A whole lot of luck and little something else.

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About a decade ago, I started looking for a four-leaf clover. Every time I grazed the horses, I would have my eyes on the ground looking for one. Years went by and I never found one. I started to tell myself that if I ever found a four-leaf clover, it would be a sign that I was going to the Olympics - since both seemed impossible! According to Wikipedia, there is only 1 four-leaf clover for every 10,000 three-leaf clovers - which means the likelyhood that you will find one takes the perfect combination of intense effort, correct location, a lot of luck and the time to find one.

Yesterday, I found my four-leaf clover. I was walking in my horse's pasture and I looked down and there it was. It wasn't exactly what I hoped for, since it had a little hole in it from where a bug ate through a leaf, but it was wonderful.

Why am I telling you about this stupid little, bug-eaten plant?

Because that little clover represents every goal you will ever encounter in dressage. For some, that goal is getting to the Olympics. For others, it is making it to your first recognized show.

Whatever your four-leaf clover may be, you never know when you will find it.

Some people simply luck out and stumble upon four-leaf clovers all the time. For the person who does not have this luck, it can sometimes be frustrating to not find a single one for years (when they are looking all the time).

Others look and look, and eventually find one - to them, the clover usually means a bit more.

Then, there are the people who look for years for their clover. They put all of their free time into searching for that clover. Sometimes, things beyond their control keep them from finding that clover sooner.

(There are also those few people who *sigh* just buy a four-leaf clover from the store that has been genetically altered to grow the fourth leaf - some are genuinely happy with this, others just like the instant gratification).

Regardless of your journey, your "four-leaf clover" is guaranteed to take a commitment of time, energy, focus, desire... and a whole lot of luck!

And remember: Sometimes you find a four-leaf clover that isn't exactly how you imagined it. Don't be any less excited that you have reached your goal, even if it doesn't go exactly as planned. There is always another clover somewhere out there for you to find... you just have to start looking again.

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