Riding made me more determined and humble.
I run a full-service equine training facility. We take in around 8-10 young horses a month. I am determined to have a successful training business and that doesn’t happen by wishing and hoping it would happen. It happens by being a determined human and reaching toward those goals one step at a time, little by little, every single day. It happens because I wake up with a goal, get up, and kick butt all day long. There is no slacking in my life and there never has been. I am a huge advocate for working hard for what you want.
Building my business was challenging at first. Like every other self-employed person, I started from the bottom and worked my way up. I’d take in any horse for training–those horses the accomplished trainers turned down for good reason, usually the unstarted 10-year-old problem horses. I rode the rejects from other trainers for a good year and made them into quality horses. Soon, I began to get nicer horses into training, and now I’m very selective on what comes into training at our farm. I had to be determined to see the light at the end of the tunnel during that first year, knowing if I could get those difficult ones started would help me build my resume. I got through that trial period of the up-and-coming trainer and now I can be selective.
At my facility, Rush Meadow Farm Performance Horses, determination runs at an all-time high. What does that look like? It looks like riding every single day, every holiday, and in any kind of weather Mother Nature throws at us here in northern Minnesota. Horses need to be worked and cared for daily, even when you don’t feel like doing anything besides sleeping all day. You have to get up and take care of business. Getting 10 horses plus some of my own ridden can be draining, but somehow I get it done every day. If I lacked determination, I’d have a lot of unhappy clients.
A certain horse I own, Patsy, has taught me so much humility. Just last weekend, we smoked a run–it was one of the nicest runs we’ve ever made. Later that day for our second run in the buckle series, the wheels fell off. We knocked two barrels and I pulled up on the way home because she was pulling on me and taking advantage. She’s been my problem child since the minute I bought her. The only horse who’s ever made me want to sell one because I can’t figure out their quirks. Usually, I can get on a horse and have them pegged and know how to fix their issues within a ride or two. Not this mare. She challenges me every day and I love her to pieces for that. She keeps me learning and wanting to improve.
Humility–riding teaches me that every day. Just when I think I have a certain young horse figured out they throw me for a loop. I question my own abilities some days. Then the next day, they ride better than they ever have and I’m back on cloud nine. I know as soon as you’re at the top, the next day you can be right at the bottom again. I aim to always stay humble and kind, no matter what I’ve accomplished in my career. I’ve never been the type to jump up and down and cry when I win something, but more of the type to go give my horse an extra scratch and thank them for letting me be their passenger.
Lindsay Nordick from Detroit Lakes, MN, owns Rush Meadow Farm Performance Horses, a full-service training facility. They emphasize creating a correct, soft, willing, honest, and well-exposed horse.