For over 2 years now I’ve been quietly trying to lay down a message. The same message, repeatedly, but subtly. It’s there in our name and it’s there, written in the words on our cards and tags on the riding gear.
I grew up hearing them, but I’ve come to understand that some women didn’t. I was raised by a fiercely independent woman. A woman of gentle grace. A woman of contradiction perhaps. A woman who said things like, “stand tall and proud” and “conduct yourself with dignity”.
At 14 I didn’t get it. I was already quite tall and I thought she meant my posture At 14 I yelled and screamed and fought, with little dignity.
At 54 you won’t hear anything, mostly. I am not entirely my mother. But maybe I’m getting it. I understand it’s not just about your posture.
This is for all of us, but I’m putting it out there for women, and particularly women of age, and those who ride. You’re my tribe. And this is not just for the saddle.
This isn’t even about riding, but it will affect your riding (and your ride), and your way of living.
Karen picked it up.
This isn’t the first time over the past 2 years, but it’s happened again recently.
Karen posted about it in our community group. Others have messaged me privately, but this was public (within the confines and safety of our private group).
She’s allowed me to share it with you.
"When you wear your horizons RPs for the first time... On the first time you enter a competitive trail ride, with your best friend, as a two woman team... And the first time you ride 18klms and do many of the obstacles on the new mare you rescued..
And I kept hearing Colleen’s words, Ride Proud, so I would sit tall in the saddle and tackle each one with confidence. And we won ! Riding Proud."
~ Karen Osborn
My mother didn’t say “you can do anything”. She was realist. Sometimes, we really can’t, despite it all, despite our best efforts. If I failed she asked things like “but did you give it your best?”
It’s not about the win. Karen won, but it’s not about her win. I know enough of Karen to know it's not even about the win for her.
The valour isn’t in the victory, it’s in the striving, and it’s in the way we conduct ourselves throughout.