More than just a Blue Ribbon!

This essay was submited by Char Gordon of Island Lake, IL. Congratulations Char!

My first blue ribbon was the by-product of a wonderful friendship. It was awarded to me in May, 2008 at the MidStates Morgan Open showin Hampshire, IL. I received it for a Adult Open Walk Trot class.

I had recently had 2 back fusions, the second one to fix the failed first one, and my confidence on horses had seemingly been removed with my spinal surgeries. While I had been showing my horse in Halter classes, running in sand was nearly impossible for me as I also have a rod running through one of my leg bones. I was frustrated because I didn’t have the confidence to ride my horse in a class and could no longer participate in Halter classes without succumbing to a lot of pain.

My friend has a beautiful Morgan mare that she had been letting my daughter ride. She decided that I would ride her mare in an open class. I was terrified! She had me ride the mare a few times prior to the show and the mare was VERY patient with me. I decided it was a “go”…I would attempt to actually ride in a class!
Char Gordon with Estralita De Oro

Char Gordon with Estralita De Oro

The day came. My daughter warmed the mare up for me, The mare, Estralita De Oro, then patiently allowed me to steer her around the arena in our class. I felt my fear waning as nothing bad was happening to me and Lita just was so patient. Then I finally relaxed and enjoyed it! I lined up and got a 1st place.

While I was the only one in the class, that ribbon and trophy represents more to me than a win. If I had gotten no ribbon, it would still have been an huge win, as I, with the help of my friend, overcame an incredible fear when I rode in that class.  Getting a blue ribbon and a trophy on that day meant more than beating any competition; it symbolized overcoming fear and the value of a great friendship.

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