I Knew I Met My Forever Horse When She Didn't Just Make Me A Better Rider, She Made Me A Better Person

I Knew I Met My Forever Horse When She Didn't Just Make Me A Better Rider, She Made Me A Better Person

I knew I was going to be with her for a very, very, very long time.


When I was 15, nearly 16, I got my second horse. My big, bay horse. The one I had always dreamed of.

For as long as I could remember, I had always wanted a big, dark horse with just a little white marking of some sort on its face. I fell in love with one of those, and after only having her on trial for two days, she became mine.

I finally had my dream horse.

Only two weeks into owning her, I fell off. It took me an entire year on my first horse before I ate dirt, and I started to second guess what I had just gotten myself into.

Was this horse too much for me?

I didn't know much at the time, but I did know that somehow in only two weeks this horse had managed to capture my heart. There was something about her that made her so different from the rest of the horses I had ridden. I wasn't sure what it was, and to this day, I'm still not sure what it is.

But, I knew I was going to be with her for a very, very, very long time.

Throughout the past six years, there have been a lot of ups and downs. Trying to teach a 10-year-old horse a new discipline wasn't easy. In fact, it was and still is one of the most challenging things I have done in my lifetime.

It involved a lot of dirt in my face, ripped gloves and bad horse shows, but I wouldn't change a thing about my journey with my horse. Every moment has just made me love her even more... even the so-called bad ones.

For whatever reason, this horse understood me, and I understood her. When I would fall off, she would come back for me. When she had to do a challenging exercise, I'd stay patient with her.

We had and still do have a mutual understanding of one another. The partnership I have formed with her is unlike anything else I have ever experienced.

She's my forever horse, no matter what. Even when she's completely retired at some point and gray, she'll always be my number one.

She's taught me what patience looks like, what it means to love another being unconditionally, what it means to stand by someone through the good and the bad, what it means to be strong, what it means to be courageous, what it means to go after your dreams wholeheartedly without fear, what it means to laugh and smile authentically and most importantly, what it means to be myself.

Nearly six years later, and she's still teaching me every single day.

She brings out the best version of myself, and she can make me smile even on the darkest day.

As wonderful as all the ribbons are that she's won for me over the years, my bond with her is something irreplaceable. It doesn't get better than that.

Cover Image Credit:

Bri Cicero

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7 Things That Annoy Volleyball Players More Than Anything

How to get under a volleyball player's skin in two seconds.

I'm not sure why but volleyball players are a very particular group of people — we like what we like and we HATE what we don't, especially when it is volleyball-related. If you're a volleyball player, I'm sure you can relate to this list and if you're not a volleyball player, now you know exactly how you will be able to get under our skin.

1. Girls who wear spandex in public

Don’t get me wrong, we wear spandex for a living. We understand WHY people wear them to workout. But wearing them to the dining hall, class or anywhere that isn’t the gym… please don’t. Put on some shorts or leggings — PLEASE.

2. The “I’ll beat you in volleyball” line

For some odd reason when someone who likes you finds out that you play volleyball, they say this. I’m not sure why, but its really annoying that people think they’re better than you (a collegiate athlete) at the sport you’ve been playing your whole life.

3. When guys mention that they only come to your games because you wear spandex

You’re right, why would any appreciate our athletic ability when you can simply appreciate our butts.

4. Freshman who don’t think they have to do their Freshman duties

PSA: Every single school has freshman duties; YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY FRESHMAN WHO HAVE TO DO THEM. Everyone has done them when they were a freshman. Stop complaining, do your duties, and play volleyball because after your freshman season you’ll never have to do it again.

5. When people try to tell you that volleyball isn’t hard

Why don’t you jump for three hours straight and throw your body on the ground hundreds of times and tell me how easy it is.

6. The word "spike"

I honestly feel bad about hating this so much but nothing nothing NOTHING annoys us more than when someone uses the work "spike". For some reason this word went out of style a longgggg time ago and nobody got the memo except the people in the volleyball world. Instead of telling your friend that they had a good spike, tell them that they had a great "hit." HIT = SPIKE.

7. Balls that aren't perfectly blown up

Volleyball players are hands down the most high maintenance group of people when it comes to our sport. I will go through an entire ball cart to find the best ball possible... if the ball is flat, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad. If the ball is too hard, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad.

Cover Image Credit: Sam

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Out With Old, In with New [Soccer Teams]

FIFA 2018 Brings Unforeseen Emotions, Sets New Heights in Russia


June 14 was not just an ordinary Thursday. For over 32 nations and millions of people worldwide, that was the beginning of their own Hunger Games: the 21st FIFA World Cup. I, too, was in ecstasy to see young men fight in a battle for athletic superiority and the chance for their nation's flag to be held high so everyone could see. However, as the matches progressed and the brackets tightened, the only positive aspect of the tournament was the hilarious, witty Volkswagen and Bud Light commercials.

Every 4 years, FIFA, the International Federation for Football, host the World Cup tournament in a different nation based on a bid. The most recent tournament in 2014 was hosted in Brazil, and Germany was crowned the champion after a very slight defeat against the Argentinians led by Lionel Messi.

This year, Russia got the winning bid to host the World Cup in stadiums throughout the western part of the country. Some of the stadiums were located in cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad and Saransk to name a few. As the host, Russia received the opportunity to play in the cup and fared out really well in the competition.

Coverage by FOX News and ESPN gave me the opportunity to relish an athletic marvel from the comfort of home. As the days went by so did my hopes for the expected countries to reign supreme. Early on in the tournament, Lionel Messi's leadership made his team crumble apart right away in the Round of 16 against Paul Pogba and the French. Likewise, Cristiano Ronaldo's predictable angles for shooting goals left the Portuguese surprisingly devastated in the Round of 16 as well against Suarez's uncanny victory for Uruguay.

As the tournament progressed, the stakes got higher and the geographic strength of narrowed. By the Quarterfinals, the goal-shooting prowess eliminated Latin America, with Brazil being the last to go, such that the tournament became an exclusively European club. The quarterfinals ignited the shots that shocked the world because, for the first time in FIFA history, neither Brazil nor Argentina qualified for the semi-finals.

In the European circuit, Belgium, Russia, and Croatia showed all of their might against unfamiliar faces throughout the month. Belgium was undefeated throughout the tournament until losing in the semifinals to France; Russia shined rather bright until their head was slain by the Croatians for a seat in the finals against France.

The ultimate battle will unveil itself to the world in just a few days, so we will see who reigns supreme: the French or the Croatians on July 15. It will be a game like no other.

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