On September 26, 2011; I had an epic fall off my heart horse and injured myself worse than I have ever before. I hit my head so hard I went unconscious and caused a cyst to develop in my left temporal lobe. I was up and down between being bed ridden and trying to be a real person for 6-8 months after this day. And it has changed me forever.
It made me work through a lot of my own being. I worked through my fear of horses, my fear of riding again... But it also proved to me where my heart is. I learned how it was my own fault, and it put me on a perfect path to Natural Horsemanship. A path that will forever have my feet trudging along it in search of more feel and better connection. I learned so much about myself, and about how to start working more effectively with my horse.
Natural Horsemanship is what brought me back to the light, it set my stage to become a trainer and to continue what will be my life's work as an ambassador for NH training, and Natural Horsekeeping. I have more tools in my tool box from the past 3 years of NH education than I have from my 15 years of English riding instruction before that. With the aid of a successful mentor, clinics and self education, partnered with certifications from schooling; I am all the better Jesse today than I was as I stepped up into the saddle that day 3 years ago.
I often wonder where I would be now if I had started my entire horse journey with NH. What would I be capable of now if I had started a feel when I was 6 years old... I have always been looking for a connection, my entire life with horses I have been begging for that knowledge, for that spiritual sense of connection. But there wasn't anyone teaching it at that time.. It wasn't available to me. So now I will be available to all the little equestrians looking for that feel, that connection. And not just because it makes them better in the show ring, because their souls call for it.. because they know it is what horses are here for. To help us grow.
I am thankful for my concussion, if that can make any sense whatsoever to anyone.
Without it I wouldn't have struggled through so much in my life, my relationships, my heart and my soul. I wouldn't have been driven to buy my horse, go to school, start training to be an NH trainer, and I wouldn't have the man of my dreams next to me either. Without that literal fall to rock bottom, I wouldn't have been able to rebuild myself into someone I quite admire today. I am so proud of myself for taking the big hint and getting a clue. Where would I be now if I hadn't been forced down this path? Would I have my own facility? Would I have a herd of horses out back? Would I have my family close and motivated with me?
Who knows! As much pain as I went through in that time, I am reaping every benefit of it now. The only downside I face now is my innate fear that pops up from time to time. But with the right support team, the help of sports psychology and my NH mentors; I am working through it every day to better myself.
To finish off, here is a post I wrote about conquering my fear and my first step back into the saddle after my fall.
Trust is something you work for. In yourself and in your horse. You have to take care of it daily, sometimes hourly and moment by moment. But it is the most important trait you will ever come to know in life. Cherish it. And keep it burning.