The dust still lingers in my nose. It was a beautiful May day, the sun warming the air with every ray, stretching out across the land with a reach of glory. Nerves were building in my belly but that’s ok, I had dreamt of this day my whole little life. A whole life of 13 years. This horse my instructor had chosen for me was one of my favorites. His personality filled the practice arena with humorous antics and those stout legs of his held me high in the air. I am fairly certain he loved the wind in his hair just as much as I did.
This would be my very first Equestrian Show. Everything about the day had danced in my dreams for so long. When it was my turn we sauntered over to the starting line and paused to take in the moment. The fence was lined with parents and spectators. Somewhere in the crowd was my mom, and a group of judges. And somewhere in the next handful of minutes rested the fate of my dream. ￼
I kicked my heels, prodding this beautiful beast forward. We trotted steadily towards that first jump, bounding in rhythm. As we approached, the horse laid his ears back and abruptly jerked to the left, refusing the jump. As the air left my lungs I circled back and tried again. “It’s ok” I thought, we got this.
We trotted forward towards the white and yellow bars and I prayed no one saw that last attempt, hoping they’d all gone to get a soda. “Right hoof. Left hoof. Right hoof. One, breathe, two, eyes up.” And then abruptly he jerked to the left, again.
Here is where I crumbled. With two refusals I wouldn’t have enough points to even score, let alone place. I trotted over to my instructor who refused to let me hide, she told me to go try again, and finish the course, despite my humiliation. Which I did. But at the end of the day, I put the saddle on the peg and loaded my boots and helmet into the trunk with a broken heart pierced with the lie that I wasn’t worthy of a dream. I was crushed under the false perception that I wasn’t capable of achieving success.
And I carried that lie for the next two decades, allowing it to consume every dream at every hint of failure.
To read more of the redemption of my dreams come with me over to Abby McDonald’s table, we are discussing the power of redemption!