Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Lessons Learned at the Horse Show

The youth of today are amazing. I have always been a glass half full type anyway, but lately, I have been so impressed by our future leaders. I think every generation has the tendency to see only doom and gloom when they observe people who are more than twenty years younger. The common comment is something like, "These kids today don't know how lucky they have it." Or  "They are so disrespectful. I just don't know what will happen when they are in charge of our world."
Well, I have observed the total opposite recently. I could write a blog about my grandson and his dedication to his marching band. Or, I could go on and on about the youth in our church, and the young man who preached a wonderful sermon last Sunday. And then there were the two football teams at a classic rivalry game last Thursday night. Yes, I could go on and on.
Instead, I will just give you a few of the things I observed at a tradition filled event held near my home this weekend. The State Horse Show. These kids were perfect examples of what is Right with our youth, and why I am not the least bit worried about our future.
#10: Attention to detail is important: The judges and officials at these events make sure that everything is set up exactly right, to give everyone an equal chance.  Every pole, barrel, flag is measured and set up "just so". It's worth all of the time and effort.
#9: Following All of the rules is the most important thing.  There is no instant replay.  It does no good to plead with an official when the pole is clearly on the ground. Might as well shake it off and try harder next time.
#8: Some things are just our of your control. It doesn't matter how much you have practiced. If the great big animal you are riding gets the jitters on the day of the performance, there's not much you can do.
#7: Life is not Easy! Take a look at this picture. Could you convince a four-legged creature to run into this spot, turn around smoothly, and run back out without stepping on any of the lines? I don't think I could do that myself, on foot!
#6: Looking good only goes so far. It does help your self confidence to know that you look your best. But, if you lose your hat or even your boot on the way into the arena, don't look back. Someone will probably pick it up for you later.
#5: Good sportsmanship pays. Always cheer for your fellow competitors. Maybe they will let you ride on the back of their horse when they go out to collect their trophy.
#4: Finish the task. Even when you know you have been disqualified, complete the course. You and the horse both need the practice.
#3: Being on top is fleeting. Even when your time is amazing, the next competitor can be better by one one hundredth of a second, and your moment is over.
#2: Its okay to be upset. But, only for a minute. Tears are understandable. Don't blame the horse, or the judges.  Just shake it off, and get ready for the next try.
#1: Giving your all feels amazing. If the best you can do is to just complete the course, no matter how your time compares to the others, you have a lot to be proud of. Your best effort shows, and the crowd goes wild!

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