We had several prompts to choose from, and I chose the one that asked about an activity that has been particularly meaningful to you.
I don't really care for my writing on this, and it was a practice college-application essay. Not great, but I had fun writing it. I omitted some things because they relate to where I live, and what can I say? I'm paranoid. (:
It's about my horse life.
Horse riding lends the rider the wings they need to feel as though they are flying, be it jumping, racing, or reining. The bond shared between horse and owner is one that cannot simply be picked up, but something that takes time, patience, and love on both ends. I have been around horses my entire life, but it took me years to see the beauty behind the massive creature I was meant to control, and deciding to take on the horse world for myself was one of the most meaningful choices in my life.
When I was younger, my mom had a Shetland pony and a Quarter Horse mare. I was not a fan of the barn by any stretch of the imagination. I thought it was dirty, cold, and just a waste of my time. In protest, I once wore sandals, which only resulted in me getting dirtier and my mom and older siblings not caring. Before my mom’s mare died, we bought a Standard bred racehorse, and later two more, and raced him at [a local tack]. It was during those years at the racehorse barns that I started to become interested in horses.
Much to the dismay of my brothers and sisters, I begged to go on a trail ride over the spring break of my fifth grade school year. That summer, I went to my first horseback riding camp. The horses scared me in a way, but after that week, I decided to ask if I could start taking lessons.
I took English and jumping lessons for two and a half years, the thought of actually owning a horse in the back of my mind, because the thought of it happening did not really seem to be a reality. On Christmas day in 2005, we were heading for my grandparents house when all of a sudden, we were pulling up in front of the barn. I thought for sure I was getting the lesson I was missing because of Christmas day, but when I walked into the barn and saw the big, red bow on the front of the stall, I was speechless. My trainers had given me a Thoroughbred ex-race horse named Twende Haraka, and it was love at first sight.
We have had some tough times; bucking me off at the show grounds and refusing jumps so badly I fought for a half hour to make him go over. There have also been times where there was nothing more rewarding; when he goes over the fence perfectly and nuzzles me lovingly in the stall. I showed him all summer, the first time he had been off the barn ground in years. I took him to county fair and had an amazing time. At one of our last shows of the season, we got our first First Place in our Hunt Seat Equitation class. My racehorse had become a hunter jumper, and I had become completely and utterly emotionally attached.
Through the years, Twende and I have bonded and fought, taken nosedives and shot up through the impossible. He has bounced back from major injury two times, accepted me both as his “mother” and as his friend, and bucked and played in the field. Eleven fall offs later, we are still getting along, loving every minute of it, and he has been worth every ounce of effort I have invested in him. We fit together so well, what with our stubborn side, how much we can love, and our sense of humor. He is like my family, my big baby.
Who knew that that little girl who so hated the barn would one day own her own horse? I have realized through my time with horses that the connection between horse and rider is a strong one, for each must trust the other in every aspect if anything is to be accomplished. Not only has Twende been my companion for the last three years, but he also gives me a reason to say that horse riding has been one of the most meaningful choices and experiences of my life.