When I was a little girl
I would obsess over the horses.
I decided to dance instead,
But they never left my mind.
As the years went on I felt like I was different from the rest.
I was being singled out with no praise and
Was left out on parts I had learned in a haze
Without a glance to spare.
By the sixth grade I’d had enough.
My light taken by girls much too weak
While I was never considered above the others,
My love for dancing was snuffed
I turned to junior high athletics
Where I was slower than the rest.
I loved basketball and hurdles,
But small scrimmages and offseason workouts were all I got
For one year I left sports in general,
But come freshman year
I needed an athletic credit.
I decided to give dance another cheer.
The first year was great.
It was everything I’d ever wanted.
I finally felt like I belonged,
And that I held skill and value.
But that was over all too soon when
The director decided to leave.
Again, dance as I knew it
Was back with a vengeance.
The director seemed to have it out for me,
As my family were white and married.
So preference was given to people otherwise
When their skills couldn’t quite rate.
I was isolated by the other girls
I was told “You can’t do that”
When I’d proven otherwise time and time again.
I was betrayed and stabbed in the back.
I was called names when I turned.
Nothing was done when these things happened,
A blind eye turned blissfully unaware.
So when I decided where college would take me
I saw a promising link.
Of all the organizations at a large university
I saw “Texas State Equestrian Team”.
Horses soared over obstacles,
People like me in the tack.
A dream I had never renounced
Was suddenly within my reach,
So my decision was announced.
I got back in the saddle,
Riding English for the first time.
I began schooling horses for a therapy
And I fell in love all over again.
I contacted the captains
I couldn’t thank them enough
Because they got me in touch with you.
From the get go I felt at home at Hunter’s Chase.
I watched as you taught a lesson.
You told me I’d be jumping that day,
And I was nervous but excited.
Another would have told me I couldn’t
Because I hadn’t done it before.
But you showed me that I could.
A dream and love resurfaced
You never criticize me but correct,
Nor do you single me out for being different.
Instead you’re the same from the first day until now,
Giving me something I was missing.
Spills happen in riding,
And of course I am no exception.
But every exceptionally humbling fall I took, I looked up
And you were there to help.
When I felt my confidence wane
Another would have given up.
But you stayed at the fence and looked me in the eye
And again you showed me that I could.
To this day I am grateful
Because even then this all holds true.
From jumping bigger to falling in love with a greenie,
You’ve shown me there is nothing that I cannot do.
My love for horses is alive and well,
And I’m right where I belong.
My life is all the better for it.
I’ve found a passion once more.
Words don’t describe the impact you’ve had
On my life and the sport and the animals I love.
I can’t imagine who I’d be
Without the barn and the team.
You’ve taught me lessons and given me confidence
In life and in the saddle.
So this goes out to you my friend,
My mentor, my trainer, my coach
I am so blessed to know you Katherine,
And I can’t wait for the years to come.