It is with great delight that I have agreed to pen this article. My goal is to give you a tiny glimpse into my world. People have asked me what it’s like to be married to Richard Winters, a successful horseman and clinician. Well, I’m so glad they asked!
The question most frequently asked of me, during our travels is: “So, do you ride, too?” People are often surprised when my response is, “I actually find horses to be very intimidating. If there is flat terrain and an extremely well trained, older horse, I will occasionally agree to go on a short ride. It’s very rare though!” Richard is well aware of and appreciative of all the money that I have saved him over the years in keeping my feet firmly planted on the ground.
As the business manager of Richard Winters Horsemanship, there is always a reason to get out of bed each morning. Before the day is over, I’ll assist Richard with the editing of his new training DVD, make revisions to his soon-to-be-published book, finalize our 2009 business brochure, and make some much-needed changes to our Web site. I’ll work enthusiastically until everything will most likely come to a screeching halt when Richard walks through the door at lunch time with yet another “brilliant idea,” which will require my undivided attention. Some may call it multi-tasking. I often times refer to it as overwhelming!
Richard likes to remind me that my real “job security” lies in his own computer illiteracy and inability to type. I am quick to remind him that he really needs me because no one else could ever decipher his handwriting. (He has managed to master the ability to retrieve e-mails and track down NRCHA show scores.) Whether it’s a magazine article that Richard has penned or making time to respond to the continuous influx of emails, I spend countless hours at my computer, daily.
I am happiest while working quietly behind the scenes, all the while keeping Richard front and center. He often tells clients, “There are a few things that I know how to do that she doesn’t know how to do. And there are a lot of things that I don’t know anything about that she does very well!” We’ve always looked for ways to compliment each other, rather than compete against one another. With our lifestyle, many of those areas are very obvious.
People often want to know, “What is it like to always be in the public eye?” We just view ourselves as a hard working couple, enjoying the experiences of good horses and great people. We recognize that it takes a lifetime to build a good name and only one moment to destroy a reputation. Practicing the “golden rule” and eating an occasional slice of “humble pie” seems to keep our lives balanced. Richard has a unique way of keeping a proper perspective on life as well. Whether it’s the grueling task of getting ready for yet another road trip, midnight hours spent traveling down the highway, setting up or tearing down a horse expo display, or enduring a scorching hot day while cleaning our own stalls at a horse show, Richard will invariably interject, “Isn’t this a glamorous lifestyle we live?” To which I laugh and say, “If people only knew!”
The numerous opportunities we have to meet new people and establish lasting friendships during our travels are what I have come to cherish most about our business. I have a magnet on my refrigerator that says it all: “You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving!” The benefits we receive, when having lovingly given — with pure motives — are immeasurable. To be able to touch so many lives along our journey and have so many lives touch ours in return is one of life’s greatest treasures.
After 23 years of marriage, I am happy to report that I live a very exciting and fulfilling life with one of the finest, most honorable horsemen I know. I’m signing off as Cheryl L. Winters, although I’m better known as “Richard’s wife.” And, I’m truly quite content with this titl