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!
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.