Friday, May. 24, 2024

Paige Cade

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Then that terrible thing that happens to kids and ponies happened. I became a normal-sized human at the old age of 13, and Daisy stayed 13.3 hands. I tried to ignore the fact that my stirrups had become uncomfortably short, and I was starting to look more and more like a jumbo jockey. And then it happened—another valuable life lesson—and I had to learn to let go.
Despite my protests and vague attempts to distance myself from him, Corey undid me. He woke the kid in me who loved her pony so fiercely that the idea of selling, leasing, or otherwise no longer knowing said pony was inconceivable. His kind eyes, soft pink nose and the way his ears twitched forward in eager anticipation of a Rice Krispies treat pushed me over the edge.
n order to trust yourself and your horse, you have to give up a degree of mental control and let your body take over. And that’s scary. Like really scary.
Humility is an undervalued trait in riding. If you ever feel you’re lacking it, just take a baby thoroughbred to his first public outing.

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What I realized this week is that the last couple years of my life with horses have been like the years before I met my husband. I went on a lot of first dates, kissed a lot of frogs, and had my heart broken more than a few times. But when I found him I knew he was the one—the silly Australian who’d never met a horse in person but was open to the idea and wanted to know if I’d go to dinner with him.
Though the progress our horses make isn’t always constant or obvious, the process we use to effect that progress must be
I also know that I’m not going to find every jump, and I’m not going to have every horse perfectly connected on my outside rein, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. And that’s what training is: trying. It’s every day, one hoof in front of the other, trying to be better than the day before.
The first line of the job description for my position as a rider/trainer at Tebogo Sport Horses in Delaplane, Va., was “must love a Thoroughbred.”

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