Every partnership begins with a story, but the story develops in the great partnerships.
An Emmy-award winning director once told me that the greater the adversary, the better the story. Overcoming conflict is what makes a story great. His advice was to have high stakes and that there has to be risk to draw the audience in.
Horses make for wonderful stories on and off screen because risk and high stakes are always present. Think of Seabiscuit or Harry and Snowman. Seabiscuit and his jockey, Red Pollard, have to overcome substantial hurdles before the horse can win the big race (spoiler alert!). The story of Snowman, a horse bound for slaughter who becomes a champion jumper, tugs at our heart strings because of the immense transformation he experiences and the challenges Harry has in training him.
The movie director’s insight is well founded: spend any length of time around horses and how accident prone they are will become apparent. It is a rare horse owner who hasn’t had to face some potential career-jepordizing health problem with their horse.
Yet, it is through those nail-biting moments that great partnerships are developed. We love the stories of horses recovering after major medical problems, or riders getting on after terrible falls. We hang on our seats when we hear top riders discuss how they overcame their toughest training challenge to become the rider we love so much. These stories remind us of our own vulnerability and that everyone can have their own rags-to-riches type triumph.
Tell your story. Embrace the adversary that you encounter– it only makes your story better.