dragged by that week. I could hardly look at Polo. On Wednesday I went to the barn to ride him for what may have been the last time. Polo isn’t a very trusting horse but we developed such a strong connection over the months and years. We loved each other and I knew that Meg was right. What other people say doesn’t change what is true. I know Polo is a great horse and if they cant see that then it is their loss. I got home and called Meg, crying my eyes out. I couldn’t do it. I am a very stubborn person and hate to admit I cant do something I said I could. But with Meg I have no problem admitting it and at that point I would have announced it to the world. I didn’t know how I could have thought I could live without Polo. We talked for hours that night about how we could make things better and we then called Melinda to let her know that I had changed my mind.

Even though I had decided to keep Polo I still second guessed myself about whether it was the right decision. Still to this day I think that the only reason I have Polo is because of one sentence. “Those who cast shadows on you will never stand in your light.” This is a saying that Meg made up a few years back that meant the world to me. Her telling me that convinced me to keep Polo and still pushes me through the hurtful comments to this day.
I still have Polo and he is amazing now. It has been a long few years and there have been many times Meg has had to tell me I am great and Polo is great but now, no matter what anyone says, Polo is never leaving me. I will have that horse until he takes his last breath. We compete all the time and have won numerous classes. But winning isn’t everything. I can come in dead last but if I know Polo tried his hardest, I am the happiest rider in the arena. All I want is for him to be the best he can be. I wouldn’t trade him for the world. He is my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I still train with Meg and that is something else that I don’t want to change. She has helped and inspired me so much. Looking back on it now I realize that one sentence changed my whole life and for the better.





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rileyroo said...
Nov. 25, 2011 at 8:36 pm
this is great! i can relate to it in many ways. my trainer is the most important person in my life, and when i got my first horse no one liked her.
 
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