"Riding has been a passion of mine since I was ten years old."
I loosen my grip on the saddle to prevent Scout from feeling the effects of my nerves. The last rider is soaring over her final jump. I am next. I clench my reigns and trot through the gate. Bright colored poles, flashy decorations, and huge fences with four- foot spreads come into view. The jumps look terrifying. These very jumps scared me out of participating in this event the previous year. I see my trainer and
family in the stands, and I imagine my friends watching me on the computer at home; watching me as I gaze apprehensively at the jumps one final time, going through the course in my head.
I hear the whistle blow. The timer has started. I am in the finals of the Jumping class at the American Quarter Horse Youth World Show, competing for the title of World Champion. I have traveled miles to get here, and have devoted the last month to preparing for this moment. And suddenly, as if a barrier goes up around Scout and me, I seem to forget all of these details. My trainer’s words replay in my head: “Ride, forget about everything else. Just ride". And that is exactly what I intend to do. I am not scared. I am determined.
Riding has been a passion of mine since I was ten years old. I fell in love with the feeling it creates the first time I sat on a horse eight years ago. It was not long before I was taking riding lessons and showing my own horse. When I first began riding Scout I was fairly naive in the field of jumping and thus accepted all of his shortcomings. His body was too long, he did not pick his legs up high enough over the jumps, and he did not hold his head right.
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By Hanna Perry
17 yr. old Pineview Senior