Many of you may have seen me tweet about spirituality. I’ve written about it before, and if you’re friends with me on Facebook, I post about it quite often.
I have a regular spiritual practice. I was raised Roman Catholic, but as I got older and began to educate myself, I found the Catholic Church’s views to be quite hypocritical and incredibly out of line with my belief system.
I was in limbo for quite some time until I discovered the late Dr. Wayne Dyer when I was in the midst of a severe depression that caused me to have to go on medical leave from college. The first book I read of his was all about synchronicity, which is essentially the theory that there are no coincidences and that everything is working behind the scenes on your behalf.
I recovered from depression and lost touch with my spiritual practice until 2010 when I discovered Gabrielle Bernstein. She was a receiving alcoholic, recovering drug addict, and recovering from being co-dependent in relationships. I picked up her book Spirit Junkie and devoured it along with the guided meditation album that was released with the book (If you haven’t tried meditating, you really should. It has so many health benefits). I also purchased her book Add More Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide To Happiness.
Gabby’s books radically changed my life, and I started to dedicate myself to my spiritual practice again. Everyone’s spiritual practice is different, and that’s what I like about spirituality. If you don’t want to or like meditating, you don’t have to – it doesn’t mean you’re “bad” at spirituality. You don’t have to do yoga; you don’t have to drink green juice every day or be a strict vegan. All you need is a willingness to see love in every situation, to know that what you see in other’s is a reflection of what’s inside of you, and that we are all one.
Anyway, I have followed Gabby religiously over the years as well as other spiritual influencers like Danielle LaPorte, Gala Darling, who is also my blogging mentor, Mastin Kipp, Kate Northrup, Marie Forleo, Amanda Frances, Tonya Vanderhart, and Amy Fiedler (among others – I’m sure I’m forgetting some other individuals).
One of the biggest things that Gabby, and others, talk about is having an “attitude of gratitude.”
Basically, the more grateful you are, even for the little things in life, the more abundance and joy you will attract into your life. When you recognize all of the blessings you have, you will see even more blessings come your way.
I begin every morning with a specific routine. I’ve started to avoid looking at my phone right when I wake up. Rather, I open my eyes and meditate anywhere from 1 to 7 minutes. I prefer guided meditations, so I use Gabby’s guided meditation albums. She has one for Spirit Junkie, one for her book May Cause Miracles, and another one to go along with Add More Ing to Your Life.
After meditating, which has tons of health benefits regardless of when you do it or for how long, I open up my journal and write down 5 things I am grateful for. You can write down more, of course, but 5 is the minimum you should stick to. They can be small things like “I am grateful for my cozy, soft pillow” or big things like “I am grateful that my parents pay for me to go to college.” Starting the day off in a grateful mindset will allow you to cultivate positivity as you go throughout your day, and as I stated before, the more positive and grateful you are, the more positivity and blessings you’ll attract into your life.
- It improves your physical health by diminishing aches and pains and bestowing and overall feeling of health upon you;
- It improves your psychological health by allowing you to be happier, more empathetic, and more sensitive towards others;
- It reduces aggression;
- It improves your sleep;
- It improves your self-esteem which creates optimal performance – something equestrians would and should be greatly interested in.
- Recognizing what you have in your life to be grateful for reduces your urge to compare yourself to others and allows you to appreciate others’ accomplishments;
- Having a strong gratitude practice improves your mental toughness and resilience and reduces stress
Not only do I write down what I am grateful for in the morning, I write down what I am grateful for a night right before I go to bed. That way, when I am falling asleep, my mind and heart are full of gratitude and thinking of all of the blessings I have which, as mentioned above, allows me to sleep better and longer and wake up in a better mood.
This is just part of my morning routine. I also take time in the morning to write down my goals for the day (and week, if it is a Monday), as well as things I would like to accomplish. However, when I am writing down the things I want to accomplish, I write them as if they have already happened. This allows the Universe to tap into my energy and see that I am open to receiving all of the positive things that are coming my way.
Additionally, I keep a physical planner along with using the calendar on my phone. I have been using Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Planner since it was first released three years ago. In the planner, every
single day, there is a space to write down what you are grateful for on that particular day, so I get a double dose of my gratitude practice. Danielle only has the weekly edition of her Desire Map Planner left for this year, which you can get here. If you’re more of a daily agenda type person, Danielle usually releases her planners towards December. If you want to get a head start on identifying how you want to feel and how your goals should work towards that, you can invest in her Desire Map book which is all about setting goals and intentions for your life based on how you want to feel, which I think is genius.
