A dream; we all have them. We all chase them. We all sacrifice in various ways to make them become a reality. We dedicate countless hours, sometimes wasted moments, grave disappointments and, often times, watch others gleam in the spotlight of what was what we dreamed would be our moment to bask in all the glory. Sometimes we feel as though an imaginary dream catcher is just what we need. When we have those big dreams that go soaring out into space, we need a harness or lasso to capture those moments and bring them back to us so we don't feel as though our thoughts are a waste of time. We need a positive presence that will prove to us we can do what we set out to accomplish. I am often asked what is my dream or my goal? Where do I see myself in 5 years? While that is a great question, I have no answer for it. My career has taken care of itself. I have always set my sights high and have worked within my means to reach goals and set standards for myself that I need to meet. I stay within the confines of my level and what is best for me. If I could chase a dream or if a career wish could be granted, I would love to show grand prix jumpers or dressage. I always dreamed of running the rodeo circuit too. This is the life for many equestrians and they do this daily with a barn full of horses that are built for their job. I have come to the realization that is not a reality for me. I have accepted the fact that what I am is an educator, not a competitor. While all that showing, time, money and effort is well worth the pay off, I am chasing down a different dream. I help those who wish to get there, and can get there. I have become their dream catcher. I allow their dreams to have an extended stay, so to speak, to see if the horse, the rider, the education, and the dream all match. For me to give is a shot at the glory. For me to give is to help shape the dream into reality that is present and well worth it. I am the voice for the horses and listen to their suggestions to help the rider hear what will help them excel to higher levels. Dreams don't have to be golden however and, if your dream is Olympic gold, or if it's to walk down the trail under the golden sun, then why not realize that dream. As an educator and an instructor, I hear excuses of why someone allowed a dream to be shattered or even lost or ignored. The most common answer is often fear. Fear to ride, fear to fall, fear to fail, fear to succeed, fear of losing and/or fear of learning. In all my years of teaching, I have stuck by one statement that makes the most sense. Fear is nothing more than common sense in disguise. You logical mind is thinking that some things just aren't worth the effort. But then you also think that most things that you truly put your heart and soul into, you come back without failure no matter what the outcome may be. So why would you wait?? If fear is your logical mind talking, then why does that logical thought need to be negative. Often I ask riders to write down a goal that seems unreachable and ask them to then follow up that goal with 5 logical ways to reach that goal. Most of the time those logical ways are unreachable to the average everyday rider. Usually the excuses will follow; lack of time, lack of funding, lack of competent horse, lack of competent rider, etc. I then ask the student to follow up those logical ways with 5 legitimate ways. I suddenly see their facial expression change when they realize that they may have a way to get to their goal if they use a little creativity and hard work and determination. Most of us are goal setters, but we are not goal reachers. We are excuse makers. I always find that those who want to will and those that don't will make an excuse for it. That is true for any part of life. I am guilty of it as well. We are all overworked, underpaid, and over stressed in this day and age. We have fast paced lives and little time for extras. Horses are considered extras, so they get put aside sometimes when other things matter more. Dreams are what keep the hope in the journey. It is not about the fancy horse you ride or about the ribbons you have won in the end when your career is finally over. It is really about the ride to get there. The best reality is when we realize that a bond and partnership with a horse that we come to rely on, excel with, learn from and love is what helps us reach our dreams. They keep our secrets safe, and are the catchers of our dreams, no matter how crazy they may sound. They take that ride with us, and together we share in that pleasure of reaching a goal that never seemed as though it would become a reality.