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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20 Signs You Were A High School Cheerleader

You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."

Cheerleading is something you'll never forget. It takes hard work, dedication, and comes with its ups and downs. Here are some statements that every cheerleader, past and present, know to be true.

1. You always had bobby pins with you.

2. Fear shot through you if you couldn't find your spankees right away and thought you left them at home.

3. You accumulated about 90 new pairs of tennis shoes...

4. ...and about 90 new bows, bags, socks, and warm ups.

5. When you hear certain songs from old cheer dance mixes it either ruins your day or brings back happy memories.

6. And chances are, you still remember every move to those dances.

7. Sometimes you catch yourself standing with your hands on your hips.

8. You know the phrase, "One more time, ladies" all too well.

9. The hospitality rooms were always one of the biggest perks of going to tournaments (at least for me).

10. You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."

SEE ALSO: How The Term 'Cheerlebrity' Destroyed Our Sport

11. If you left the gym at half-time to go get something, you better be back by the time the boys run back out.

12. You knew how awkward it could be on the bus rides home after the boys lost.

13. But you also knew how fun it could be if they won.

14. Figuring out line-up was extremely important – especially if one of your members was gone.

15. New uniforms were so exciting; minus the fact that they cost a fortune.

16. You know there was nothing worse than when you called out an offense cheer but halfway through, you had to switch to the defense version because someone turned over the ball.

17. You still know the school fight song by heart and every move that goes with it.

SEE ALSO: Signs You Suffer From Post-Cheerleading Depression

18. UCA Cheer Camp cheers and chants still haunt you to this day.

19. You know the difference between a clasp and a clap. Yes, they're different.

20. There's always a part of you that will miss cheering and it will always have a place in your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Doug Pool / Facebook

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Serena Williams Fights Sexism at US Open

The way we treat male and female professional tennis players has to be the same.


For 14 years I lived in Southern California, a hub for sports like tennis and water polo; many players that eventually sign to play division 1 sports or eventually enter the professional tennis world get their start in the sunny climate of California. Growing up near the greater Los Angeles area meant that I lived near where the greatest female tennis player of all time got her start. It's common knowledge that both Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams have roots in Compton, a blue-collar city in Los Angeles known for its high crime rates.

I had the amazing opportunity of seeing Serena play in 2016 at the BNP Paribas played in Indian Wells, CA. Watching her sure power and her commandment of the court left me in awe. Growing up as a young girl playing tennis practically ensures having Serena as an idol, and I was no different. Naturally, seeing her slammed by critics for her outburst during the US Open earlier this September left me appalled. Set to win her 24th Grand Slam title, Williams lost to Naomi Osaka, the first Japanese man or woman to win a Grand Slam.

The problem that many see as controversial is the treatment of Williams by umpire Carlos Ramos, citing Williams's "verbal abuse" that cost her a game penalty and the point penalty because of a smashed racquet. This especially infuriated me because the male tennis players are frequently celebrated for their emotional outbursts; they are praised for their passion. This incident goes back to the traditional gender roles that we as a society celebrate. When a woman asserts, her dominance, she's bossy. When a man does, he's the man. We as a society accept anger more when it comes from a man than from a woman, and it needs to stop. The first step is recognizing sexism where it happens, which is what Serena did. I am now even more proud to call her my idol.

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