Origins of an Equestrian Writer
I remember it clearly. The two-sided push from both my client and my business partner while chatting during a massage session on day last fall that created the origins of an equestrian writer.
“You should write a blog!”
The idea had niggled at the back of my mind for awhile. I’ve been writing, privately, since I was a young girl. Of all things that I loved as a child, it was horses and writing. But I held myself back. Very few people have ever read my writing. I was unwilling to take criticism, which I expected in truckloads. Eventually, I let self doubt stop me from even trying anymore. I did not pursue my dreams because I feared failure.
What could I possibly write that others would read? What makes what I have to say so important?
The last year has brought so many incredible changes, personally and professionally. I chose not to return to publishing and a regular salary. Instead, I chose to start my own business. A huge leap of faith and a gigantic risk. After all, we all know how often small businesses don’t make it. I could not have done it without the support of my family, especially my husband.
But starting my own company gave me the confidence I apparently needed. I’m an equine and canine sports massage therapist, and incredibly proud of it. To have both my business partner and client say to me that they would be interested in my writing, was really meaningful to me. It was the nudge that I needed.
But what to write? I don’t own a horse yet. I love horses, but my confidence on them goes up and down depending on any given day. It’s often a gradual increase in successes followed by something that makes me take a few steps back. Then I sat and thought about it. Why not write about this very thing? Surely other equestrians have felt like I do at some point?
I decided to write for myself and not worry anymore what others thought. Easier said than done, but I did it. I scribbled out my thoughts on a notepad because that was the nearest thing available. The words simply poured out of me like racehorses at the gate just waiting to be unleashed.
I surprised even myself with this visceral need.
I started with the intention to write primarily about “safe” topics I deal with everyday in my practice such as health and wellness for horses and dogs. But the true heart of Bridle & Bone is about my personal experiences as a returning adult equestrian. The Confessions of a Timid Rider series is my personal diary: a glimpse into my deepest thoughts, feelings, triumphs, and insecurities about riding.
I wrote my first blog post in a busy kitchen while my children played and my dogs begged for food. Click To Tweet
Confession time: I didn’t start blogging as a way to gain readers or to earn money. I started blogging because I had something to say and I hoped it would help other people. Writing these posts are terrifying yet they give me solace. The very act of writing helps me to identify what I am doing that I can make better. Sharing my story? Less scary than I initially thought. The positive feedback is overwhelming, not only from equestrians but others who have faced their fears to do what they love.
One reader commented:
“Great post. I found your blog via Google, but it was just what I needed today. I am in a full-blown funk this winter with an endless string of bad rides, strange “mistakes” that led to falls, and bizarre illnesses and injuries. Coming off of an awesome season last year with 100% plans to move up, I now find myself dangerously close to the spring season starting and zero confidence in my ability. Like you said, one option is to “step back” but I know that is not the answer. I have read and studied every sports psychology book on the planet, and upped my riding to almost daily adding in every “trick” to improve…yet I find myself in constant “how did that happen” lessons. I have decided it is a funk or a phase that we just have to get through…it might take lot of sweat and tears (and maybe a little blood)…but I just have to gut through the funk and get back tot the good.”
Knowing that others not only relate to my story but can be inspired to power through and face their own fears, is a gift I never dreamed.
I am so proud of how much I have learned and thankful for the people I have met. Gone are the days where I sit nervously before hitting “Publish”. Now I am proud to share my story. I’ve realized that there are a lot of equestrians who can relate to my journey. Seeing how far I’ve come in just a few months gives me the strength to keep pushing myself forward and try new things. I’ve been interviewed on camera and off; interviewed authors and eventers; written guest posts and sponsored reviews; and even written a book. All this in less than one year of blogging.
Will I always be successful? Nope. I hope to learn from my failures as much as from my successes. Click To Tweet
For years I let the fear of not being good enough to write stop me from even trying. My blog, Bridle & Bone, has provided a freedom that I never expected. More than anything blogging has taught me to to trust my self, my writing, and take chances. Do I have more to learn about being an equestrian blogger? Absolutely. I can’t wait.
This is such a beautiful story Heather! I can totally relate to the fear of not being a good enough writer!
I also think that there is something really powerful about being honest and vulnerable through writing in the way that you do
I really appreciate that, Andrea thank you! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.
This is so nice to read – I love how honest you are about everything, and I quite honestly cannot believe that you don’t have your own horse!!
I know I’m shocked too. It’s not for lack of trying though! My husband is pretty hesitant about taking on a 1200 lb accident-prone animal. I don’t get it 😉 Thank you for your lovely comments.
Amy Brooks- Horses in Movies & TV
Great post, Heather! Thank you for sharing your story! And thank you for your support and helpful advice in the FB group for us new equestrian bloggers!
Amy you are so welcome!
Love this, thanks for creating the blog hop! ????
You’re welcome! Thank you for joining in and sharing your story!
