A few weeks ago we had a very special guest come to the farm, Marijke De Jong. I skipped Monday off school, in order to attend the first day of the clinic, so when I returned to the farm in the future I would have a good overview of some of the main concepts and ideas to be able to continue learning, picking it up through Iliane and Rupert.
There were about ten people  and we started by introducing ourselves. We were asked to include our name, who we were and what we wanted to get most out of the clinic (in-hand, riding, lunging etc.). In one big circle we all went around giving short three or four flustered sentences and moving on to the next person.

Volunteering downtown, November 2011

We all spoke modestly and simply of ourselves, focusing on what we wished to learn, rather than who we are. After the last person spoke, Rupert addressed this. He declared out loud our bashfulness, and in a short sentence or two tacked on when he saw that shined in us most. Laurence the genius with a master in neuroscience who only claimed she wanted to learn. Josh, who has beautiful dressage seat. Then there’s me, who as he put it, fought to be here. Even with the simplicity, in that moment,  I felt pride to be labeled as a fighter.
Marijke couldn’t be any more kind or funny, an amazing teacher. We did an intense theory session, followed by in-hand on a few horses, but I don’t think I could write only a post on that, I would have to write a book with all of the information I learned that day.
Here’s the point, about two weeks later, somebody asked me “How?” Rupert said I fought to be here, but how did I fight? I've think I've bounced the same question in my head ever since the words came from his mouth. I remember answering like this, that against all odds I found the Horse Boy. I have this crazy story about my Oma was told to watch the War Horse movie and accidentally got the Horse Boy instead. She read that it was based in Austin, Texas, where I just moved not 6 months ago. She sent me the book and movie to read, with the words “Austin, Texas” highlighted. I emailed Iliane, asking to come out and haven’t stopped coming since. That was August, 2011. However, that’s not exactly a fight, just luck. I found the Horse Boy with luck, but I fought to stay here.

My backriding during one of the weekly play-dates, January 2014

Not another week later I have told myself this, I have fought because of all the things in the world, I choose The Horse Boy. Every weekend, holiday and summer I choose to be here, not home, with friends or anywhere else. If I’m not forced to be at school, I’m here. I choose each and every day to make striving at Horse Boy my dream. I skip high school parties, Friday nights and Saturday evenings. That’s what fighters do; sacrifice everything for someone, something else. I choose everyday to fight for my dream, chase it and never ever let it get away from me. For every mistake, every learning curve and every fall I pick myself up from, I always come back. Even if I think the bar of expectations is too high, the key is to jump anyway, reach, and never give up until I have it. Nothing stops this strive to learn and do my best. That’s the key. No matter how many weekends I come and leave again, I’ll always return.
I am what I am, a fighter.