My Love of Horses By C.T. Blink

I pressed my heels hard against Dusty's sides. This time I was determined that he would jump. The last few times, he had ducked out at the last second, thinking that the white poles that made up the jump were going to eat him. I was determined that at least one of us was going over this jump. I'd prefer together. We approached the jump, and Dusty eyed it nervously. With a little hop, we were over it in one piece. I quickly turned him around to go over it again. This time I felt the actual jump in his body. Dusty snorted, as if to say, so what? My mother was watching me a top of Justice, the horse she rides for our lessons. We ride every Friday night together and it's our bonding time. We're usually too busy, she with work and night classes, and I with school and extra actives. One of my pet peeves, which I will inform anyone who asks, is people who think that horse-back riding isn't a sport. The person who responded best, in my option, is my friend Deborah. I doubt I could put her real quote, so let's just say it involved a bull and his waste. I'll be the first to admit that even if I rode everyday for one year, I wouldn't be where fit to run the mile. That's not the point though. My guidelines for what a is sport is that it has to be in the Olympics . Though, come to think, so is curling and rhythm gymnastics. Horse-back riding involves discipline, stamina, hard work, commitment, time, and the love for it. The horse, as some people claim, does not do all the work, but is one half of a great partnership. Horse-back riding is, in a sense, a team sport. When the horse has a bad day, and yes, it does happen, the rider is thrown off key as well. It's the same the other way around. I love horses for many reasons. When I was little, I was the stereotypical little girl. Models, posters, books, video tapes, you name it, I had it. My Barbies were tossed out early on in life for Breyers. My favorite childhood memory was of all those times my family went to the 4-H fair at Frying Pan park. My favorite part, of course, was the horse show that followed the morning actives. Its just a phase, people would tell my parents; she'll grow out of it. I quickly became a teenager, and my parents, realizing it wasn't a phase, signed me up for lessons. I immendiately became engrossed in everything that went into taking care of a horse. My mom was pulled into my world, and finally admitted, though reluently, that she loved the smell of horses. I remember the show where I won my first blue ribbon. However, I don't remember it because of the blue ribbon. My mother is a special education teacher. She works with severely mentally handicapped children. One of her students, Amanda, loves horses too. She did physical therapy with horses every weekend. My mom thought she would enjoy the show, so she invited her down to watch. Amanda and her mother showed up about half way into the show, and my mom went to say "hi." I was cooling down a horse named Tattoo and figured that Amanda came to see the horses, she might as well as see one. Still leading Tattoo, I went to make introductions. Tattoo went right up to Amanda in her wheelchair and blew into her face. Amanda giggled and petted his velvety nose while saying, "Nice horsies." Amanda and I are two different people with two different goals in life. I dream of being a successful writer while she just wants to learn how to take care of herself. However, we share the love of horses with each other, and I suppose that doesn't make us too different. Horses give people a reason to work hard. They give us the support to be ourselves. Horses never judge, but are sensitive to other's needs. When you need a shoulder to cry on, there's no greater one than a horse's. I know that even if my life's work isn't about them, they will always be in my life. Not as a pet or a piece of excise equipment, but as a friend.