Setting Boundaries

June 12, 2024
Cara and Fiona in round pen

I think that it’s important to talk about boundaries, respect and dreams not being realized. These are big issues in the horse industry, so I’m going there and I’m going to explain how they’re all relevant to each other, in my case, and what the turning point was for me…

As you can tell, 2018 was a pinnacle year in my life and my career.

With the combination of my exciting new warmblood (a first for me) and my newly acquired USDF Gold Medal, one would think that I was surely living on Cloud Nine.

The negativity that I was dished from my clients was truly life altering. Some of them, hands on hips, marched into MY barn and demanded to ride MY brand new 3.5 year old. The one that I hadn’t even been on yet because I wanted to give her time to settle in, start her ground work over so I knew what she knew, etc. Or how quickly I felt stripped of my Gold Medal because it was inconvenient that my value may have increased as a professional. 

It made me physically sick.

I was speechless.

I was devastated.

Was I not allowed to have anything for myself?

Was I not allowed to chase my dreams? Accomplish my goals?

Was I not deserving of my dream horse?

Not according to some, I guess.

From then on, every time those clients pulled up the driveway, I got a knot in my stomach. I did my job, taught the lessons, but it was never, ever the same.

I started to feel out of place in my own business and uncomfortable in my own barn.

That was truly the beginning of the end for me, especially on a mental and emotional level. I learned that no matter what I did for people, no matter how hard I worked to help them accomplish their dreams, no matter how much I sacrificed (time, money, etc.) that I was not truly appreciated or respected.

So here’s what I did to push myself to start being true to me…and these took hard work, a backbone and self-coaching:

1. ALWAYS ride your horse first. You’re in this for your dream, then to help them with theirs.

2. RESPECT. You deserve it, or you can simply say, “I’m sorry, I think that I’m not the right coach/instructor/trainer for you.”

3. Trust your intuition. Energy doesn’t lie. Yes, you can “pass” on a potential client, I’ve done it before. Your mental health comes first, my friend.

4. Let them go. Someone who aligns with your purpose will come along in their place.

5. You. You come first. Wake up every single morning and chase whatever dream is in your heart. Fill up your cup so much that it spills into everyone and everything you touch.

The unfortunate thing is that sometimes we don’t know that some people are venomous until they bite us. I have learned, that the key is to just move on. The best “revenge” is just living your best life.

Remember, it’s YOUR life, if it’s toxic to you, you have every right to move on without them.

When you clear your life, your space, your barn of everything that’s weighing you down, your life starts to change for the better. It wasn’t until I started living my life my way and running my business my way that I began to feel appreciated. When I started showing respect for myself in every way, so did those around me. When I let go of those who were not meant to be in my life, I made room for my tribe. 

Change is hard. Letting people go is hard. But the peace and happiness that comes with the growth is priceless. 

You’ve got this!


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