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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GWU chapter.

I basically grew up on the backs of horses. It all started when I was four years old, trail riding on my black and white pony, Checkers. It then became a passion, flinging myself through the air over unforgiving solid objects atop my 1200 pound animal, Missy. At the age of 10, I began competing in the sport of three-day-eventing. I won’t bore you with the facts, but all you need to know is that eventing is basically the triathalon of equestrian sports and it takes a lot of grit. Believe it or not, riding is not just about jumping over jumps or making your horse look pretty, as you ride gracefully in long white pants when it’s inappropriately hot outside. Eventing taught me so many skills that I can now carry into other aspects of my everyday life. I want to share these lessons with you. 


  1. When you fall, get back up and try again. 

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “get back on the horse.” Well, I have had my fair share of falls, more than I can count on two hands. I can tell you with confidence that the last thing I wanted to do, when I disconnected from my horse and found myself flat on the ground, covered in dirt, was get back on. But each time, my trainer would say “Okay, get back on and try again.” I would take a second to learn from the mistake, gather my thoughts, and persist. Be resilient and improve by learning from your mistakes. 


  1. Set goals and take small steps toward that goal 

For me, riding got so addicting because I was always striving toward the next goal, the next learned lesson, the next higher level, the next top five placing. To achieve that, though, I had to set an intention at the beginning of the season and work toward it. I had to show up each day and accomplish the smaller steps that would add up to the bigger picture. Show up and achieve. 


  1. Sometimes, things aren’t always in your control 

Horses are tricky because they are living animals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “well, that’s horses for ya.” After striving to compete at the North American Youth Championships, I was one qualifying horseshow away from my goal. The day before packing for Pennsylvania for the last qualifier, Missy’s left front ankle blew up like a balloon. We soon came to realize that this meant she would need surgery and would not compete again. Why did this happen? Who knows. She could’ve tweaked it while walking for all we know. I’m not going to lie and tell you that I wasn’t disappointed because I was. But, it was out of my control and so I moved on. I engaged myself in Missy’s healing process and set a new goal. Adapt when life throws you curveballs and don’t sulk. 


Grace grew up in Boston and is a freshman at the George Washington University potentially studying Communications. You can find her horseback riding, catching up on her fave podcasts, or blasting music in her car.
Isabella grew up in Boston and is currently a student at The George Washington University studying International Business and Chinese. Her dream job is working as a journalist in New York, and she hopes to travel all over the world and study abroad in Shanghai. You can find her taking walks with her three Labradoodles or doing yoga with friends.