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Soul Mate vs Partner

As some of you may know I lost my horse Brio in October. He was my first horse of my very own, and it was definitely a sad day.

But anybody who remembers me and Brio would also remember that we had a bit of an up and down time together in the show ring (to be honest maybe a bit more down than up). He went on to have many more years and an amazing career after me teaching his ladies how to ride, and he competed with countless people after me at varying levels with a lot more consistent success.

Recently I heard a podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert (author of ‘Eat, Pray Love’) in which she talks about the difference between a soul mate (the one we think we are all trying to meet) and a partner, and she said:

‘A true soul mate is a mirror, someone that shows you what’s holding you back, a person that brings you to your own attention, so you can change your life… but you might not want to marry them.’ [Quick recap on Youtube here:]

I thought of this in regards to my friend Brio, and it created a rush of feelings. I was feeling how I missed him, but also it brought up all the bad memories too. I think Brio was a fantastic mirror for me and he definitely changed my life and brought me to my own attention, I had never thought of it like this.

He drove me to the edge; I almost quit riding many times with all the frustration thinking I can’t go on if it’s this hard. But a couple lessons I got out of that time were: when asking for my next horse I wanted a partner in the sport, I wanted a horse that was a competitor – and since then I have had many great horses that have been truly competitive partners.

I had many opportunities with Brio. We traveled a lot. I got to ride with Kyle King traveling the continent for 8 months, and with Ian Millar in Ontario and Florida for nearly a year because of him. And I met and grew up with a lot of like-minded people because he was in my life.

So after much soul-searching and evaluating, I will miss you Dear Brio for the kind soul you are, and thank you for pushing me to the edge to find myself in this sport.

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