Back in the Saddle‍ Again
Veronika Lehner

Today I’m going to discuss how important it is to fill your life with things that you enjoy.

As most of you know, I’ve been a bodybuilder now for about 10 years, but have been competitive for the past 3 years. I am extremely passionate about pushing my limits and seeing what I can accomplish. One of the main reasons why I go into bodybuilding was the challenge, the constant discipline needed to see the results take place.

Now what some of you may not know is that I used to be a competitive equestrian before bodybuilding. I have been riding horses since I was 7 years old. I absolutely loved horses even as a kid. I would literally make my parents stop anytime I saw horses just so then I could pet them. I have ridden/ trained horses for 15 years, and competed for the majority of that time. I specifically loved to rescue horses off the racetrack to give them a new meaning to life and a new job. I specialized in 3 day eventing which consists of dressage, cross country and stadium jumping. I know some of those terms are not really known by the general public, but basically it’s what is seen in the Summer Olympics anytime you see horses and riders. At one point, I actually had sponsors that wanted to help me get into the next level of competing. My dream was to actually make it to the Olympics at some point. Unfortunately, the sponsorship fell through due to my sponsors taking on to different business ventures. This is nothing out of the ordinary and happens, so I wasn’t too worried.

I continued to ride and learn from various notable instructors throughout the years, as well as ride various horses who taught me so much more not only as an equestrian, but as a person too.

Unfortunately, I had to stop riding in 2015 due to financial circumstances. I was living in California at the time, and the cost of board as well as everything was beginning to sky rocket. I ended up rehoming the horse I had at that time and focused primarily on my bodybuilding journey.

My passion for horses and riding never left me. I have missed every minute of it, but I knew that at some point, it would make its way back into my life.

Fast forward to my birthday this year, Shawn surprised me in one of the most memorable ways that anyone could possibly have. We spent the day in Fort Wayne, IN and to my knowledge, we were going to go workout at a gym that happened to be out in the country.

We then head onto this gravel road and I see horses everywhere. I looked over at him and he told me that we weren’t going to go to the gym, instead you are going to ride horses. I bawled my eyes out. I was so happy. I didn’t think that I was going to be able to do this until later on in my future. My amazing husband made it happen, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I am still so thankful to Madie as well, the owner of the lovely mare that I got to ride. Even after an 8 year hiatus, all of my skills came right back. It’s as if I never had stopped.

I was so ecstatic that Shawn could actually watch me ride too, something that he has never had the opportunity to see. The happiness I felt in those couple of hours of being out there and in my element was unmatchable.

This made me realize how much I actually really needed this back in my life. The amount of happiness this sport brings to me is unbelievable. My new goal now is to be both an equestrian and bodybuilder. The two things that bring me so much happiness that I can get lost in and exist in my own world. I am so committed to making this happen for myself.

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