The Intrepid Rider’s Faction Award

In September, TLH was bestowed  The Intrepid Rider’s Faction Award by Marissa of Tucker the Wunderkind.  It is a very high honor.  The award goes to only one recipient, and I am beyond awed to have been chosen.  Thank you for your respect, kindness and generosity: I hope I continue to earn them.

Now it’s my turn to award a blogger I respect and admire.  It has been an incredibly difficult decision.  It’s taken me more than a month to come to a decision.  There are so many women riding and writing with all their hearts and souls, venturing  both with and without fear into intrepid riding.  (I believe we need fear as much as we need fearlessness, to ride well, and be good horsemen.)

How on earth to decide?  Incredible blogs, amazing breakthroughs, wonderful generosity, helping hands, playfulness and stick-to-itiveness seem to be the norm in horse blogging. I can think of so many women who deserve this award.

About The Intrepid Rider’s Award:


We strive to go where others only dare to go with our horse loves. . . healing, being respectful of the horse, riding, playing, camping, jumping, swimming and traveling down the trails of life. . . with the horse in our Hearts. Overcoming many obstacles, and sometimes weather, to ride!

This Award is dedicated to those Horse Lovers and Riders that inspire others to go deeper in ability, knowledge and understanding of the Equine(s) they have been entrusted to.  The good of the horse is the ultimate goal apart from pressures to achieve ribbons and fit into lesson schedules.

~ Some of these riders are fearless, when it comes to weather conditions and the forecasting of them. . . being with their horses fills these folks’ soul and takes the cares out of daily routines.

~ They are unconditionally loving to the horse and may have rescued it from known ailment or living condition.

~ Others have researched and purchased/acquired their horse, to find a difficulty in temperament or a physical burden within the animal. Yet, being dedicated, they have persevered to proudly be in partnership with their horse, lovingly striving for deeper awareness between them.

~ Some horse lovers may have ridden for years and suddenly, had an accident that takes them away from the great joy and freedom they have, being aboard such a magnificent animal. They have allowed the healing horse to rise in their hearts once again, and beckon them back!

~ Fear is not my normal response to things. . . just a desire to achieve higher understanding of what may lay ahead of me with my mare or gelding, that truly is a gift to my heart and soul. I always seek knowledgeable and caring individuals to assist me, in any quest I may look into.

~ I am taking with me the good I have learned from caring individuals that have shown great single-minded LOVE to the horse, and am leaving the dust of the bad behind me, not allowing it to fetter my supreme desire to be all I can be as a rider to my mare or gelding, and also, to allow him or her to be the Equine athlete he or she truly is!

I can only chose one.  The rest of you intrepid riders – you know who you are – and I hope you know how much respect I have for your dedication, wisdom, and the generosity you have shown me, helping me understand something I missed, inspiring me to dig deeper (or diet and get fit, *cough cough*), try something new, or make me laugh when I lose perspective.

I award The Intrepid Rider’s Faction to Lee Cullen, at Confessions of a Struggling Dressage Rider.

Lee is learning dressage at 40, after 5 years of hunt seat background, without a horse of her own, or even on the same horse in each lesson.  She is working her butt off learning dressage when she is only able to ride a few days a week, on school horses.  That is an incredible challenge. I admire Lee for continuing to bring herself back to horses, horsemanship, riding, and self-honesty and humor in the face of some daunting challenges.  She IS learning dressage under what would be considered severe restrictions by most riders. She’s honest and funny, sharing her complete experience: both when it goes well and when it doesn’t, giving many of us courage to look at our complete experiences.  Lee you inspire me to dust myself off, start over again, or break out the champagne.

Thank you, Lee, for sharing your journey with us, and daring us to dig as deep into ourselves. You are an intrepid rider, one who faces fear with courage and humor, and success with modesty (and humor!).

Lee, here’s your next challenge: award another intrepid rider.

There are not many rules with this award:

1)  That you give it to only one person

2)  Link back to this post, so they may have an understanding to its true nature.

3)  You may use any or all of the written descriptions, with the award picture.

Good luck!  I’m sending lots and lots of chocolate, you’ll need it when agonizing over your decision.

Congratulations, Lee!


6 thoughts on “The Intrepid Rider’s Faction Award

  1. ME??! I’m sooo honored! (tearing up, sniff)

    I’d like to take a moment to thank all the school horses that have put up with my horrible turning skills, incorrect aids and fear. Let’s see… Bar, Snickers, Dakota, Bramble, Custer, Biscuit, Odin, Huey, Pepsi, Oliver, Calvin, Thunder, Rocco, Daisy, Buttons, Patches, Cue, Watson, Gracie and most recently Savannah.

    I’d also like to thank Nora, Patty and Tracie, my instructors, for pushing me outside my comfort zone. Even though I was often quaking in my boots.

    I’ll be 44 in a few months and there’s still so much to learn and share! Things like wearing gloves is always a good idea. It isn’t fun to eat dirt and realize your fingernail is bleeding because stone dust was shoved underneath your nail. (Sorry, rather graphic.) Or the clever pony that can’t buck you off but quickly realizes that dropping his shoulder does the job.

    Thank you and congratulations to you as well. You really deserved the award.

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