The Show

May 20, 2011
By , Rockford, MI
It was an early Saturday morning on July 10th and I heard my door open slowly.

I heard a voice saying, “Sydney, wake up, it’s time to get ready to go.”

I knew where we were going so I jumped out of my bed and ran down the stairs. I quickly ate my breakfast and ran into the laundry room, grabbed my clothes, and sprinted up the stairs. I jumped into my breeches, flung my white collared shirt over my back, buttoned it up, and skipped to the bathroom, pleased with how fast I had gotten ready. I grabbed some clips, some ponytails, a bobby pin or two, and my brush and began playing around with my hair, trying to figure out what was going to be able to fit under my helmet. After thinking, I came up with the perfect thing, a simple French braid. I braided my hair and brushed my teeth, then once again, ran down the stairs. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” I yelled to my mom, giving her a big hug as I was grabbing a banana from the bowl behind her. “Are you ready to go?” she asked reaching for the keys hanging on the rack near bye.

“YES!!!” I said excitedly, eager to begin what was going to be a great day.

My mom and I were sitting quietly in the car, tired from waking up early, and just as I was starting to fall asleep, I felt my mom nudge my arm and say “Sydney, get out of the car, I have a surprise for you.” I looked up and saw that we were in the parking lot of one of my favorite places, Biggbys’s coffee. I leaped from the front seat of our Dodge Caravan and swung the shops door open, smelling the amazing smell of fresh coffee.

“Hi Sweetie,” the lady behind the counter said to me, “what would you like today?” I looked and my mom,
“She will have a Medium Mint Mocha please.”
“And for you ma’am?”
“I will have a Medium Pumpkin Mocha, no whipped cream,” she told the woman.
We got our coffees and we were back on the road to my favorite place.
After what felt like forever (but was only about 15 minutes), we drove up into the chaos,
with people running around, horses being led by their owners/riders, and tables and booths were being set up. We had arrived at Thomet Stables for the horseshow!
My mom and I walked to the desk to sign me up for my classes. She signed the sheets, paid the money, and then handed me the papers. As I read through the lists, I saw the three checked off, Hunter Jumper over Saddle, Hunter Jumper under Saddle, and Novus 1. “YES!” I said after reading! “I get to do the big 3.5’s!”
“Yes,” my mom said, “Kathy and I have been talking and she thinks you are old enough and good enough to be jumping with the older people.”
I was jumping with joy! I was just blown away that Kathy (my instructor) would think that I could be jumping with the girls (and men) that were over the age of 16!
“Sydney,” Kathy said coming from behind, “you’re here!”
“Yep,” I said walking towards her, “can I do, anything?”
“Yes,” she exclaimed, grabbing my arm as we were walking into the barn.
“Bye mom I’ll catch up with you later!” I said looking back.
“Yup, I will be going home until a little later.” she said walking in the other direction.
“Okay, so Katie has to do her classes this morning so I will need you to help her get Sly ready.”

“Okay cool!” I said, excited to begin work.
I walked to the beautiful thoroughbreds stall where there was a bag of brushes outside the door. I grabbed a soft brush, walked in, and began brushing his silky brown coat.
“Hey!” Katie said, “Thanks for coming to help!”
“No problem,” I told her as I was grabbing the hoof pick.
After Sly was groomed, I walked to the tack room and grabbed Katie’s saddle, a white saddle pad, a bounce pad, and a girth. I got into the stall and tossed the bundle onto his back. As I was finishing, Katie walked in a put his bridle on, and he was off!
“Good luck,” I told her while hopping on his back. Katie entered the arena, ready to begin the hunter jumper over cross-poles class. 2nd PLACE!! Next class, hunter jumper under-saddle and over-saddle was next and she placed 1st in both!
Katie called me over and I grabbed Sly’s bridle. “GOOD BOY!!!” I told him, giving him a big kiss for his success.
When Katie was off, I walked Sly to his stall, and took his bridle off to give him a chance to get a drink of the nice cold water I had just filled his bucket with.
About 15 minutes later, I put his bridle back on, dropped my helmet on my already sweaty head, and went to the arena. There I was, standing right next to the gate, waiting patiently for the judges to say “begin”.
“Okay,” the judges said, “you may begin”.
I walked forward about three slow steps and then I picked up my canter.
I went up to my first jump out of the triple 3.5 foot diagonal. CLEARED! Sly took two more slow, long strides before we jumped the next. Once again… CLEARED! The last out of this set was up and it had the fake plants and water, the ones that Sly was afraid of. I bent down and told him everything was ok, patted his neck, and sat up ready to jump it. “Yes!” I thought to myself, “he made it over!”
I jumped the last jumps, made my circle, giving the audience a chance to clap, and walked out of the arena where the next rider was ready to ride.
“Good job Sydney!” Kathy said, “I’m so proud of you both!”
I walked Sly around in the grass until number 23 was called.
I walked up behind a few horses, getting ready to start the Novis hunter jumper over and under saddle. “Riders, please pick up a posting trot.” said the judge through the intercom.
I clicked to Sly and he started trotting. Up and down, up and down I went in the saddle.
“Riders, pick up a canter,” they said once again.
I waited for a few seconds before I picked up my canter because I knew that Sly would start off pretty fast and I didn’t want to circle because he was too close to the horse in front of us.
“Riders, please walk and go to the middle of the arena with your backs to the judges for scoring.”
Packed with nerves, we slowly walked to the middle while the judges walked around us, writing notes on their papers.
“Okay, we are ready to begin the passing of the ribbons.” The gate opened and my heart started beating.
“In first place… Taima A. on Lukamotion!”
Yay for Taima I thought, smiling at her.
They called off the 2nd and 3rd place winners then…
“In fourth place… Sydney M. on Sly!”
My heart stopped beating for just a second then I clicked to Sly and he began walking towards the gate to get our ribbon.
Keeleigh, one of my riding friends got on her tippy toes to give me a hug then she handed my my green 4th place ribbon. I bent down, gave Sly a hug and a kiss, then leaned forwards and put the ribbon on his bridle.
“Congratulations!” my whole family said running towards us taking pictures.
I hopped off Sly’s back, hugged the family, and then put Sly in his stall, took his saddle off, took his bridle off, brushed him, and kissed him goodbye, telling him I would be back in a few days to ride him in my lesson.
“I love you Sly,” I said, looking back at him as I was walking down the long hallway.
He whinnied a bit and then started eating his hay.
I know that he feels the same way I feel about him. We are best friends and nothing will ever change that.
I hopped in the car with my mom and we headed off to the Blue Water Grill for her birthday dinner.
Driving away, I looked into the distance and there I saw my favorite place in the world… Thomet Stables.

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