Life is rarely linear. There will always be zigzags on the way to your goals.The Bounce Back Book – Karen Salmansohn
In my previous post, I shared how a college equestrian program opened the door to a discovery and passion for dressage. Not only did the equine focus of this school feed my need for horses, but it also cultivated an environment to respect diversity and act with integrity. It was a small all-women’s college that was rich with traditions and sisterhood. The likelihood is high that my path would have taken a much different turn had I been at a large state school where I was just a number in a sea of students.
When attending a small school, your professors get to know you and actually do care whether you succeed or fail. With the equine program, you and your fellow classmates spend the next four years continuing to grow your education of horses together with the same professors. You meet in a classroom, in a barn, or in lessons. They notice when you aren’t in class, when you aren’t feeling well, and will be there for extra help if needed. You have a great support system around you if you choose to embrace it.
As I mentioned before, I was able to attend college due to scholarships, grants, and financial aid. I didn’t have a college fund or parents who were going to pay my loans once I graduated. My mother was able to contribute what she could, but if I wanted this, the majority of it was on me. Much of the assistance I received was dependent on me maintaining a certain GPA. If my GPA fell below a certain number, I would lose my funding.
Between a job at a local grocery store working about 20 hours per week and my class schedule, I didn’t have a lot of extra time to be socially active. But I still managed to get involved with boys. I had an unhealthy attraction towards the “bad boy”. I dated a really sweet guy for a bit at a college nearby, but I ended it because he was too nice. My choice in men was quite questionable to my mother as it is to me looking back on it! The ones with piercings or tattoos, or a suave charisma that would inevitably break my heart, those are the guys I picked every darn time.
I was 18, unstable in my emotions, and pretty much a train wreck. I met someone (a bad boy) and fell madly in love. In the second semester of my freshman year, he broke my heart. I plummeted into a depression. My boss had commented one day that I was hanging by a thread and he wasn’t sure when it was going to break. I would cry at the drop of a hat. I remember one day arriving to work and my pen fell out of my car. I burst into tears. When I came through the front doors of the store, my boss took one look at me and said “Nope.” I had to go out to the parking lot and compose myself before I was allowed to clock in.
My roommate tried to get me to go to class but I just wanted to stay in bed. When I did go to class, I was a shell. I almost lost my scholarship money as I let my grades start to fall. While I don’t remember how long it took for me to emerge from my grief, I eventually pulled it together.
I walked into English class one day to hear my professor shriek with joy. I had been wearing a hat to class most days as my desire to care about much was pretty low. She was thrilled to see I had all my hair. While I had been in a depression about a boy, my professor thought I had cancer and had lost all my hair. Now there’s some perspective. Thank goodness that was not the case!
When I look back on my failed relationships and my emotional instability throughout my college years, horses were a constant. Whether I was at school or at home, the opportunity to be around a horse was always there.
I have heard horses can sync their heartbeats with others in their herd and can sense a human heartbeat from a distance. I do not doubt that there is some form of healing happening in your soul when you connect with a horse. The quieter you become, the more you can hear. I turned to horses throughout my life to help me through so many difficult times. I have no idea where I would be had I faced this journey without them.
Missed a post? Quick links to my most recent posts are below!
- It’s My Life – Chapter 26Not now life, I have a headache.
- It’s My Life – Chapter 25I could feel it in my soul.
- It’s My Life – Chapter 24Man’s Best Friend
- It’s My Life – Chapter 23Karma.
- It’s My Life – Chapter 22I was stronger than I thought.