Tim McGraw’s “Always Stay Humble and Kind” has been quite the theme song for us lately. Every day I wake up with something new to be thankful for and would you think I’d use pen and ink to count my blessings?
I show my gratitude when people do nice things for me but every now and then we all need to stop and do some critical thinking to make sure we’ve done our part.
Have we shown enough gratitude?
Have we paid it forward?
Do the people in our lives know how we feel about them?
Thanksgiving isn’t the only day we should be doing this but you can’t help but stop to think about it on this holiday…it’s tradition!
When I think about all the blessings in my life I’ve overcome with a sense of joy and happiness.
This year alone has been so wonderful. Staying limited to the equine world specifically I am thankful for:
My instructor, who is so encouraging and upbeat. She’s the kind of coach that notices the minute details and pushes you toward excellence. We have an arrangement where I care for her horses a few days a week in exchange for lessons. This has been a lifesaver because money has been so tight. I’m also thankful for her diligence and dedication to her horses, always putting their happiness and welfare first. Her horses genuinely enjoy doing lessons and all have something different to challenge riders with.
The lesson horses, who all have something different to contribute. When Blade no longer was comfortable to ride this year I began on the lesson horses and they have launched my equitation forward. I’m thankful to have begun jumping again this year, the first time in 6 years. These horses have helped me improve my posture, strength, balance, confidence, and feel.
My barn manager, who has bent over backwards to arrange and rearrange schedules for people. She takes incredible care of all the horses on the farm and notices slight changes when my horse is feeling under the weather. In addition she changes his sheet at night to the Back on Track, which was not part of the boarding agreement. She truly treats him as her own and advises me when I need it. Thanks to her I sleep easy at night because I know he’s well cared for. In addition, Thanksgiving was my day for chores and instead of sleeping in she came out to help me crank out stalls. What would have been 3-4 hours of work was only 2 hours and I was able to go home and get ready for family events without rushing.
The lesson moms, who are all so friendly and supportive. I arrive early to lessons simply because I enjoy seeing everyone. I love watching the kids, who are all much better riders than I am. Their moms are all so welcoming and upbeat. I’m thankful for one particular lesson mom who recently became our wonderful real estate agent.
The farm owner, who makes sure our horses have plenty of quality hay. I’m thankful that he cares so much about his farm. Although he could get away with charging more he keeps the rates more than reasonable. We also have a couple parties at the farm each year and he provides pizza, ribs, and other food. I’m so thankful to board at his farm, it’s clear how proud he is of it.
My farrier, who takes special care to make sure Blade has excellent feet. She works hard and sometimes even brings treats (except for when her dog ate my chicken dinner while we were in the barn, but I nearly died laughing :-D). I’m thankful that she pays attention to detail and stays active in continuing her education. She also arrives and educates rather than trimming and moving on.
My vets, who have all been wonderful and prompt. I have tried acupuncture and chiropractic work with them and they were so thorough and patient. They were great at working with me when Blade was ill and they remember me when I call. I’m thankful for the educational seminars they arrange yearly to help me improve my horse knowledge.
My fellow boarders, who pitch in to help with chores whether it’s their day or not. When we need to switch our schedule everyone is willing and happy. All of the horses at our barn are well mannered and cared for and I am thankful to be surrounded by such active horse-owners.
All of my friends, those who I have previously mentioned or otherwise. I am so grateful to have everyone in my life. They have welcomed me. They have referred me to some pet-sitting jobs to earn some extra money, they have invited me along on my first hunter pace. They joined me at various events and opened their camper up to me for equine affaire. They’ve trusted my knowledge and asked me about equine nutrition advice. They shared their food, warmth, and kindness with me.
My amazing boyfriend, who has been supportive of my horse adventures since day 1. When we began dating I had been in an “equine hiatus” and it wasn’t until our third year that I dove back in. Horses are a time and money suck but Zac has been there for me and acknowledges the importance of these creatures in my life. Most boyfriends would feel dejected and withdraw but Zac will actually help me at the farm and try to learn what he can despite having a healthy fear of the animals. Along with my barn manager he woke up early on Thanksgiving Day to help water the horses’ stalls so I could go home sooner and get ready for the day. I’m thankful to have him in my life everyday when I wake up and when I go to bed.
My parents, who have always been supportive of my dreams. Growing up having horses was not an option and they taught me the value of a dollar. Now that I’m grown up they show enthusiasm with my equine activities. I wake up knowing that they both love me and their proud of me, and that’s all a daughter can ask for. I’m so thankful for them.
Blade, who is no doubt my heart horse. As my first horse he has transformed me from horse lover to horse owner. With him I’ve grown confident in my skills and knowledge, but he forgives me when I make a mistake. He challenges me physically, mentally, and emotionally. This year I have almost even thought to bring him back to the farm he came from but decided to make him a promise that I’d be his final home. HIS person. Despite its challenges I’m thankful to call him my own.
My readers, who have all been supportive since I launched The Green Horsemen a few months ago. The internet is a breeding ground for hostility, so I am grateful for all of your encouraging comments. They mean the world to me!
Sometimes I feel that “thank you” isn’t enough. I have a fear that people will feel I’ve taken them for granted so I try to practice a system of paying it forward. When time allows I contribute extra time at the farm and bake treats for people. Although money has been tight lately I try to find some extra when a friend is in need. Friends like this are hard to find, especially with one as socially challenged as I am, so for them I would bend over backwards.
Who are YOU thankful for this year?
What have you done to show your gratitude?
Although the prompt was only used once, this was a contribution to Stream of Consciousness Saturdays. You can read all about this and find other great blogs by visiting https://lindaghill.com/
The farm sounds like a big happy family. I’m sure there are challenges, but everyone works together. Thank you for making that promise to Blade. I’m happy for you that you have so much support. What a wonderful life! Maybe I’ll have a horse again, some day, or just be around them more. Ah, the thrill of jumping…it’s been a long time. Enjoy! 🙂
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Thank you, Joanna! As you say, anything is possible. I hope you find your way back to horses but if not I hope you are happy and surround yourself with wonderful people!
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Enjoyed your post! Especially how you ended it, with what have you done to show your gratitude. This is an idea I am trying to spread this holiday season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hidlnk1NC10 If you like it, please share it. Thanks, Rita
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I like this idea! Although it will be easy for me this year with such limited funds you can count me in.
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Thank you so much!! Can you imagine what could happen if the idea really caught on?!? 🙂
A better one….even if half of us contribute it would make a big dent.
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Yes! When I did this video, I figured even if it reached a dozen people who decided to do it, then that is something. I have been really encouraged by the response I have had. Every day I get new people responding saying they are going to do it, and are going to share it. 🙂