Come with me as I take you through my journey of finding the treasure of the horseman.
Hidden in the hills of Vista is a treasure. Many people come upon this treasure and don't even recognized what they've found. They see it with a veil of pre-occupation and keep going. They miss their opportunity to experience a treasure of a lifetime.
When I first got to The Riding School, I recognized the treasure right away. Covered in mud, straw, and fur - the treasure was right in front of me.
I found it hard to believe at first that I had gotten so lucky.
I had contemplated this moment for several years and this moment was not what I had expected.
I searched all over for months and months and couldn't find it.
But in this moment, I knew - I found it.
It was mine if I wanted it. But nobody was going to give it to me.
I had to earn the treasure.
My search merely brought me to it.
The next step of extracting it was entirely up to me.
The treasure before me?
It's in Beth Boyer.
How can this treasure be inside of Beth Boyer? One asks.
Allow me to tell the story of what happened next...
I came to Beth hungry to learn about horses and riding horses but completely ignorant as to where to start.
I came because my daughter wanted to learn for years. My best friend, a champion trainer/rider, encouraged me to give lessons a go.
Everything felt so foreign, overwhelming, and generally confusing.
Learning a new skill in a new world as an adult can be disorienting and psychologically stressful. I certainly felt out of my depth. Everything I had known didn't apply to the horse world I had just entered.
But Beth was there and I trusted her.
I kept it simple with one piece of self-instruction:
Just do what Beth told me to do.
Every time I showed up, I just did what Beth told me to do.
And, if I didn't understand why and what for I asked her.
Like a toddler asking why, why, why.
She answered every single why with a because...
Sitting on a horse, I didn't know how tense I was, I didn't realize what burdens I was holding on to.
Beth saw what I couldn't see and told me to sit loose.
How many adults can sit loose through life?
I'm too busy holding it all together!
But, no, she talked the resistance out of me so that I could become one with my horse.
And, every single horse taught me to become a great rider.
Dolly taught me to be easy on the reins by yanking my arms down so hard until I learned to get it right.
Burt taught me to sit properly with his long, bouncy trot.
Checkers taught me not to take my lessons so seriously by being silly.
Portia taught me how what a proper post feels like with her easy trot.
Gidget taught me that horses can anticipate what you're going to do by how you feel.
Skittles taught me how to remain calm even if things looks wrong.
All the horses I rode taught me how to get them to walk without kicking them a thousand times.
And - Like a shadow, I followed Beth around asking her thousands of questions.
Questions about stable management.
Questions about tack and gear.
Questions about horse psychology.
Questions about horse spirituality.
Questions about the horse business.
Questions about how Beth sees the world as a horseman.
I was hoping to extract the treasure from her.
And then, one day, I got the treasure.
I could keep it for myself.
But I was mistaken.
I couldn't take the treasure from inside Beth.
Beth was helping me extract the treasure from myself all along.
I just didn't see it.
I didn't even know it.
It happened like this...
I was in a group lesson with Beth, Meredith, and Burt.
I got in the saddle and I started to ride.
I didn't need a lunge line.
I didn't need Beth right by my side.
I just started to ride.
All by myself.
I knew what to do.
I didn't have to think about it.
It was all instinctual:
I just rode.
And Burt moved with me.
It all made sense.
I got the treasure for myself. A treasure that nobody can take away. It was there inside of me but it was covered by the mud of the past, the straw of my fears, the fur of my ignorance.
Day by day, Beth helped me to get those things out of the way to reveal the treasure I had inside me:
The treasure of the horseman.
How to see things from the horse's perspective. I learned to get out of my mind and join with the mind of the horse.
She took away the voice inside my head and replaced it with one that thinks like a horse.
A quieter voice, a calmer voice, a focused voice, and happier voice.
A voice that knows what to do when others don't.
That voice was there, but it was drowned out by uncertainty.
It's this voice I listen to now.
Like the mythical heroes of history past, I was an explorer who found a guide in Beth.
She led me to the treasure, but it wasn't out there.
It was in me.
She'll help you find that treasure, too, when you are ready.