This is my all-time favorite picture, mostly because it includes my really rad instructor.
1. I see you give "congratulations" to the winning riders. But most importantly, I also see you address those riders who did not win, and the riders who are sometimes crying. The riders who don't quite understand yet. You tell them they are going to work harder, you tell them they will get better, even though all you want to do is give them a huge hug and wipe away their tears.
2. Your face/voice is the last thing I remember before I enter the show ring. Everything after that is a crazy, stressful blur. It is the only thing that gives me something familiar and calm to focus on. Even if you're not talking to me inside the ring, your voice helps me know that I am okay and will definitely survive this class.
3. I am scared, sometimes. Like that time a year ago when you made me ride Trix for the first time... outside. I had only been at the LEC for a little over a year, and had only competed at a handful of shows, and I was scared to death. I didn't want to tell you because I didn't want you putting me on a different horse... Which leads me to #4.
4. I believe I can do something just because you tell me I can. Like when you made me ride Trix. Or when you told me I would be moving up into the canter division. I questioned myself every day, but I trust you to make decisions that not only challenge us but keep us safe. So I agreed to these things and never turned back.
5. I know you all sacrifice a lot to make sure we succeed. Whether that involves money, health, family, or personal lives. I appreciate it, even though I don't always say it.
6. I like to give you nicknames like "B-Dub" and "B-Wizzle". It makes it much more hilarious when I've made a mistake 1000 times and you are frustrated. also it makes me feel extra cool. No if I could only get that new snapchat thing the kids are on, then I would be extra cool.
7. Sometimes, I work really hard but it doesn't look like it. We all know I am notorious for water-skiing in the saddle, and I swear I am working on it. Sometimes I am trying really hard but I can't get my body to do what it needs to do. Sometimes my head says "go" but my butt says "no". I swear I am trying, mostly because I really wanna ride that new 5-gaited lesson horse... just sayin'. But I also wanna not die, so there's that.
8. You don't always have to tell me I am doing well. It's cool every once in a while, but I show up at the barn to learn. You don't have to feel like you have to give praise just because or to feed the ego. I've got thick skin and a desire to learn, and that's more than enough. also, it makes me appreciate those times when I do get praise.
9. When I say I really don't like certain horses, I mean it. But thanks for still making me ride them anyway. It makes me a better rider and I feel like a boss when I have a good ride on a horse I don't like.
10. Thank you for all that you do. Thanks for making the barn one of the safest, most accepting places I have in my life. thank you for all of the friendships you helped me form-with both horses and people. Thanks for not giving up on any of us, even when we fail HARD. Thanks for treating us all with the same level of respect and attention.
You're FREAKIN' GREAT.
That is all.