With Many Years Ahead of Her, JJ Tate Aims for Multiple Goals
Sunday, February 1, 2009
When she was long-listed for the 2006 World Equestrian Games, JJ came very close to meeting one of her career goals - that of representing the United States in international competition. While the Olympics and the World Equestrian Games are the ultimate goal, JJ did represent the U.S. at the World Championships for Young Dressage Horses in Verden, Germany.
Although JJ has international goals, she also has a daily goal and that's really what keeps her going every day. "I feel that riding well every day is very important. I want to come to the barn every day with a feeling of gratitude and pride in my horses. I want my horses to be excited to see me. I want my horses to be well educated, treated fairly and happy that they are in my barn and under my care. The minute it turns into something that revolves around what the horse can do for me (like awards or ego trips), not about what I can do for the horse (make him a better athlete), then I don't want to do it anymore."
It's not uncommon for riders to set international competition as a career goal, but many mix career and life goals. JJ, on the other hand, is well aware that her own development as a human being is as important as that of her horses. "I want to keep reaching and striving to be the next best version of myself. I want always to keep learning and never stop smiling! I always want to stay open to the life lessons that are presented through horses and to stay open to the character-building qualities those situations bring."
"I also want to get to the point in my life where I am surrounded by people and horses that inspire me every day. I want to be part of a team that is more powerful and stands for a cause bigger than oneself. That might be the Olumpic team or that may be a cancer foundation or even helping troubled teens. It might be about bring Classical Dressage to the public. I'm really interested in synergy, and how like-minded people working together for a common cause can change lives. Life is short, so enjoy it and have a great ride!"