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Say YES!

Yes is a very old word. It entered the English vocabulary before the 900’s and comes from an Old English word that loosely translates to “be it.”

Horses and horsemanship has been my life passion since the age of about 6, if not before. My other passions include helping people and making a difference in the world. In my early 20’s, I was introduced to Hippotherapy, which is form of physical, occupational, and/or speech therapy through the movement of the horse. I had no idea the influence that this therapy had on clients with special needs, but once I witnessed its power I knew we needed to offer it to others. Without hesitation and without allowing fear or doubt to enter my mind, I said YES. I incorporated InStride Therapy and developed the business, programs, staff and a complete state of the art facility. I had no clue of the amount of challenges that were ahead (and trust me that list was long!) but I jumped all in and was unstoppable to reach the goals that I had set. I remember a time after successfully completing a foundation challenge and being awarded a $150,000 check towards the new facility, the Executive Director of the foundation approached me and said, “I never thought you would be able to pull this off!” I thought that was an odd comment but my response was simply, “I never doubted that I would.” All because I had said YES to the challenge!

When I wanted to improve my horsemanship, I signed up for a course at the Parelli Center. I promised myself I would commit 2-weeks a year to developing my horsemanship. Saying YES & committing to this helped me improve my horsemanship in so many ways and eventually provided me a chance to become a Parelli Professional. When that opportunity was offered to me, I immediately said YES! This would not of happened without having said YES the first time. My horsemanship journey still continues to lead me to so many amazing places where I am able to meet so many incredible people.

I had the fortune of spending the last 3 years working at an international horsemanship center where one of my primary duties was student support. This was an extremely fulfilling position that gave me the opportunity to talk with hundreds of students each year. Often, we had students travelling in from different countries all over to world to immerse themselves in the study of horsemanship. These students said YES to the opportunity to learn, improve their horsemanship and take on new challenges. Yet, the person down the road has a million different excuses as why they can’t make it for the 10th year in a row, and they miss out on so much. Saying YES opens more doors for these students. Not only do the students walk away with enough knowledge to help them reach and even surpass their dreams with horses, but they also gain new deep connections with other students that have shared the same experiences.

Family, lifelong friends and horse people surround me. Lots and lots of horse people! I find it interesting that horse people that are part of my life are from all over the world and from so many different areas of life. I do not believe our paths would have ever crossed if we did not have a shared passion for horses. Our connections are deep.

When we say YES we can do more, create more, experience more, meet more people, achieve more and live more.

Say YES to being alive! Say YES to the unknown! Say YES to new opportunities and challenges! Say YES to fulfilling your dreams. You’ll be amazed where it will take you, the people you will meet and what you can accomplish.

Donna Blem

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