Day Seventeen: Your equestrian idol
So some of you might be surprised to know that my equestrian idol has not changed. I am still a HUGE Courtney King-Dye fan. I know, I know, she might never make it back to the Grand Prix ring, but you know what, she doesn’t ever need to make back for her my all-time favorite top rider. In fact, I admire her more now because of how hard she is working and how she keeps showing all of the qualities in life that I loved about her riding.
The main reason I admire her riding is because she is so quiet. I have watched her at many, many shows and have watched her both in the show ring and in the warm up as well as at clinics and every time she takes my breath away because she is so still. She literally would make riding look completely effortless. More so than any other riders that I have seen she really is subtle in her corrections. She also does not appear to be a cruel rider. I hate most modern dressage riders because so few of them have freely moving, happy horses. I never once saw anything but that from her mounts. Watching her ride would inspire me to elevate my own riding, which I think is a pretty high complement.
Another reason I admire her is because she got to the Olympics because she worked hard. She dreamed big and made her own luck. Lendon admits that Courtney was not the most talent rider she knew, but that her determination and work ethic set her apart. I love that. I love that so much because I have always appreciated it when people work hard to reach their goals. To me, it is much more important to earn things than to have them handed to me. The tenacity that it must have taken her to leave home in high school to chase her dreams is beyond impressive to me.
What I love about her now is the fact that even though she has every right to hate horses, dressage and the way her life is right now, she doesn’t. In fact, she is still giving more to the dressage community than most. Instead of riding and showing she is now taking the time to put her knowledge down on paper. I personally was not crazy about watching her teach, but reading the articles she writes? Amazing! I cannot even tell you how amazing, you just need to read them yourself. Just reading her updates on her webpage can bring me to tears because she really has a way of explaining things that is just so real.
I don’t think that anyone will ever replace her as my idol. I don’t care if her riding career is over, although I hope it is not. She embodies all of the qualities I admire, which is a tough thing to do because I have crazy expectations. I don’t think we will ever get a more elegant rider who has such a grate attitude. I am so grateful for all that she is doing to promote the wearing of helmets when riding. I am so grateful that she is getting better everyday and that she is willing to share her story with the rest of us. When I feel down, like when I was getting frustrated with the whole SchoolMaster situation I would go on youtube and watch some videos of her riding. I admire her because she inspires me to do better, and really, isn’t that what makes a person an idol?