Loving company and our flaws

Shahina and I followed along on a 45 minute walk today with Nettan and Mikaela from the stable. It is always nice for me to get to ride with other people beacaue usually we ride by myself if I ride outside. It is also great practice for the horses to have other horses around them while out on the trail. Especially Shahina prefers to walk first but for this reason often gets to practice walking last. 

Afterwards, Popgun and I followed Nipeta and my mother for a 2 hour ride around the lake. Since it was dark outside my mom put on her big powerful headlamp which Popgun found to be scary in the beginning. Eventually he got used to it. 

The picture is from one of my best memories from this summer and the Swedish Arabian Sport Cup with Shahina. 

We came 2nd in the Classic Rookie Cup, won the Rookie Classic Pleasure class and among other things came 5th in the show. We even won a special prize for Shahina for looking so fresh and performing so well at age 24(!!) 

For me that weekend was full of so many amazing moments, each more precious to me than the other. But seeing Shahina sparkle and hearing how much everyone loved how good she looked when we got that special prize was by far the best for me. 

One of the other very special moments for me was Shahina getting that 5th place ribbon out of so many gorgeous horses. I would have never have thought that a green ribbon could ever mean quite so much to me. 

You see, when I was younger, for some strange reason, it used to kill me hearing people question if Shahina was an Arabian solely based on the fact that her face is straight as a line. I myself love her face and always have and that should have been enough for me to be happy, but hearing people joke about her face hurt me so inexpressibly much. Maybe because I am overly protective of my horses but also beacaue I myself have a rather long and different nose (that I got teased a lot for growing up).

So when we came to this show, with no expectations and no idea what to expect, we were thrown into an amazingly kind environment with lots of tips from great and experienced handlers who truly cared. The day passed without us feeling strange or left out once. It was like opening up a new world for me and it meant so much on so many levels.

In the end she was fabulous dispite some little “flaw” and was graded generously regardless on all parameters.

Something about that show proved to me on a strangely deep level that I had to stop hating my own face. That I had to stop grading myself on my nose alone and that I should start seeing all the other amazing qualities I have, just like I had already done with Shahina all along. 

In loving Shahina I had once again begun to love and appreciate myself a great deal more than I could have dreamed of doing before.
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