When my daughter was five she wanted riding lessons for her birthday, horse-back riding. When we explored the options we were told that she had to be six before the local barns would give her lessons. I kind of thought she would out grow that desire before her sixth birthday, as kids often do. For that fifth birthday we got her zebra finches. She named them "John" and "Gina." They lived a very long time.
The next year, on her sixth birthday, our daughter wanted the riding lessons. For the better part of the next twelve years my daughter rode. While in high school she worked at a local clothing store for a couple of years while she continued to ride and compete. A few years after that she quit the clothing business and began working at "the barn." A few years after that she became a professional equestrian. She's worked hard, been very focused on her dream, and now is living it. She's really amazing, some days I stand in awe that she is my daughter. I'm very proud of her.
A photo of my daughter working:
Here she is in the office of "The Barn:"
And then there's this one of her dog, Oliver, at the barn: