Call us what you like– gluttons for struggle or eternal seekers or insatiably curious. But the fact is that some of us like to hook ourselves to journeys that never end. Heck, we more than just like it; we love it, we thrive on it. And for those of us who enjoy learning something that is infinite in content and breadth, horseback riding feeds our souls.  Riding, or more specifically the urge to become a better rider, continues to challenge us daily while reminding us that full mastery will likely never be ours. In this way, its frustrations are both thrilling and humbling, its successes taken within the meditative perspective that there is always more to learn.

I don’t remember the exact point at which I recognized that this was why I still ride after all these years. After a good dose of reflection about my unflagging commitment to riding and training, though, I have arrived at my nature as an inveterate student as the deepest root. I am, in all things, a chronic learner. Perhaps I was born with a wary regard for completions or a brain that cannot settle down and conclude endeavors once started. But whatever the cause, the soul-clenching contentment I find from improving myself as both a person and horsewoman by seeking more and more knowledge is why I ride. I can assure you I will still be riding years from now.

Jec A. Ballou


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