I know that this may be a little “woo woo” for some of you – but if you are at all open-minded, I urge you to give some of this a try, even if it’s just practicing being more grateful on a daily basis. You will begin to see major shifts in your mindset and your attitude that you didn’t see before.
Also, if you are interested in reading more of Gabrielle Bernstein’s work, I highly recommend her latest book The Universe Has Your Back. If you’re looking for a good starter book that will help you develop your spiritual practice, Spirit Junkie is definitely the go-to.
ps. I got my notebook from Erin Condren.
by Bryce Richardson, owner of The Long Spot, and writer for The Legal Equestrian.
Some of us are fortunate enough to be born into a family that can sustain the unquenchable thirst to guide majestic, four-legged creatures over courses of jumps.
Most of us are not.
Most of us cannot afford a six-figure (or even a seven-figure) mount. Most of us cannot afford thousands of dollars in training and board on top of the tens of thousands of dollars in costs to compete at the dazzling venues from California to Florida. Most of us cannot justify dropping three pay checks on a hunt coat every year. Most of us cannot fathom jetting off to Europe in pursuit of a shiny, well-bred partner – much less paying to get them home with us.
Most of us are not in that financial position. Most of us have these big unsustainable dreams because we fell victim to the addiction that is horses at a young age, and in turn, we got sucked into a vicious world where it is survival of the richest.
Due to this, many people scrimp and save through their junior career until they reach college where they vow to get a good degree so they can hopefully one day be a happy ammy with a cute hunter they can show a few times a year and spoil to death.
But.. then there are those of us who dream of more. There are those of us that didn’t just catch the horse bug, but let it become our identity. We are the kids that were working students our entire junior career. We are the kids that would ride anything from a fancy warmblood to a barely broke Thoroughbred to a wicked pony. We are the kids with saddle sore scars on our legs from the thousands of hours of no stirrups. We are the kids that braided and groomed our way to the shows. We are the kids that have never known what it means to show up at the barn just for our lessons and classes.
However, I have found myself more and more alone as one of these kids. My tribe has seemed to dwindle to a select few willing to nearly sell their soul to ride one naughty pony or one green hunter.
While my tribe dwindles, I watch an entitled attitude manifest itself amongst those who once were right beside me working until we couldn’t see straight just to get a lesson.
Whether it be via conversation, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram, I am hearing more and more “This isn’t fair” and less and less “I’ll work my way there.”
I see many people complain about so-and-so being able to afford a string of Grand Prix horses and performance hunters and how she doesn’t deserve it. I hear about how because this sport caters to the rich and famous, it’s not fair to the “normal” people at the bottom. I hear people declare they deserve a hand out because they were not born into a wealthy family but have some natural talent.
Well, guess what: Life is not, and never will be fair.
No one is going to hand you a horse and a blank check simply because luck wasn’t on your side when you were born into an average income family that could not keep up with the upper echelons of the equestrian community.
I tell you this as one of these “normal” kids. I am a trainer’s kid. No, not a Big Name Trainer (“BNT”) with a massive barn I stand to inherit one day. I come from a small town trainer who dabbled in the California A Circuit. I grew up with my horses at my house. I grew up mucking, tacking and feeding.
When my mother moved away when I was 13, I became a working student and have been one ever since. I’ve only ever had two horses of my own, a little mutt pony we paid next to nothing for and my jumper. The rest have been catch rides.
When I wanted a jumper, my dad got me an unbroken three year old from an auction, and I broke him myself when I was 11. I took that little unassuming WB/TB from my backyard to the NorCal Prix de Nations team that competed at Spruce Meadows. We took the bronze. I never for a second had that little horse in training because from an early age my dad made it very clear, if I wanted to make it in this sport it was not going to be on his dime, it would be on the sweat of my own back.
I have gone through phases where I get very lucky and have significant financial support, then I go through times, like now, where I have no horse and no money. One thing that has stayed constant no matter who I am riding for is that if someone like myself wants to see the inside of a Grand Prix from the back of a horse, you have no choice but to shut up and work.
No one is going to pity the fool who sits around and complains while they could be working. No one is going to pity the fool that passes up even the opportunity to muck stalls when it could lead to some rides. No one is going to pity the fool who thinks they deserve a handout.
