“So, with all your experience training horses, showing and coaching, how do you even fit into this program?” A seasoned graduate inquired of me. Caught off guard I wasn’t sure how to answer. I stared into her eyes for a moment gathering my composure and fighting back insecure tears. How did I fit into this? I really didn’t know. Hell, I was completely shocked when I was accepted into the program to be honest. I’d only been in about 6 months at that point and my insecurity was glaringly obvious, to me at least, as I struggled to answer her. Finally, I said, “I have no idea. What I do know is I am being called to pay forward all that has been gifted to me and I can’t ….. I won’t start colts and rehab pissed off ex-racehorses for the rest of my life.” She stared deep into my eyes … my soul, and then shrugged her shoulders. Ugh …
Her question rattled me. I was completely shocked to be accepted into the program and then to have a seasoned graduate, a woman who was well respected and out practicing, ask me what I could bring to the table … It wasn’t a month or so prior to this brief encounter that I had reached out to yet a different graduate asking if she’d consider mentoring me a bit. I had ridden with her in a clinic a couple years prior. We’d chatted it up, hung out together and I had even given her a tub of poultice for her precious mare that wasn’t handling the harder footing and jumping we were doing. I thought we’d connected and felt “safe” asking her if I could call her or email her to ask questions, run things by her, etc. as I began journeying along the same path she had. I felt annoyed and disappointed when her response was that yes, she did indeed remember me and the beautiful black mare I had ridden alongside her and that she’d be happy to “mentor” me ….. for $125 an hour!!! I was so utterly disappointed and pissed! Really!?! Within the program she is mentioned often as someone well liked, respected and used as an example of what success looks like. I feel annoyed when I hear her name. I was even hesitant to accept her friend request on Facebook. You guessed it ….. ugh!
Last week on my coaching call with my program coach (this is a person who has their shit together and makes sure I do too!) she said, more as a thought than a question, “How are you going to attract clients to your practice? You are rural without much exposure and not exactly along a road well traveled. What will bring people to you?”
I’m sitting here with my damn knee on ice, looking at what I need to be doing this senior semester of mine, getting my priorities in order before the kids start school and all hell breaks loose with homecoming, football, volleyball, etc.! If you have kids getting ready to start school, you know exactly what I am talking about! I’m ahead of the game. My inner nerd has shone brightly with book reviews all turned in and interviews completed! My website is in the final stages of completion and my logo, business name and releases were complete almost a year ago! Lol! I wish I had known I was such a nerd when I was in school, maybe my GPA would have been better!
One thing my inner nerd cannot seem to master … database. By graduation we are asked to have 1,000 contacts in our email database. I thought (before knowing better, 1,000? Scoff! I’ll have 2,000!) Ummm … yeah, I have 122 people who’ve opted-in to my database at this point. Opting into my database isn’t about spamming rather it’s about letting people know when my grand opening will be, demos, retreats, workshops, connection circles, etc., to share newsletters, blog posts and otherwise reach out and share what my beautiful equine coaching partners are up to. And so, the insecurities I felt applying and stepping into this program are rearing their ugly heads as I think about my pathetic number of opt-ins. I’m not a quitter and I will keep hammering away at this however, I’m at a loss ….
I’ve been thinking about what my program coach pondered aloud on our last call together. She’s right, I am rural. We’re 45 minutes to an hour from anywhere, any direction. That means, you MUST unplug and slow down. People won’t come to me because I’m convenient and honestly, I’m not interested in convenience. They will come because I can offer them something they cannot get just anywhere. What is that you ask? I can offer them the beauty of wide open spaces and the humbling sense of peace that comes with that. I can offer dirt, weeds, grass, wildflowers, birds singing, coyotes yipping, cows grazing, the breeze sweeping, the sun warming and horses zenning. What I can offer is the opportunity to be heard. Not just listened to, but truly heard. I have already traversed the hellish path of freeing myself from evil. I know what it is to question myself, second guessing each decision and then pressing on, leaning into my faith and God’s grace. I know what it is to dig deep and summon that gritty, don’t mess with me any longer stance that is the difference between giving up and digging in. And my horses … I haven’t even begun to share with you all that my horses have to offer.
So, how do I fit into all this? I don’t! That’s the beauty of it all. With all my experience training horses, showing and coaching I don’t fit at all! And honestly, why would I want to fit into a mold, a box, a belief of what someone else thinks I should be? I’m all me. A little bit of grace and a ton of grit … a little bit of class and a truck load of kiss my ass … and ….. the education I am building on and soon, the certification I’ll have, to coach women along their own paths as they free themselves from the stranglehold of narcissistic abusers, finding closure, healing and the path to a future so bright, so peace-filled and fulfilling that it’s beyond anything they could dream up! Now that ….. THAT is what I’m called to! So, ask me again, what can I bring to the table 😉 I dare ya!
“You are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”