Risk it all? A bit dramatic? Me? Never!
Okay, perhaps I have a tendency to be a bit dramatic. A bit. But, I am serious this time (I know it is occasionally hard to tell). Why the hell would I take the risk of entering *cue foreboding music* ……the horse business!
Everyone knows it is uncertain. Horses are an extremely elastic commodity (wow, I am actually learning something at this expensive school). They are also a luxury item. If the market crashes, so does my business and my income.
In the horse business, there are many different paths you can take. I have, in true Bryce fashion, decided to tackle the most uncertain aspect of the horse business: sales. My income will be entirely dependent upon people buying an expensive, delicate luxury good from me. So, basically, in layman’s terms, I am pursuing the riskiest of the risky.
So, why the heck does someone like me do this? I have a 4.0 GPA, go to a distinguished university, and I would like to think I have other talents (like, I would just like to think that I am half-way decent at this whole writing thing. No? Okay, so why are you still reading?).
I think pursuing anything other than what sets your soul on fire, is a complete waste of your short life on Earth. I thought I wanted to go into corporate business and sit behind a desk and do paperwork and charm clients for the rest of my life. Gag me, please. I can barely sit through a two hour statistics class… and, I like statistics!
After working in Europe this summer, I gained something truly remarkable. And, no, I do not mean mold-induced diseases from the house (yet). I gained a sense of clarity. I achieved this through one particular chain of events.
We all have that best friend (and if you don’t, I strongly advise getting one of these best friends, because they are pretty damn useful). They’re the person that when your back is against the wall, they bust that damn thing down. That is my best friend, Katherine. We met through our sorority and she is my “Big”.
We bonded over our love of horses and our hatred of stupidity. When I decided to drop my life in Colorado and go chasing crazy dreams in California, she was my biggest cheerleader. When I found out about my opportunity to go to Europe, she was the one telling me had I better get my butt on a plane and that she believed in me. She never once told me that I should stay in Colorado. She saw how passionate I am about this and practically kicked me out the door.
I knew I would do anything for her and she would do anything for me before the summer started. However, I never expected it would be because of her that I would finally find the courage to pursue what I have been passionate about for my whole life. Let me explain…..
I was trying horses at a barn 15 minutes from the barn I was working at in Europe. The mare was docile, obedient, and quiet. Nothing like my kind of horse. She wasn’t hot enough,… she wasn’t the least bit crazy. She didn’t fight with me, she jumped from anywhere. She was the image of the perfect JR/AM jumper.
Coincidentally, Katherine asked me to keep my eyes out for a new baby for her. She wanted a young horse, around three years old, a gelding, and anything but a gray. Beluga was a 7 year old gray mare but she was the perfect horse for Katherine!
So, despite the fact that her dad was in Colorado, my mom was in California, and she was in India and I was in Holland, we decided, come hell or high water, that we were getting that little gray mare to America. And, we did. Because, that is just us
Also, in the midst of this process, Katherine lost her dog of 11 years, Belle. Katherine was devastated because she never got to say goodbye. It was all very hard but the prospect of a new horse kept her spirits up.
Fast-forward…. it was my last day in Holland, the X-Rays had passed, the blood work was being done in two days, I was strolling back to the barn on Beluga after one last ride before flying back to the states when I heard Beluga’s owner call “Belle.” I turned around and asked who she’d been calling to, seeing as there were many horses around. She looked at me and said, “Beluga? Her nick name is Belle.”
My stomach dropped. I could not believe it. What are the chances that, of all the horses I rode that summer, the one I found for Katherine was named Belle?
Since being united in the US, Katherine and Belle have proven to be the perfect match that I predicted. They have never failed to miss a beat as they prepare for their first show in November.
Through this, I have gotten to see my best friend, not only be the happiest I have ever seen her but gain a sense of confidence and purpose in her riding career. Seeing Katherine that happy, seeing her trainers so happy with the horse I chose, seeing how happy Katherine’s family is with Belle? Nothing beats that.
Making people happy makes me happy. Giving people the resources to achieve their dreams makes me happy. If we are not pursuing what makes us happy then why the hell are we pursuing it?
So, that is why I am doing this. That is why I am pursuing an absolutely INSANE dream. I am taking on the shadiest, most underhanded business out there and openly saying “Here I am, bring it on.” I believe I can run a legitimate, transparent, fair horse sales business. I believe the horse sales business can be BETTER. I believe in trying to do my part by doing just that. I believe in a strong sense of right and wrong, there is a lot of wrong in this business. This is the way it has always been.but that does not mean it has to be that way forever.
Horses don’t only win us ribbons. They are our companion, our best friend, our partner. They give us confidence, solace, and immense joy. The process of finding something so positive for someone should not be sullied by lies and deceit.
I recognize I’ll never make a million dollars, that is unless I start with 2. But, this isn’t about money, this is about passion. Something we are too often told is not relevant in considering what career path to take.
Yes, I am aware I might crash and burn. But that is MY choice and a risk that I’m willing to take. Because, even if I fail, I will learn something. I will grow, I will get better. I will crash and burn doing what I love and what could be better than that?
Plus, it’s me. I’ll get up and come back swinging because I just never quite learning when to let it go.