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I Will Go On This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   "Youchose this sport. You didn't choose something less time consuming, lesschallenging, less dangerous, or less expensive. You chose to be a rider, and youhave to love it with all your heart and soul to go on." - KarenQuirk-Johnson, equitation trainer

Horse people have such a strangementality. Some people say we're crazy, but I think anyone who isn't a horseperson is crazy. We love everything about our sport. We love the people, thehorses, the places, the work, the sounds, even the smells. The simple beauty of ahorse galloping across a field, its tail streaming behind, its eyes shining ...everything that has to do with riding is beautiful. When someone asks if we wantto ride the answer is never no, yet riding is so demanding you have to love it todo it every day.

My friends don't understand what the big deal is, why Ican't go to the mall with them because I'm going to the barn, or why I'd rathergo to the barn. I've had to miss birthday parties to go to competitions, and it'shard to choose hobbies over friends, but riding isn't a hobby - it's a way oflife.

I never forget that I am a rider. Almost all thoughts bring me backto it. I dream about riding. I think about riding. And I ride. As much aspossible. And when I get off my horse, no matter how tired I am, I think, I wishI could have ridden longer and Can I do that again? That is what a rider needs tohave - total dedication.

Then again, even though I have to miss specialtimes with friends, I see my best friend every day. Who is a more loyal anddependable friend than a horse? He has always been there for me, forgiving,helping, lifting and making me smile when I'm sad. My horse makes me a betterversion of myself. What more could anyone want from their teammate, theirpartner, their friend?

I remember often working for hours on end beforecompetitions. You have to do more than just sit to stay in the saddle, and youhave to work your butt off to win. I would cry, or want to cry, and quit frompure pain and exhaustion and a feeling of uselessness. I couldn't move my legsthey were so sore, huge blisters had formed on my fingers and a sharp painthrobbed in my lower back. But my hard work pays off.

At the showeverything comes together. My heart beats in rhythm to the steady thump-thump ofmy horse's hooves on the soft sand. We don't jump, we soar. Airborne for amoment, we are flying. A gentle breeze sweeps across my face, rejuvenating mywill to win and everything else falls away. Although there are riders all around,really it's just me and my horse. And in the end I'm only competing againstmyself. The applause. I thrive on that long-awaited sign of approval. The words"I'm proud of you" from my trainer's lips. The celebration of thatshiny blue ribbon when I know I earned it and that the pain paid off in the end.It's all worthwhile. That is why I love riding with all my heart and soul, andthat is why I will always go on.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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meganheuThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm
this is so true i feel the same way. people that think horses are just things are crazy. i talk about them all the time. my friends get so anoyed be me talking about them but i do not care.
 
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