2020 has been a most unusual year that has delivered us all a new perspective.
We’ve all been forced to navigate a world turned upside down by the global pandemic. All kids became home schoolers overnight, and all parents became classroom teachers. Restaurants closed, grocery stores became places to pick up supplies, and many people lost jobs, whether temporarily or for good.
Knollwood suddenly went quiet, and overnight, lesson and show horses wondered what happened to their people.
Soon, we all watched while horse shows cancelled. And continued to cancel.
In the blink of an eye, everything can change.
Team Knollwood has spent time reflecting on our traditions and mulling over many new lessons.
We’ve taken new reflections to heart and are putting them into practice or recommitting to them for this upcoming show season.
Horses teach us all kinds of life lessons.
There is no creature better than a horse to teach us all kinds of lessons. At times, even better than parents thrown into that role.
Horses are dependent on us for everything. For their housekeeping, for food and water, for veterinary care, for hoof care, for training, and for companionship.
They get sick. They age and need special care when they can no longer do their job. They go lame. They rely on us for everything.
We do this for the love of them. There’s no better teacher than a horse.
Horses teach us about winning. They teach us about losing, too.
There’s so much more to this horse show life than winning and losing, and your horse will remind you of this all the time. You won’t remember all the ribbons you win, but you’ll remember when you nailed that sticky lead on the workout, or the time you made that perfect pass, or that moment you felt at one with your horse, and everything was right in the world.
Sure, victory passes are wonderful, but our personal accomplishments with these glorious animals are so much more than that moment.
Even when you do everything right, things happen. Horses teach you to keep going.
You can be prepared to take on the world in the championship pattern, and right as you’re asking your horse to step off on a diagonal line, someone will open an umbrella right in front of your horse. Or a deafening thunderclap rocks the arena. Or someone crushes a plastic bottle right behind your horse.
What about the time you got to the show and were told your horse wasn’t feeling well, or was lame?
It’s part of life, which as we all know, isn’t fair. The challenge is how we respond to these setbacks. We at Team Knollwood go on. We simply go on. It’s life.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
This upside-down world has taught us all how small most of our ‘problems’ sound.
Didn’t get a ‘fancy academy horse’ for the upcoming show?
You didn’t get a new show outfit for this year?
Bummed about your favorite show cancelling?
It’s all small stuff. With all that’s going on in the world, let’s all take stock in what’s really important and be kind.
Life isn’t predictable and tomorrow isn’t promised.
So, let’s cheer on and support our friends and competitors. Competition can bring out the smallness in people, and our world needs people who are bigger than that. This is a small industry needing people to build each other up, not tear them down.
Real champs boost each other up and congratulate accomplishments.
Tell someone they had a great ride.
Tell someone their show clothes look fabulous.
Tell someone the horse they’re showing is a great match for them.
Tell the parent of a rookie rider that their child looked so happy while riding.
Tell someone that you love watching them ride.
If someone had a challenging ride, tell them that you admire how they worked through it.
Tell someone you’re proud to call them your friend.
Congratulate the newest riders and tell them they look great.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s taught us that Team Knollwood’s strength is its members. From the top down, we live our motto of Tradition Honor Passion.
We treasure the tradition of the sport, practice the honors of sportsmanship and working with horses, and have endless passion for these animals and people we are honored to have in our lives.
Let’s all use this new perspective, find joy in the journey of horse showing by focusing on the good, treasuring those we love, and riding the hair off our wonderful horses we are blessed to share in our lives.