Our Very First Horse Show
I stood in the stands at the first show of my daughter and watched the horses swat flies with long braided tails. Some kids slouched in the saddle as the summer heat melted them beneath black helmets. My daughter didn’t flinch. Her smile did not waver. She is built for this. I looked through the long lens of my camera and the only movement I saw was her eyes flicker and look right back at me. Each horse stepped forward for their ribbon and I realized Yen had not received one. My eyebrows twitched as I raced to remember her number… 1056.
third place to the boy with the red belt…
second place to the girl with the shiny black horse with the perfectly braided mane…
“Number 1056…. First place”..
…and we jumped to our feet and cheered. Her grandmother lifted her pink parasol and her grandfather smiled and clapped, “Go Yen!”
Her very first show and she won first place!
I jumped down and ran to the other side to meet our aunt who had made all of this possible. Beth had bought the horse… got the trainer… ordered the outfit, organized this whole day and most importantly swooped in and adopted us all when our family abandoned us. When we were shunned and told to never come back… she invited us in. When Yen had been abandoned by family who was supposed to be hers forever… Beth came in, lifted her up and put her on a horse and showed her how strong Yen really is. She has taught us all about a selfless brave love that changes hearts.
We sucked back our tears as the next show started and 1056 needed to be back out there… to win that show also!
and the next one!
Yen’s eyes were beaming . Three bright blue ribbons flapped on the reins, “Momma can you believe it!”
She added a third, fourth and fifth place ribbon before we took a break.
In the shade of the gooseneck trailer we sat and ate the gourmet lunch our uncle Bill made while the horse munched hay. A little girl walked up and Yen and her struck up conversation in the background. Beth said they would stay till the end and come back with the horse and trailer… I said I would meet them at the pool with dinner and ice cream to celebrate.
All was so right in the world.
When they arrived at the pool Yen walked up with two new metals…. Grand Champion of the whole show!!!
We laid all the ribbons out… and I noticed one of the first place blue ribbons was missing….”I didn’t want to stop her,” Beth said with an apprehensive expression.
“I gave it to the little girl who didn’t win anything,” Yen chipped up … “she only got second to last and last in her shows… She was so sad she lost and it wasn’t supposed to be a sad day… I had plenty and she didn’t. Now she is having a good day too.” I teared up… to watch her use that selfless brave love that changes hearts.
“And then I won Grand Champion!!!!!”