Today, I went to assess and treat a horse and rider pair at an eventing barn. Lots of pretty, polished girls walking around in collared shirts and breeches, and tall shiny black boots. I wore my dusty cowboy boots and hat. I know it's not a western style establishment, but I'm a western style girl. To me, english riding disciplines feel demure, and restrained, and domesticated. It's about showing off how genteel and collected you can be while managing an animal that outweighs you many times over, and I get that, and I have miles of respect for that. But, it's still not me. Western riding can be less refined, rough around the edges, and utterly functional. There can be a certain amount of glitz and show shine in the western discipline too, don't get me wrong, I've seen the girls get all dolled up for the rodeo. But there seems to be more place for simple, functional, quiet partnerships that work to accomplish goals. No fuss. I like being a little rougher around the edges, I like letting loose and I will always prefer a trail ride to an arena.
So today I felt like a wolf among a pack of poodles (Lovely, wonderful poodles, great people every one of them. I look forward to meeting and working with every one of them again). And I felt utterly comfortable in my skin, because it was my own. I could have thrown on a polo shirt and breeches, but then I'd have simply felt like a wolf with curly fur. I'd rather feel feral, dig my claws in, and do my job.