No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle - Winston Churchill
The Story of a Girl
The oldest of the Morley girls, is a blonde haired, blue eyed wild haired spitfire. For Cam, the back of a horse was her favorite place to be. Her Dad used to take her for rides on their bay horse Poki growing up, where her peals of laughter could be heard all around. One afternoon as they were riding together, little Cam begged her dad to let her hold the reins and control the big ol’ bay. As they rode around, she guided the horse with the reins but the bay decided he wanted a snack and reached down to eat, pulling the reins from her hands. Rich, her dad got down from the saddle to retrieve the reins, and as he went to step into the stirrup Poki spooked and began to run. At first Cam was thrilled at going fast but quickly realized this was not the kind of ride she wanted. Rich shouted loudly for her to hold tight to the horn, but no sooner had the words left his lips then the big old bay turned the corner of the field sharply and little Cam came tumbling off.
Cam was unharmed and quickly recovered, however that day a small fear was born. Cam loved horses, she talked of horses, she dreamed of horses, she even fed the family horses but she couldn’t get over the small nagging in her stomach. Anytime she thought about riding a horse her stomach would plummet. Cam loved to ride, she wanted to ride but she couldn’t seem to get over that fear. Rich and Audra knew how much she wanted to ride and saw how hard she worked every summer to overcome her fear of riding to compete in 4-H. They put her in horse lessons where she would sometimes cry but always come home grateful she went. One winter Cam’s parents bought her a pony that was her responsibility to ride. The pony was a 4 year old black welsh quarter horse named Cracker Jack. Although he was gentle he still needed some work and Cam was terrified of going above a small little trot.
As the Tables Turned
That Spring our family moved to Arizona. We came back up to visit extended family and Cam was about 12 at the time. Audra’s brother had a pony they called Peaches and he asked if Cam would be willing to give Peaches a tune up. Not wanting to disappoint her uncle and always doing better with a little audience, Cam agreed. The first day she worked with the pony she was terrified, but with a little pride she swallowed a gulp of fear and worked with the pony. The next three weeks went by quickly and each day Cam pushed her confidence on the pony a little further. By the time our family returned home Cam was excitedly talking about all the things she wanted to do with the ponies Halley and Cracker Jack. That summer we noticed a change in Cam because she realized she was better than her fear believed her to be. Cam began to ride faster than a trot, and got to the point where she would do just about anything on the ponies. Soon Cam wasn’t scared of the family horses either but the fear didn’t just disappear overnight.
Cam felt accomplished in riding the family’s horses but anytime she rode a new horse or even thought about riding a new horse her old friend feared coming running back. Cam loved horses so much that the fear was actually crippling and hard to deal with. As the years went on Cam learned how to cope with her fear and often had to “cowgirl up” as she called it to fulfill her dreams. As Cam grew older, so did her desire to help others who allowed their fear to stop them from riding.
Confidence of a Queen
Cam began teaching horse lessons at the age of 14 for beginner riders, using the same ponies that had done so much for her confidence. You could often walk by a lesson and hear her telling bits of her story to her students, encouraging them to not give in to fear. However there was one fear that was keeping her from a desire she had always had. Cam had always wanted to be a rodeo queen, and advocate for the sport of rodeo. However, whenever the time came to try out she would find an excuse.
A couple years after High School and not having been able to ride a horse for almost two years Cam remembered all the progress she had made in her horse journey and decided to “cowgirl up.” Cam found a horse who could spin and stop, she signed all the local rodeo queen paperwork and she decided to give it her best shot. Cam had only rode her horse three times before the competition and was terrified of looking stupid. She was so nervous and she knew her horse could feel it. Cam didn’t win that year or the next year when she tried out, but she grew so much as a competitor. Cam had almost given up on her rodeo queen aspirations when a friend encouraged her to try one last time for her college rodeo queen competition.
Overcoming with a Win
The day of the competition Cam took a deep breath as her old friend of fear crept back into her mind. For this competition they did something called draw horses, where people from around the community brought horses for the contestants to ride.
Cam looked at herself all dolled up in the mirror and said “you are a horsewomen, you speak with knowledge and grace, you ride tall in the saddle, you are not afraid to be you, you are better than you think you are.” With a smile on her face and a prayer in her heart Cam walked in already a queen. She rocked her interview. She danced her heart out, spoke with clarity during her speech and rode a horse she had never seen before with all the confidence in the world. You might ask yourself what changed? How did a scared little girl go from hardly touching a horse to riding a horse she had never seen before, in a competition and winning? Well, it was the love of a horse.
A Story for the Ages
My love of horses has been with me as long as I can remember. It was really hard growing up and being so scared of my greatest passion. I will probably deal with a little fear around horses the rest of my life but I choose to let my love of the ride win. My story has taught me a lot about life. Fear is very present in our everyday lives and can keep us from accomplishing some pretty amazing stuff if we let it. Ultimately it falls on us to decide if we are going to let fear win out or if you are going to pursue the scary. Always follow your dreams and don’t let fear keep you from riding your race.
We are on a journey to bridge the gap between producer and consumer by sharing our dream, knowledge and experience with the world. Hold on tight the ride is only 8 seconds long.