I began riding horses when I was 12 years old, mostly because my sister was horse crazy, and it seemed like something fun to do. On Saturday mornings and every day during the summer, we would wake up early for Mom to drive us to the local mall where a school bus would then pick us up and take us to a beautiful farm owned by one of the country’s most famous horsemen, Max Parkinson. There was a large barn on the property that was used as a kids’ training academy. As my parents could only afford to pay for camp for one of us ($60 / week), I cleaned the instructor’s house in exchange for lessons. At first, I was intimidated by the sheer size of the animals, the hard, dirty work necessary to care for them, and the skills required to approach them. But it didn’t take long for all these thoughts to melt away and over the years take on new shapes of wisdom and understanding.
Five things I gained from my experience with horses: 1. Acceptance - I was free to simply be me. 2. Purpose - The well-being of someone else depended on my effort and faithfulness. 3. Community - The company of like-minded individuals felt like home. 4. Accomplishment - Win or lose, I found a way to compete. 5. Aspiration - I felt the hope of achieving.
Five truths I learned: 1. Fear dissipates up-close. 2. Mutual respect is liberating. 3. Love and commitment are actions. 4. Beauty and power can co-exist. 5. Relationships are everything.
My childhood was wrapped up with horses; their majesty, mystery, and bare truths I carry with me to this day. MR Equestrian Collection is my tribute to them and the universal values they share with us all.