It’s International Women’s Day and all day long I have seen so many posts about the amazing and influential women in people’s lives.  Tonight I wanted to share with you all a few stories and why these two pictured above are the most important women that have ever been in my life.

Yes, it may seem ridiculous that on a day when so many women are being recognized, I go off on a tangent about how my horses made such a huge impact in my life.  But here’s something that a lot of people may not know about me.  I was bullied in elementary school by a couple girls who thought it was funny to follow me around and call me names.  They were so awful to me that I would hide during recess and never wanted to make friends with anyone.  When I got to junior high, it only continued.  While I was able to make more friends, one in particular said really hateful things about my weight and appearance.  High School ended up being more of the same, I was the awkward and shy girl that was in band, played a weird sport and had good grades.  The bullying only continued.  Fast forward to college, and I found myself playing golf amongst a group of women and I just didn’t fit in.  One of my teammates constantly said terrible things about me and made me feel worthless.

Yes, women treated me like crap most of my life.

And because of these experiences growing up, I turned to the one woman who was always there for me for answers, and that was my horse Stehekin.  She was truly the greatest friend I could have ever asked for and taught me how to care for others during a time in my life when I felt like I couldn’t find any friends.  Through elementary, junior high, high school, college and into my 20’s, she was always that constant in my life.  And when I found out she had a full sister named Sandy that was available, my heart told me that no matter how challenging it was, I needed to give her a home as well.  These two horses have been my teachers, best friends, confidants, and my safe place.

Now, I am lucky to say that despite the bullying I went through when I was younger, my life is filled with amazing women now.  It took me years to realize that it’s not about how many friends you have, but the quality.  As a result, I get to go to work everyday and spend time with amazing female coworkers and clients who inspire me.  And it’s a honor to now say #Itrainwomen.  I’ve also found a wonderful group of women I’m lucky to call friends who are kicking butt in the world and taking names!

If it wasn’t for my two sweet horses though, my life could have headed a very different direction so everyday I wake up thankful they were there for me and continue to be.

Cheers to all the amazing women out there, both human and animal!

-S

 

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