January 13, 2012
By Sadie~Rose BRONZE, Columbus, Montana
Sadie~Rose BRONZE, Columbus, Montana
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“Next group please come into the warm-up arena to check in,” the announcer said.

I looked at my horse’s chin strap and throat latch to make sure they were secure and not twisted. I started to get really anxious when I saw multiple horses and riders going into the warm-up. I checked my saddle and saddle pad, the black no-slip pad wasn’t showing and the saddle pad and saddle were in the correct spot. I made sure my girth wasn’t loose, then I dropped my irons. My mom wished me good luck and I quickly got on my horse to head into the arena to check in. I waited in line for ten long minutes and finally it was my turn. A lady came up to me and checked to make sure I was in the correct group. Then she looked in Lola’s mouth to make sure my bit was legal.

She smiled at me and said, “You better get warmed up, you go in first.”

I was weaving through everyone trying to get Lola moving just right. I kept her as focused as I could without over-correcting her. Her back was up and she was ready to work. We trotted and cantered both directions, and we also counter-cantered both directions. I made sure she was soft in my hand and listening to my legs. She was doing everything perfect for me, not shying from anything. Her trot was huge and her canter was slow. I knew we were ready.

I started to relax, then the announcer called, “311 please come to arena entrance.”

My muscles tightened as I walked to the chute. As the pace started to slow down in my mind I could feel the sweat drizzling down my back under my hunt coat and long sleeve blouse. The closer I got to the chute though, I could feel a breeze of cool air hitting my face from the air conditioned coliseum. Before I knew it I was face to face with the chute waiting for the gate man to give me the nod. I looked up and saw “Gateway of Champions” a chill went completely through my body. Everything I had worked for this year was going to be pushed to the limit in the next half hour. The gate man gave me a nod and told me to go when I was ready.

I glanced over at Leeann for reassurance. She smiled, “It’s just another show, now go get ‘em!”

I looked down the chute into the arena, it was narrow and had faint light showing. At the very end you could see the arena waiting for the next contestant to shine. I clucked and we started down the fifty yard chute. With every step Lola took my nerves disappeared. In the corner of my eye I could see people staring at me through the glass wall that bordered the chute. As the end of the chute got closer I picked up a posting trot and I put on a huge smile right before we entered the big open arena. The first step Lola took into the arena everything went dead silent. It was like everyone in the crowd had disappeared. It felt like I was floating by all judges as we trotted down the middle of the arena. The nerves that I had were in my past and my confidence swelled.

Competition is a metaphor for life, it structures the way that I will live, and I have learned so many lessons just from the experience of riding and showing my horses. I have been taking lessons since I was little which makes me a good listener and very obedient. It has taught me to never settle for less than the best I can do. I always try for perfection, but if their are little mistakes I don’t get down. If I were to get down on myself it would give it away to the judges and they would think I wasn’t very confident in myself. I have learned to never depend on anyone else because they can’t do it for you. When you’re in the arena it’s just you and your horse, there is no one to help you. I have learned that it makes it way easier when you have a set routine to follow. This helps me stay confident and I don’t get as nervous. Also American Quarter Horse Youth Association has helped me become a better leader. The programs that they offer have helped me get a better look at life. The seminars and the events I have experienced have made me much more social, more confident as a speaker, and have taught me to make the most of what I get. Confidence is the key to a successful life.

The author's comments:
When I wrote this piece I did it with ease. Right when Mr. Olsen said think of a moment or person that inspires you or has inspired you I thought of all the AQHYA stuff that I have been involved in. But the first thing that summed it all up was Gateway of Champions. AQHYA is the biggest part of my life because I’m so involved and I have been doing it since I was a little girl. I had always dreamed of being one the top girls in the state and had always wanted to be one of the few people that would ever attend the world show. I had always looked up to those riders and now I’m one of them. I have put in countless time and effort to get where I am.

I don’t know who influenced this essay it could have been Mr. Olsen for telling me to think of an inspirational moment or my horse that has gotten me that far. It could have been my mom that has spent all the money and taken me all over the country or possibly my trainers that have made me the rider I am today. It could also be AQHYA in general and all the people I have met.

The piece started out as just one of the experiences I had going through the Gateway of Champions. Then slowly, but surely it transformed into how it is shaping my life and how it has already. Sometimes I wonder how much different I would be without the horses. If I would have been a druggy or one of those girls that are involved in everything and do every single sport. I’m so glad that didn’t happen to me, I have friends like that but it just isn’t me, I’m very content as being just there. I probably transformed this piece because I was going no where with it and something had to be changed. I think the change was good, but it is very sudden which I don’t mind I just hope that doesn’t effect what the reader thinks of me. Nothing was really taken away from the piece, I just changed a couple words. I mostly added on to the piece to explain the metaphor and how it has made me the person I am. I used a metaphor in the essay, it was competition is a metaphor for life. You have your ups and downs in competition just like you do in life. Also you have to be dependent on only yourself because at one point in time they won’t be there and you will have to fend for yourself. Also even if you make a tiny mistake that messes things up a little you have to blow it off otherwise you will start doing even more poorly and your confidence in yourself goes down. I also used a simile, confidence is the key to a successful life. If you don’t have confidence how do you expect yourself to do good at whatever your doing. Even if you have to make yourself look confident for the time being just try to pull it off and it can actually do a lot for you. For example at an interview that you are not to sure of just go in acting confident and like you know what your doing and you could end up succeeding and earning the job or whatever it is.

I have added a lot of dialogue. I don’t think it would be the same at all if there wasn’t any. It helps explain what it was like and how intense this moment was for me. All that I did to enhance the piece was add my simile and metaphor and make sure that there was details and dialogue. I organized my piece by writing what happened from the time that I got over to the warm up arena to the time I entered. Then I wrote how I thought all of this has made me.
This piece is different than my usual writing because I usually just tell a story and don’t have any literary elements or a paragraph that sums everything up about myself. This piece describes how I do things in my life and how much drive I have to do the best I can possibly do. When people are done reading this I want them to think about how confidence is a key to a successful life and that I apply it. I don’t want them getting done and thinking what is going on what is this girl talking about. This piece should have some nervousness and then it should build up into confidence. In this essay is a memory that I would like to last forever because maybe someday I won’t be able to have horses or will have something happen to me that won’t allow me to be involved in AQHA, but I will always have those memories remembering what I had and how much I poured myself into it. This piece could have a lasting effect on people if they really thought about what I have said in my essay about confidence and how much effort I put in for just a couple minutes in the arena. This will have a lasting effect on me because it will obviously decide if I get the scholarship or if I am accepted to the school. But also I hope that I will go by this my whole life and I hope that it never fades in my mind. If it does I will become a completely different person. I know that I might not always follow it in certain things, but if my mind is set to it then it will always be applied.

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