What does Hollywood mogul Shonda Rhimes, the producer and creative force behind TV mega-hits like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, have to do with me? Well, apparently we both share the desire to go into hermit mode whenever possible. Rhimes’ realization of her own hermit tendencies and her quest to combat it by saying “yes” to every social invitation she received is documented in her book, aptly titled Year of Yes. Inspired by her book, I decided
to do the same thing. It turns
out that saying yes to everything
is really easy to do if you’ve
already established yourself as an
antisocial introvert whose squad
consists of a dog and a Netflix
“Yes” alone isn’t going to cut it
for me. I’m going to have to make
more of an e;ort. Here’s my plan
on how to do this.
1Can I Come with You? When my co-boarders are
headed out for a hack, I’ll ask to tag
along. This is low-commitment
way to work on the image I just
assume everyone has of me as the
aloof solo rider.
2Yes I Will Come to Your Party
Speaking of my co-boarders, I’ve
been boarding at the same farm
for almost six years and I hardly
know anyone there other than my
immediate stall neighbors. But I’ve
been there so long now that it’s way
too awkward to ask anyone’s name.
Once in a while, the barn
does have a party or barbecue or
something, and I never go because
I don’t know anyone. And I don’t
know anyone because I never go.
It won’t kill me to drop by these
things once in a while. They take
place at the barn. I’m probably
going there anyway.
3Volunteering Volunteering at horse shows
is one way to interact with other
riders. It also helps out the local
horse community and whatever
charity the show is supporting. It
can even be educational.
4Yes, I Will Ride Your Horse People have kindly o;ered to
let me come ride their horses every
so often, since mine is older and in
a state of semi-retirement. And I’m
always like, “Yes, definitely!”
“Yes, definitely” is practically
code for, “This is never going to
happen.” If you’ve ever witnessed
(or been a part of ) someone
asking someone else out on a date
and heard that response, you
know it’s going nowhere.
“We should meet up for co;ee
“Yes, definitely!” Those people
never spoke again.
But unlike the askee in the date
scenario, I actually do want to ride
these horses. All of them. Please
let me ride your horse. I always
assume people are just saying that
and don’t mean it, and then I don’t
want to put them out by actually
following through. So, “yes,
definitely” becomes never.
I shall heretofore replace “yes,
definitely” with, “How does noon
on Sunday sound?” At least when
it comes to horses. Maybe not
meeting up for co;ee.
5There’s a Clinic/Show/ Schooling Ride Next
Again, my horse is retired, which
gives me an automatic opt-out of
a lot of these situations whether I
like it or not (unless you’re o;ering
to let me ride your horse, in which
case, see point 4 above). But if
it’s an event where I can audit or
volunteer, then I will find a way to
take advantage of the experience.
If you see me out and about at
equestrian events this year, come
over and say hi. Or if you’re a fellow
introverted equestrian, just give
me the nod from a distance and I’ll
This article originally appeared in The
Near Side blog at HorseChannel.com/
My Year of Yes
A self-described equestrian introvert challenges
herself to ride, socialize, volunteer and get out
more in the horse world.
HORSING AROUND » BY LESLIE POTTER