In light of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we choose to celebrate the women warriors of the equestrian world. In a sport where losing is much more common than winning (even for the top riders), motivation, persistence, discipline, and strength is what defines the champions. Below are a few inspirational facts and quotes from top women jumpers who can also be defined as exemplary fighters.
The first woman, and first US rider, to reach the top three in the show jumping world rankings list.
“I never had my own horse or pony until I was in my late 20s. So I went out to the barn and did everything from mucking stalls to breaking babies, learning the horses from the inside out… It was hard when I was starting out but it made me learn how the horses think and get into their heads. I think it’s important to know the horses from the ground up.”
“If you really want something, try not to be discouraged along the way. Don’t give up before you get started. Take the time; don’t expect instant gratification.”
On Female Advantage: “In showjumping, the horse is the athlete, so everybody needs to have a very good horse. Horses used to be much heavier and stronger, not so delicate or light-footed, and the equipment and ground were different. I think now it is actually in favour of women because we are generally softer and we adapt more. As a rule, we give our affection more and horses thrive on that; they know when you get on if you are mad or unhappy. So there are a lot of advantages for women. I don’t see it as me competing against men. I see it as horses competing against each other.”
“Winning is not normal and those who constantly win follow an ‘abnormal’ path. The discipline, dedication and sacrifices are incomprehensible to those thousands standing outside, looking in.”
“The energy flows where the attention goes. Always look ahead, but always remain concentrated and in unison with your horse. Love the challenges set for you every day! Live for the moment! Live now!”
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. Don’t be afraid of falling down. Learn from all mistakes, yours and those of others. They are important experiences for personal development.”