When I read the Chronicle of the Horse article, The Things That Might Have Been, I just saw so many meaningful words. So much of owning horses is a journey, and a very personal one at that.
I should not waste time on the things that might have been, because in the end just finding each other was the biggest miracle, and accolades have nothing on our memories. -Kristin Carpenter
Much of my journey with horses has not been anything someone would see as amazing. Sure, Phoenix and I won many ribbons and trophies at low-level shows, but he means more to me for other reasons. This horse has always kept me safe. He carried me over countless jumps and cantered through many fields and trails, all with the same happy demeanor he wears to this day. He was the horse my best friends and I got on double to canter around on and do all those crazy things that we probably shouldn’t have been doing in the first place. He was my best friend, sold and gone for 9 years, only to come back into my life and remind me why I loved him so much in the first place.
Stampede on the other hand has never been the journey I expected. He’s the horse that taught me that it’s not always easy. He taught me that some people don’t have his best interests in mind. He showed me how the use of force can affect a mind. He taught me that freak accidents can happen and change the course of a future. He taught me to trust my instincts – all those years I knew something was wrong. He showed me strength while he took care of me as we both waited for time to show us the answers to his problems. He taught me that sometimes you do what you have to do to make things work.
After all, the best you can do is the best you can do. So whether your “might have been” is advanced, or your very first schooling show, or the horse you wish you had bought, we have to be content with the knowledge that if you did your best with what you had, it was enough. -Kristin Carpenter
He reminds me that sometimes a challenge is worth fighting through. This horse that I first sat on almost 8 years ago, back when he could barely steer, he shows me everything that we’ve worked so hard to learn together. Even if he never wins much in a ring full of sand and poles, he’s won my heart just like his brother.