Original story submitted by Jamie Kaleh, student at Sam Houston State University
It’s the size of the Heart that Matters
As funny as this may sound one of the most significant influences in my life was not a person, a book or even a song; it was my horse Blazer.
I was given Blazer as a birthday gift when I was 10 years old and from that day on my life was never the same. I spent all my time with Blazer. He taught me commitment, responsibility, and how to love something unconditionally and for him he expected nothing in return but maybe a treat every now and then.Through Blazer, I grew as a person. I trained him from the ground up and made him into something that no one else ever thought he could be. Blazer was 14.2 hands, which is about 4’6 in feet.
After 5 years of having him and going through the ups and downs of training and life, he became my number 1 companion and best friend. Blazer literally taught me how to fly. He would clear fences that were his height and not once did he try to run out or refuse. He would amaze not only me but the people around him. It was because of him that I knew anything was possible. He kept me out of trouble and focused because I always had something to do, day in and day out. If it wasn’t riding him it was clipping him, cleaning his stall, feeding or traveling to horse shows all around the states.
We competed competitively in eventing all around Area V. Blazer and I would always draw a crowd wherever we went. Everyone wanted to see this amazing horse and rider jump things that were taller than the both of us. I still believe to this day that it was because of Blazer that my vertical is so high; I am 5’7 with a 28 inch vertical. Just like Blazer I was the underdog but drew a crowd when I stepped on the court. If it wasn’t for him I believe I would not be the person I am.
Still, to this day, when I think things seem impossible I think back to the day when Blazer and I entered into a Jump off (this is where they raise a fence higher and higher and you jump it until the horse hits it; once it is hit, you are disqualified). Every horse entered was about 2 to 3 feet taller than Blazer. No one saw us as competition but when the last round came at a 4’2 ft vertical, Blazer cleared it with room to spare with me on his back and beat out everyone.
It is this memory that I think about when I start to get down on myself and feel like there is no way I can accomplish something.