Confessions of an Average Amateur Eventer
Lovely story! I think we can all relate in fearing that we aren’t good enough to write a blog, wondering who in the world would want to listen to us! But what a good feeling it is when you have enough confidence to go for it!
And thank you Heather for creating this fab Blog Hop!
Thank you Kc for joining in and for your lovely comments as well. I’m so happy you could relate to my story.
I think your writing has a lot of information and a lot of heart! That’s a wonderful combination. Your passion, along with your triumphs as well as struggles shine through. It’s very real and I think people really respond to that. I’m so glad you started your blog and that you’re a part of the BlogPaws community as well!!
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
Thank you so much Cathy! This means the world to me. I am so grateful that I took this chance to do what I love and I’m so glad it’s apparent in my writing.
I absolutely love getting to know about horses and you through this blog and by connecting via BlogPaws. So happy to have you in the community. You are providing a valuable blog that many learn from, so thank you!
Carol, thank you so much. I have learned so much from BlogPaws and gained much confidence as well. So glad I joined! Can’t believe it’s been less than a year. I have met so many wonderful people and gained priceless advice.
Im so glad you decided to start blogging! I don’t ride and I’ll never own a horse, but I like your writing and storytelling. I love this line so much: “The words simply poured out of me like racehorses at the gate just waiting to be unleashed.” You have a good voice and I’m glad you’ve opened the gates!
Thanks Debbie, that’s my favorite line too. 😉 I realize not everyone rides or loves horses, but if you can enjoy and relate to the theme of my writing then I consider myself successful.
We are like you. We felt we had something to say and blogging is a great way to get important messages across. (Well people visit so we must be getting something right I guess). If I am not careful I can go back and tinker and fuddle with a post because I m not happy with it but we need to have faith and confidence in our own abilities.
We need to remember we have something to offer. We can inspire, encourage and even make people laugh. Blog readers return time and again for what we offer.
You are doing brilliantly!
xoxo Marjorie! I am guilty of too much self-editing in my former years. Once I decided to break free of that, writing came much easier. Still hard not to revise and adjust a few times before hitting the “Publish” button though!
“I hope to learn from my failures as well as my successes” — beautiful! Thank you for sharing!
Thank you, Wise Mishu!
Tenacious Little Terrier
You’ve had an awesome first year as a blogger! Isn’t it great to see how your posts are resonating with people? I started my blog because I wanted to talk more about dogs lol.
Thanks! I totally agree. My husband was tired of hearing me drone on and on about horses and dogs, so now I have an outlet for it elsewhere. LOL.
Even though it has been decades since I rode a horse, I love reading about your experiences! I will have to check out some of the other equestrian bloggers sites too.
You should! Some equestrian bloggers focus on riding, but others have fun personal experience stories, and even cover equestrian sports. There is such an array, even in so small a niche. Something for everyone.
I began my blog as an escape from the everyday stresses of life. It became a daily diary of my previous cat’s life. I didn’t begin making money (still a small amount) until about 3 years ago and I’ve been blogging for over 9 years. I enjoy coming to your blog.
I love that you have so much experience. It must have been awesome to see blogging evolve from personal diaries for most, to the new influencer model that is so popular (and of course somewhere in between). I can only imagine what it will be in another 10 years.
I always love reading your blog Heather. You’re always so open and honest – I think that’s why I love reading them. Such a bold step to start your own business as a massage therapist for horses and dogs – sounds like an ideal job!
Thank you so much. That means the world to me. It is the BEST job! The biggest hurdle is educating the world about the health benefits of massage outside of the “luxury” aspect many view. We’ve started working with several veterinarians, and hope to help as many animals as possible.
What a beautiful post! I am in awe of you, Heather! Truly! I admire your courage and honesty about your fears and the fact that you are overcoming them so publicly everyday. I do think you, your blog, and your writing were put here for a reason; to inspire and help others and as a model for your sweet children.
xoxoxo! I could not ask for more than to show my daughters that sometimes the things you are most afraid of, are the things you MUST do to be happy. My oldest is creating her own dog school. Neighborhood posters are up everywhere. LOL.
I love this reflective post. I love how your two peers suggested ” Why not create a blog?’ I had similar beginnings…my husband suggested the same. Glad you overcame your fear to start blogging. You’ve come a long way in a year. You really should be proud of yourself. I love all the support and positive feedback people online provide. Like you, that’s something that’s an unexpected blessing. I wish you continued success Heather! You’re on the right track.
I’m so glad you took that leap of faith – it suits you! I find writing incredibly therapeutic and if it speaks to others, even better. You have a beautiful site and I enjoy your insight.
Lovely post – I’m so excited to be a part of this!
Being a show mom is a hard gig. When my husband started showing, I found it WAY harder to watch from the sidelines than be the one in the ring. Maybe that’s where your horse energy is going at the moment?
Very likely! I was surprised at just how anxious I was for them. But I was just projecting my own show anxiety, and was able to curb it. They had a blast.