“Can you help me? I’m lost and can’t find my mom.” A brave but anxious teenage girl needs my help as I pound down the grassy turf on my blue eyed paint Leo. We are competing in the 25 mileBroxton Bridge Plantation endurance race. Perhaps 5 miles in I am in second place when I come upon her, her mother thrown by her horse 3 miles in. The girl gave chase for several miles eventually catching her mother’s spirited horse. I find her lost and unsure how to get back to camp. Fortunately my cell phone works and I am able to call and notify her father as to her whereabouts. I resume my race and fortunately still manage to place second, riding most of the time with the front runner horse, a sweet white Arabian mare named Snorty. Broxton Bridge is a glorious location to really experience your full potential. Smooth terrain graced by canopies of hanging moss, you fly around fields of brilliant white cotton contrasted against the yellow, orange, red and green of South Carolina hardwoods, evergreens and cypress trees. As I ride I expand my awareness emotionally for my horse, allowing him to experience my own joy and love for him and the sport. Horses are empaths and mine especially so. He senses my mood, reading my energy and picking up his pace as if to say ‘yes I feel the same way!’ A year ago today I rode this race as my first endurance race ever. We placed in the top 10 without trying or knowing what we were doing, the staff and volunteers graciously assisting me at vet checks and completion. It seems that almost every race I compete in, someone has been injured or needs help along the way. Instead of being frustrated by these obstacles, the slowing of my time or losing my place in the race, I feel joy in helping someone in need, and a quiet satisfaction that this is what it means to be human. As they say, to finish is to win! (But it is still nice to place in the top 10, hurrah!)