Faith is a beautiful thing. Faith in other people, faith in your dream, faith in your horse.
Once you lose faith, it’s very hard to get it back. I have always been a person to place too much faith in the things around me. I often believe that things will get better well past the point when other people would have walked away. This is both a strength and a weakness. On the one hand it often means I stay too long and end up suffering, but on the other hand it means that when I eventually do make the decision to walk away I can say I gave it everything I had.
When you lose faith in someone or something, you typically stop respecting their opinion, their advice, their point of view. When you lose faith in your horse, your fear outweighs your ability to teach and learn with that animal.
I have always said that the Lusitano is the smartest horse I have ever known, and as a breed in general the horse with the most heart. If a Lusitano wants to do it, they will give you their everything, and will go above and beyond to please their rider.
There are of course exceptions in other breeds, and I have had horses of all types that show these characteristics, but the Lusitano is my true love.
Recently I was told that the Lusitano is not a brave horse, because they have such a big heart. An animal without a big heart, is an animal who fears nothing, and an animal who fears nothing, is not brave. Bravery comes from overcoming fear, from knowing what you are facing, and being able to forge ahead anyway. The lusitano would run into battle, knowing the danger, but be brave enough, and loyal enough to continue.
I always had faith that I would find my Lusitano, the horse to take me to the top. I believed so much in that idea that it actually helped me change many things about myself in order to reach that goal, that objective. I changed physically and mentally in ways which make me almost unrecognisable today, and yet I’m the same girl, with the same dream, and the same amount of faith.
Batialo, was the horse I always thought I would take to the top. I spend every day building a relationship of trust with him, and everyone says to me that they can see the relationship I have with my horse.
However, that is not everything. You may see the perfect couple, and from the outside it looks like they know each other, but you cannot see when one of them is losing faith.
Humility in sport, is a sportsman greatest asset. The ability to admit when something just won’t work, ability to admit fear, weakness, time to make a change.
I have always been a very driven horse rider and person, but drive can only get you so far, faith and heart will take you the rest of the way. Humility will then show you when it’s time to let it go and build a new way.
I love my horse, he is a part of me, but I have lost faith in him because well, when he spins it hurts, and fear takes away the fun of it, and the reason I ride, the true underlying reason why I do what I do is because at the heart of it all I’m still that country girl who finds freedom, who finds peace, on the back of a horse.
I wouldn’t change the last five years with Batialo, but I have to really ask myself whether I am doing him justice, because my fear, and my lack of faith, means he will never reach his full potential. If I continue to believe in something that I know will lead me to more pain, I will eventually feel like I have failed, when the truth is I might succeed on another horse, at another time.
The thing about faith is, you can lose faith in other people, in other animals, in your dream, in your career…but the only thing you can never lose faith in, is yourself.