I remember it clearly. The two-sided push from both my client and my business partner while chatting during a massage session on day last fall that created the origins of an equestrian writer.
“You should write a blog!”
The idea had niggled at the back of my mind for awhile. I’ve been writing, privately, since I was a young girl. Of all things that I loved as a child, it was horses and writing. But I held myself back. Very few people have ever read my writing. I was unwilling to take criticism, which I expected in truckloads. Eventually, I let self doubt stop me from even trying anymore. I did not pursue my dreams because I feared failure.
What could I possibly write that others would read? What makes what I have to say so important?
The last year has brought so many incredible changes, personally and professionally. I chose not to return to publishing and a regular salary. Instead, I chose to start my own business. A huge leap of faith and a gigantic risk. After all, we all know how often small businesses don’t make it. I could not have done it without the support of my family, especially my husband.
But starting my own company gave me the confidence I apparently needed. I’m an equine and canine sports massage therapist, and incredibly proud of it. To have both my business partner and client say to me that they would be interested in my writing, was really meaningful to me. It was the nudge that I needed.
But what to write? I don’t own a horse yet. I love horses, but my confidence on them goes up and down depending on any given day. It’s often a gradual increase in successes followed by something that makes me take a few steps back. Then I sat and thought about it. Why not write about this very thing? Surely other equestrians have felt like I do at some point?
I decided to write for myself and not worry anymore what others thought. Easier said than done, but I did it. I scribbled out my thoughts on a notepad because that was the nearest thing available. The words simply poured out of me like racehorses at the gate just waiting to be unleashed.
I surprised even myself with this visceral need.
I started with the intention to write primarily about “safe” topics I deal with everyday in my practice such as health and wellness for horses and dogs. But the true heart of Bridle & Bone is about my personal experiences as a returning adult equestrian. The Confessions of a Timid Rider series is my personal diary: a glimpse into my deepest thoughts, feelings, triumphs, and insecurities about riding.
I wrote my first blog post in a busy kitchen while my children played and my dogs begged for food. Click To Tweet
Confession time: I didn’t start blogging as a way to gain readers or to earn money. I started blogging because I had something to say and I hoped it would help other people. Writing these posts are terrifying yet they give me solace. The very act of writing helps me to identify what I am doing that I can make better. Sharing my story? Less scary than I initially thought. The positive feedback is overwhelming, not only from equestrians but others who have faced their fears to do what they love.
One reader commented:
“Great post. I found your blog via Google, but it was just what I needed today. I am in a full-blown funk this winter with an endless string of bad rides, strange “mistakes” that led to falls, and bizarre illnesses and injuries. Coming off of an awesome season last year with 100% plans to move up, I now find myself dangerously close to the spring season starting and zero confidence in my ability. Like you said, one option is to “step back” but I know that is not the answer. I have read and studied every sports psychology book on the planet, and upped my riding to almost daily adding in every “trick” to improve…yet I find myself in constant “how did that happen” lessons. I have decided it is a funk or a phase that we just have to get through…it might take lot of sweat and tears (and maybe a little blood)…but I just have to gut through the funk and get back tot the good.”
Knowing that others not only relate to my story but can be inspired to power through and face their own fears, is a gift I never dreamed.
I am so proud of how much I have learned and thankful for the people I have met. Gone are the days where I sit nervously before hitting “Publish”. Now I am proud to share my story. I’ve realized that there are a lot of equestrians who can relate to my journey. Seeing how far I’ve come in just a few months gives me the strength to keep pushing myself forward and try new things. I’ve been interviewed on camera and off; interviewed authors and eventers; written guest posts and sponsored reviews; and even written a book. All this in less than one year of blogging.
Will I always be successful? Nope. I hope to learn from my failures as much as from my successes. Click To Tweet
For years I let the fear of not being good enough to write stop me from even trying. My blog, Bridle & Bone, has provided a freedom that I never expected. More than anything blogging has taught me to to trust my self, my writing, and take chances. Do I have more to learn about being an equestrian blogger? Absolutely. I can’t wait.