Growing up, there was nothing more that I hated than being told that I needed to “expand my horizons.” For a painfully shy child, telling me to climb Mount Everest would have been a less daunting task. I was content in my world filled with animals and a small group of select friends who excepted me, quirks and all. I didn’t see a need to introduce new people or new experiences into my life.
Fast forward 30 years and here I am, returning from the Homes for Horses Coalition conference that took place in Nashville. A day and a half filled with networking, learning and inspiring moments. Was I out of my comfort zone? Yes. Was I scared? Yes. Was I glad that I went? Hell Yes!
There is something about being around like minded people that understand your everyday struggles. It is an automatic connection that happens before a word is even spoken. A willingness to open up about your fears, share your dreams and know that you are understood.
Everyone at the conference was, at some point, exactly where Roanchar Ranch Draft Horse Rescue is. Desperately trying to gain footing so that their community and the world knows that they exist. Struggling everyday to raise money to buy hay and pay for medical treatment for the horses that are in their care. Worrying that they are not doing enough.
But every one of the people that I spoke to was encouraging and was willing to share with me what has worked and what has not in their journey. They are all now Roanchar Ranchers who I can turn to when I feel that I have hit a road block or I need someone to talk to who understands what I am feeling.
I finally understand why I was being told to expand my horizons as a child. I never would have met the amazing people that I did this weekend by staying in my own world.