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I’ve watched countless boring cowboy classic films. I’ve seen dainty women ride horses, while sitting sideways, still upholding the feminine fact that they are indeed women. But when I saw my first horse, in person, I was frozen with fear. Those majestic creatures are incredibly intimidating. I can’t pinpoint why they scare me so much. I’ve never had any terrifying encounters with them, as I grew up on the other side of the tracks and my silver spoon was plastic, at best.

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I grew up in North Carolina and would only see horses as we drove down long stretches of farmland and ranches. They’d either be bowed, plucking grass from the ground or simply standing there, gazing curiously at the horse-powered blur whiz past them. Oh and I can’t forget the ones that were trotting in parades. A country girl I am, but interactions with horses were not a norm for me.Danielle-horse-4

When I moved to New York City, surprisingly, I was in more close contact with horses. Police ride them here like they’re mopeds. I still giggle every time I see that, but I don’t get close. Seven years in this city and no matter my love for Central Park–where horses are drawing carriages–I’ve managed to keep my distance from horses. That was–until I was asked to go and interview Sherri Shepherd–“and oh, you have to ride a horse,” Leigh, my Editorial Director casually mentioned  when she asked me to go do the interview. My jaw flung open.

I was down to tackle whatever interview and honestly, I just wanted the time out of the office. I frowned, then nodded, “Ok.” I have no problem being 100 percent transparent, “I’m scared though. I am terrified of horses,” I admitted to Leigh.

“Oh great, so is Sherri! This will be fun. The car comes at 2,” Leigh turned her eyes from me, back to her screen in less than a second and she kept typing. That was my cue to go back to my seat and prep for the interview.

I sat down and giggled, “Ugh. I have to ride a horse,” I admitted to myself. With a few words of encouragement from the rest of #TeamBeautiful, I was off to go ride horses with Sherri Shepherd. I’m all about conquering fears and Sherri joined GetGutsyAlign to encourage people to look their fears dead in the eyes and tackle them.

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