Sometimes you just have to PUSH…Keep on keeping on.  I have to remember this all the time.  When it gets really difficult I have to go back to a time in my life when I was young and it seems to me now, that I was extremely determined….a Quiet Warrior.  When I feel unsure and afraid now, I remember that time of my life.

        I was eight years old and my sister, who was four years older then me was a horse back rider and would go to the stables a few times a week and ride and once a week have a lesson.   She rode in horse shows in equitation classes, which judges your form on the horse.  It was very exciting when the family would go to the horse show to watch my sister show her horse.  Her form was beautiful to watch.

        I longed to be just like her, to show ride and have beautiful form and have everyone excited to watch me.  So…I started begging my parents for lessons and explained I wanted to be just like Joannie, my incredible sister.

        My parents agreed to give me lessons and my mother would take me religiously once a week.  I would be in the back seat curled up like a cashew nut with a death grip on a few carrots for the horse and silently crying…The problem was, I was deathly afraid of horses!

        My Mom would always say.  “Ellen, you don’t have to ride horses like Joannie, we love you just as much.”  I would say, “I’m fine and I’m going to ride horses.  I rode and rode and rode till I learned how to show a horse.  When you show a horse, it has nothing to do with your form…it has everything to do with the horse and YOU have to ride that horse so it does the BEST it can do.  When I was eleven years old, trainers asked me to ride for their stables and then my dear, beloved father was so proud of me he bought me a young 5-gaited mare called LUCKY CO-ED.  I pushed myself and went from a shy youngster who didn’t want to even be seen; to a more confident girl I learned how to compete in a healthy way.  I kept at it pushing and giving myself pep talks and visualizing myself as a winner.  I was still shy, but I began to believe in myself more and more.

        I competed in the shows, me, the pimple faced kid with braces, against adults and professional trainers. 

        The Little Engine that could and her horse LUCKY CO-ED became the Florida State 5-gaited champion 3 years in a row at age eleven, twelve, and thirteen.  My love for horses taught me so much.  I had that love, still had fear, but took my fear with me and chugged on …. 

        Now when I am overwhelmed or think, I can’t, I remember when…scared or not, I just kept on going and going and going.  You never know what can happen!