When I was younger, the answer to the age-old question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” was always simple – I wanted to ride, and that’s what I was going to do. So naturally, after graduating college earlier this year, I sought out opportunities to do so, first spending the summer as the Equestrian Director at Camp Wayfarer before accepting a position working with Doug and Jessica Payne for the fall.

From an early age, I was committed to my cowgirl boots and farm life.

As the year is coming to a close, I can’t help but feel great appreciation for the experiences I’ve had, but also excitement and nervous anticipation for what’s to come. As I look forward to 2022, I’m thrilled to be moving home, working as an Assistant Barn Manager part time while starting up Warner Equine, offering lessons and training.

It feels surreal to be at this point in my career. There’s still so much I want to learn, and I don’t ever want to stop exploring and growing. When I was younger, daydreaming about starting my own business, I assumed I’d have it all “figured out” by now – I would have absolute clarity in my path and complete confidence in myself.

While I have gained clarity and confidence through experience and opportunity, I have come to realize how limiting that previous assumption was. Having anything “absolute” or “complete” feels restricting. If it’s complete, how can I grow? What does that mean for my own development, and development of my philosophy, training, and beliefs?

I hope for myself that I can remain incomplete, so I can be open minded in approaching the change that will come over the years. Remaining incomplete will encourage me to keep striving, keep learning, and give myself the ability to change. It’s ok to be uncertain, it’s ok to want growth. Whereas before I felt guilty or “wrong” for straying from my predetermined path, I now see it as an exciting possibility to stay true to who I am, and learn more about myself and the work that shapes me.

The passion for and love of the horse has stayed the same. But allowing myself to remain incomplete and grow in line with my values excites me for what’s to come!

While remaining incomplete brings numerous benefits to your ability to adapt and grow, growing in a value-centered approach will help hold consistency in your work.

As I dive into this new chapter, I have referred back to my previous article on setting intentions. In my previous article, I had challenged myself to hold space and time to understand and connect with how I wanted to show up in a new job. Now, starting Warner Equine, I challenge myself to do the same, asking myself how I want Warner Equine to be. To begin, I must set my intentions, and recognize and hold my values center.

I want Warner Equine to be a compassionate space, where horses and riders can develop mutually beneficial and supportive relationships. I hope riders will share my experience of developing empathy, responsibility, and love for the animals with which we work. I want the horses to be happy, with the training centered on their wants and needs. I want to foster a team environment, where the space is friendly and approachable, encouraging participants to maintain creativity and an open mind. And I hope I can mold collaborative partnerships, as I discussed in my cross-discipline article.

Of course, this is all easier said than done. I’m just starting to understand the ins and outs of life as a professional. Navigating my passion as a business is still new to me, and I fully expect growing pains. That said, by holding my values at the center of my growth, no matter how difficult it gets, or how incomplete and curious I may feel, I’ll ensure my development as a horsewoman and business woman to be in a way I respect and believe in.

In this upcoming year, I’m looking forward to exploring this with you all, sharing the growing pains, highs, and twists and turns in this space. Additionally, I’m curious to hear from you, in your own experiences of holding your intentions and values at the core of who you are, what you do, and your own personal and professional growth.

Here’s to another year of being incomplete, but developing in an intentional, value-centered way!