It seems like it was just yesterday that I was sitting down to pen out my thoughts and what I was thankful for last year as Thanksgiving rolled around. 2019 sure sped by a lot faster than I had imagined it would; so quickly that I haven’t had much time to sit and reflect on the many blessings that have rolled my way. As Thanksgiving approaches, I asked all of our 2019 JN Contributors to share what they were most grateful for with our readers as a reminder that blessings come in many different packages. It is not always ribbons or accolades, sometimes it is just the blossoming of a new friendship or partnership that brings us good fortune.
Photo submitted by Amanda Cousins
“Thanksgiving is a time when we all take pause to remember what we’re thankful for. What some people might not realize is that we partake in a sport that requires constant self reflection. All year long I’m thankful for the extraordinary clients in my life, a supportive husband and a network of exceptional professionals who help me on my path. This season though, I’m particularly thankful for the two horses who came into my life and pushed me to new heights. Thanks to Duncan and Artie, I’ve gotten to delve into the world of working ranch, the upper levels of eventing and have furthered my riding in ways I didn’t expect.”
Photo by Snowfall Designs Photography
“Every day that I get to ride a horse is a blessing. This year seemed to be overflowing with kismet opportunities, and as I reflect on what 2019 did for me, my riding career, and my confidence, I cannot help but be eternally grateful. 2019 brought me two amazing horses, it offered me the chance to participate both in the jumper ring and as an eventer, and it introduced me to many new friends and “horse show family” who truly loved and supported me throughout the year. All year long I was able to pursue my passion to an extent that I have never had the opportunity for before, and I thank God, my husband, and all of the people who have given me the opportunity to do so. But mostly, I am thankful for my sweet Bear and my lovely Rumba. These two horses have given me so much in such a short year’s time. They owe me nothing, but they give me their whole heart. For that, I am forever grateful.”
Photo submitted by Victoria Gomez
“This Thanksgiving I find myself struggling to find the words to describe how thankful I am for the blessings that have come my way this year. For over ten years I have dreamt of moving to Kentucky full time and more than anything I wanted the opportunity to have my own barn and spend my days and nights surrounded by horses. After having my kids I found myself wanting to make it a reality even more than I did before. After years of trying and being unsuccessful, this year the dream finally came true. My family and I moved to Kentucky this fall and opened a boarding facility. The joy I see on my children’s’ faces daily I know is mirrored on mine as well. Never stop chasing your dreams, they come true when you least expect it.”
Photo submitted by Dominique Gonzalez
“This year especially I want to thank the lessons and experiences I have been able to endure. The places I’ve been able to visit and travel with my horses. The hard lessons I learned that no matter what they’ll be shaping me as an individual the rest of my life. To never rest on your laurels and to work hard for everything you want. When it gets down to the last seconds never give up hope thinking you can’t come out victorious. Because in the end it’s those seconds of pure insanity that change our lives for the better. Never regret what path you decided to go on because deep down you know it’s right for you.”
Photo submitted by Tess Fortune
“I am always thankful for the good in life, but this year I have really been thankful for an ounce of bad luck. Without a little bad luck, I never would have met my orange unicorn. I was competing in the Amateur Owners and derbies on a beautiful and talented jet-black gelding, up until the spring of 2014. I was preparing for nationals, when my black beauty endured a career ending tendon injury. At this point I found myself without a partner for the hunter ring. With a limited budget, I turned my attention to track rejects looking for that “diamond in the rough.” After looking at dozens of horses, my attention was caught by a pony-faced, chromed-out chestnut gelding. This horse was never “rough,” he shined from day one. Our journey is just beginning, but I am thankful everyday for the opportunity to experience the horse-world with my MVP.”
Best wishes to all of our readers this Thanksgiving season and Go Jumping!