Commitment to Educate Essay

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Commitment to Educate Essay

Submitted: August 29, 2012

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Submitted: August 29, 2012

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Muhammad Ali once said, “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” This inspiring quote couldn’t be anymore true to how my riding career has played out over the past few years. To me, horse back riding has got to be one of the most challenging sports mentally, and physically. Sometimes I question what it is that really makes me want to stick with riding, but in the end I realize I couldn’t live without my horses and my family and friends in the equestrian community. This sport for me has caused more tears, frustration and confidence issues than anything else in the world, but I’ve learned with every bad day there are many more good ones that follow and that horse back riding has changed me for the best.

Looking at my life as a whole I haven’t faced as many challenges as the average teenager. Mostly all of my challenges have come from this crazy sport I was introduced to only a short five years ago. I can honestly say I have a mindset that is great for riding, I never give up on my dreams and I’m always a fighter until the end. I’ve had many peers explain to me how I am their inspiration, they love how committed I am to the sport and how nothing seems to phase me. Truthfully, I tell them I’m not the same person on the inside as I am on the outside. Even though to them I look like I’m having the time of my life jumping around 1.20m courses I sometimes feel very nervous, and even scared on the inside. One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in riding is learning to deal with my emotions in the right way and not letting other peoples opinions get to me. After talking with sports psychologist and reading numerous books on dealing with your reactions in the ring I’ve learned that almost every rider has similar feelings to what I experience.

Competition through riding has helped me to face my challenges even more so as I’ve had the experience to make mistakes and learn from them. I’ve surprised myself over the past few months in how much my riding has improved and how much closer I am to accomplishing my goals. Needless to say, I know I’ll never be perfect, but sticking with this sport and learning to never give up has only helped me gain confidence and learn to love all the ups and downs horses offer. Through every fall, every refusal, and every rail knocked down I’m learning something, it’s frustrating at first but then I can take what I’ve discovered and apply it to another horse or another round of jumping later on.

In the end horse back riding has changed me as a person. It’s made me more confident in myself, it’s made me a much harder worker and of course it’s made me have a different point of view on the challenges life has to offer. In 2008 I was competing at local schooling shows, jumping no higher than eighteen inches. Four years later I entered my first Modified Grand Prix set at 1.25m. My riding story is not one that could even be summed up in a short one-thousand words, I would need an entire novel to explain it all. It was in 2010 I knew riding was really going to be a major part of my life, after I received the Cassie Bonnar Junior Equestrian of the Year Award. This award is given to a member of the OEF who shows outstanding contribution and commitment to the equestrian sport. I feel like I’ve been blessed with being able to improve so fast in my riding, because it’s a sport I love and couldn’t live without. It’s incredible to me to be doing things on horses I would never have thought possible, it’s truly a dream come true.

I graduated from high school this year, but I wasn’t ready to give up the amount of riding I’m currently doing to go off to school. It was a tough choice but I eventually decided to defer my acceptance at the University of Guelph until 2013. This way I would have more time to focus on my four amazing horses and my incredible coaches who have taken me this far. I’ve learned how far four years of hard work and commitment will take you. After seeing how much I’ve improved after four years of riding I can only imagine how much I will change as a person after four years of school. I have dreams outside of the riding world as well, I’d love to go into the Arts as I’m passionate about film, photography and many other forms of modern and digital art. 

This $7,500 scholarship would be used to accomplish all of my dreams outside the riding world. I’m happy to say all the hard work I’ve put into riding will definitely pay off at school and in the long run. The journey has been tough, but throughout the challenges I’ve faced I’ve gotten to a point where I’m really enjoying horse shows and I’m starting to become a really competitor. Without these challenges I wouldn’t be who I am today, the tests, and opportunities I’ve has to leave my comfort zone have only benefit me. I’ve learned that every path I take is going to be full of ups and downs, I’ll doubt yourself and want to give up, but these challenges separate the weak from the brave. Most importantly I’ve learned that the challenges I face through the sport can be overcome by sticking with what you know is right and not giving up. Horses and the equestrian sport will always be something in my life, and that’s why I’ve decided extend that valuable time with my horses and friends and attend university in 2013.

 


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