Because this world owes you absolutely nothing and if you want to see the inside of the Grand Prix ring, it will happen a lot faster if you pick up a shovel or a brush with a smile on your face than if you continue to sit there and degrade those more fortunate than yourself.
At the end of the day, even if you find some clueless soul to pity you, do you really want to look back and know you made it to the Grand Prix ring on a pity check rather than your own merit?
I think those of us underdogs that are waking up at dawn and working through dusk are lucky in a different way. We are lucky because once we reach the big ring, we can look back and know every single painful step was taken by our own two aching feet. Every inch of that climb to the top was achieved through our own dedication and determination. No one else came in and paved the road for us with their financial support. We made it every unpaved mile and achieved a success all our own. We are lucky because how many people can actually say that sincerely in this sport?
If you have let this sport make you bitter and cynical enough to believe hard work is not enough, look to the top riders. Many started as grooms and working students and rode catch rides to the big ring. Look at Mavis Spencer whose family told her she would have to pursue a career as a professional on her own merit. Look at Sam Hutton who started in a little yard in England and now rides in the 5* Grand Prix classes and is on the Global Champions Tour.
If you’re going to play this game coming from a modest background, you have to change the rules. You will never level the playing field through your financials so you must compensate through grueling work and an attitude that attracts those with the means to give you a chance.
Neither of those things are possible if you never get up, shut up, and saddle up.
Bryce Richardson is a college student, working student, and catch rider. She grew up a trainer’s kid in California and became a working student at the young age of 13. She has been a groom and working student ever since. Though her family supports her love of riding and her dreams of going pro on the international Grand Prix circuit, she has had to make it on her own merit and work ethic.
Currently, Bryce is catching riding in Southern California. She works hard at a barn in Colorado when she is home with her father. She has a great passion for matching horses with riders. She realized this passion after making her first sale in Europe, where she was working as an intern in Holland, to a rider in the United States this past summer. Bryce hopes to one day own her own international sales barn that helps equestrians find their perfect match.
Bryce also has her own blog that can be found here.
So, for any of you that know me, you know I have super long hair (like down to my ass long). You also know that I HATE washing my hair. Plus, according to many studies, such as this one from Bustle, it’s actually healthier NOT to wash your hair every single day.
I’ve tried many dry shampoos. For all of them, they did one thing REALLY well, but then I had another complaint.. for example, a hair spy type dry shampoo really made me hair look like it had been washed the day before, but it left my hair feeling super crunchy.
I recently read an article about OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam. The article was super convincing.. as in, it featured a guy who had locks as long as mine, and he clearly hadn’t washed them in a few days because they were VISIBLY greasy.
So, needless to say, the article got my attention.
I decided to try OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam. I tend to go approximately 3-4 days between washes, but I decided to push the envelope on this one, since it was so highly recommend, that I pushed it to 5 days.
On the 4th day, I applied the dry shampoo. It comes out as a foam, and you basically work it through your hair (roots and ends) like you would any other foam-based hair product.
I followed that step, made sure it was all worked through, and then I ran a brush through my hair and ruffled it up like I usually do because I’m still on that messy, bedhead look for my hair.
I was super impressed at first application. My hair immediately looked as if I had washed it that day or the day before. There was no oil (my roots don’t get SUPER oily, but sometimes it does get a little visible hence my search for a good dry shampoo.) My hair had more volume, but not too much, which was perfect because I don’t like my hair to be any thicker than it already is. It also smelled amazing – like it had been an actual shampoo.
I left it in for a day, making day 5 since I had washed my hair. My hair still looked like it had been recently washed. I had the same volume. My hair looked super healthy and was shiny. My hair didn’t feel greasy at all from having the product in my hair overnight. My roots were not oily, and my hair even smelled amazing, still.
The articles on this dry shampoo are not hype. This shampoo really is one of the best ones I’ve tried, and it is going to be my go-to shampoo from now on. It’s super easy to work with and apply. It is actually effective, and it doesn’t weigh your hair down, make it feel greasy, or make your hair have a grey/white sheen to it (some of the powders I’ve tried.)
I saw a bunch of tweets when I tweeted I was going to be reviewing a dry shampoo that worked WONDERS, so I have a feeling a lot of people struggle with finding the right dry shampoo for their locks. It retails for $36.64, and it can be found here.
To read the article that inspired me to try this shampoo, click here. It shows the shampoo being used on two different hair types and lengths, and it’s a great way to see how exactly to apply the product.
