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  • Writer's pictureJessica Klarholm

Firsts are Hard.

This time two years ago, I was doing a lot of ‘firsts’. First time investing a significant amount of money into myself, first time really looking at an exciting and plausible career change, first time pouring hours into an area of study I enjoyed, first time staying in an Air BnB (hurray, it was a good experience!).

From all these firsts, came a lot of growth. A lot of it being uncomfortable which was okay because I had accounted for that. That was part of the deal, I told myself. I would rather be in familiar territory, physically and emotionally, any given day than stuck in a new situation that I felt ill-prepared for. I clung to that whole “I’m a work in progress” mantra like a caramel candy on a leather truck seat in +40 C. It made me feel like it was okay to live my introverted life quietly and safely tucked in my corner of the world.

The thing is… there was a lot of growth that happened this time two years ago that I had NOT accounted for. I had expected to grow socially, from interacting with a room full of strangers. I had expected to grow mentally, from the knowledge I absorbed through the course. I had even expected to grow professionally because of the numerous hours I had spent dreaming and designing what my new life as an entrepreneur would look like. What I didn’t account for was the emotional growth.

I did not account for the vast range of emotions that would be arising during my 5 days of practical training. I did not know I would be witnessing ground breaking self-discovery moments of complete strangers and of myself. I did not know the real depth that a horse could reach within a person in a remarkably short period of time (I’m talking 30 minutes here). I was unprepared for the emotions that arose in me.

They tell you they will “beautifully waste your brain” in the 5 days. They tell you the course will be worth it even if you don’t pursue a career, it will impact your personal life. They tell you horses are the BEST teachers and you will gain life skills from your time spent in the arena. This is all true.

I have not had such an equally challenging and rewarding experience since; there is nothing like it. I would 100% do it again, unaccounted for discomfort and all, because I am a better person for it, and my horses would agree.

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