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Ask Sharon

Caring for and Choosing Your Horse

Abigail from New York, writes:

Dear Sharon,

I am 12 years old. My mother just took away my barrel horse. I loved her so much. I need a barrel horse that I can win on. Can you please help me?

Dear Abigail,

It sounds to me like you are sad? Why did your mother take away your horse? Did he have health issues, safety issues or are you being disciplined? I know those questions might be personal, but I feel there is an underlying issue here.

At some point in time, I would be honored to help you find a horse that you "can win on." In the meantime, you have some work to do. In order to know how to ride a winning horse and most importantly, to learn how to keep a horse winning, takes some experience.

This is my really great horse, Seven!
This was my first really great horse, Charlie!

There are a lot of things that need to happen on your road to becoming the champion you are dreaming of becoming. First off, promise me that you will try to understand why your mother took your horse away. Open up the door of communication and try to understand her side. In the long run, I have found that almost all challenging situations turn out for the best.

Second, I am so proud of you because you have already discovered a passion in your life. The desire to own and love an animal, especially a horse is a big thing. Now, I want you to try to identify what your goals with this special horse are. Write them down on a paper and hang them somewhere you are sure to see it each day, maybe on your mirror in your bathroom. Once you identify your goals, and we can have several, then each day we begin to make decisions that direct us closer to making our goals become realities. People who don't establish goals are usually those same people who never find a direction in life. Identifying the path you need to remain on to achieve your goals makes success much more achievable.

Patience is also important. I am still striving to strengthen mine! You may not find that exact horse that you can win on immediately. Remember each horse we come in contact with gives us opportunities to learn and develop our skills so when that really great horse does come into our lives, we know what to do with him and how to take care and manage him.

You are already way ahead of me. When I was 12, I got to ride rented horses on summer vacations. I was a senior in high school before I ever owned my own horse. Although I became a champion in a variety of events, I never owned a really great horse until I was 27 years old!

Stay true to your dreams!

Sharon