And, if you try it out, leave me a comment below or tweet me and let me know what you thought!
I was not paid to write an article on this product. This item was purchased out my sole curiosity, and I decided to write about it because I know finding a good dry shampoo is hard.
Hi all – I know I have not been as active on the blog.
That’s because I have been investing time in my new equine law practice! You can find it here.
And, I’ve been riding more and unfortunately, having more migraines, which means riding less.
So, I was riding more and less at two different times.
Anyway, my “riding more” was going really awesome. We were working on being softer to jumps, distance, rhythm, me keeping more horse’s body straight, getting leads properly over jumps, all of that.
My “riding less” means I’m writing this having not ridden for two weeks and not have jumped in a month.
Anyway, I was laid up with a migraine watching the WCHR Hunter Spectacular on Saturday night, and of course I saw the greats – Scott Stewart, John French – they came to Sophie Gochman. When they introduced her, she was introduced as being an “eighth grader at [insert school name here].”
And I thought, this eighth grader is competing in one of the biggest hunter classes in the country, and I’ve yet to even break into the Adult Amateurs.
I had a total meltdown and self-doubt moment, and I know each of us has has this, whether you’re a seasoned junior, an adult just starting out, or a late-bloomer when it came to showing or jumping. I’m sure professionals even experience these moments, too.
So, being me, I love writing letters to things to get negative feelings out. I wrote a letter. To my self-doubt.
I know your entire purpose is to make me feel like I’ll never make it there, like I’ll never be a professional or experienced Amateur. Its purpose is to get in my head so bad that sometimes I wonder why I’m even riding. Its purpose is to sit there and tell me all these stories that simply are not true.
Because, your self-doubt is just telling you a bad story – it’s letting the competition, or the money, or the nice expensive tack, or the fancy imported Warmbloods get in the way of one thing you have that will make you more successful than anything else: Your passion.
Your passion is what lights you up. When you ride horses you forget about any other problems you may have. You feel more confident, more disciplined, more mature. You feel at one with the horse while still recognizing it’s two hearts and two souls working together. You can’t wait until your next trip to the barn, your next show, your next lesson.
This is your passion.
So, to the beginner, don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are on your own riding journey on its own riding timeline. You are going to be exactly where you need to be at the right time. You’re going to learn everything you need to learn. You will get there when you need to and are supposed to. Just remember: You will always be successful at what you do, no matter how “behind” or “inadequate” you feel. Remember this, too: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. And, finally: If you keep the passion, you’ll never go wrong.
To the equestrian who never did the Big Eq: don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are on your own riding journey on its own riding timeline. You are going to be exactly where you need to be at the right time. You’re going to learn everything you need to learn. You will get there when you need to and are supposed to. Just remember: You will always be successful at what you do, no matter how “behind” or “inadequate” you feel. Remember this, too: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. And, finally: If you keep the passion, you’ll never go wrong.
To the late-bloomer to competing: don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are on your own riding journey on its own riding timeline. You are going to be exactly where you need to be at the right time. You’re going to learn everything you need to learn. You will get there when you need to and are supposed to. Just remember: You will always be successful at what you do, no matter how “behind” or “inadequate” you feel. Remember this, too: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. And, finally: If you keep the passion, you’ll never go wrong.
To the Amateur fighting to become a professional: don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are on your own riding journey on its own riding timeline. You are going to be exactly where you need to be at the right time. You’re going to learn everything you need to learn. You will get there when you need to and are supposed to. Just remember: You will always be successful at what you do, no matter how “behind” or “inadequate” you feel. Remember this, too: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. And, finally: If you keep the passion, you’ll never go wrong.
To the equestrian, any age, any rank, who feels he or she won’t be as successful as the equestrians with the money: don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are on your own riding journey on its own riding timeline. You are going to be exactly where you need to be at the right time. You’re going to learn everything you need to learn. You will get there when you need to and are supposed to. Just remember: You will always be successful at what you do, no matter how “behind” or “inadequate” you feel. Remember this, too: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. And, finally: If you keep the passion, you’ll never go wrong.
To every equestrian everywhere, no matter what their “self-doubt” is about: don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are on your own riding journey on its own riding timeline. You are going to be exactly where you need to be at the right time. You’re going to learn everything you need to learn. You will get there when you need to and are supposed to. Just remember: You will always be successful at what you do, no matter how “behind” or “inadequate” you feel. Remember this, too: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. And, finally: If you keep the passion, you’ll never go wrong.