Happy Successful-Blog Birthday!
from Glenda Watson Hyatt
Excerpted from I’ll Do It Myself:
I was slightly nervous as I entered the ring and bowed to the judges. But soon it was Devil Boy, my music and me. Everything else disappeared. It was a great feeling, one of complete freedom and independence. I was in complete control of the horse, and he was listening to me. I simply did my thing, with Devil Boy as my partner. I rode my five-minute program without a flaw, matching the length of the song, which meant I had paced myself well.
At the end of my program, I halted in the middle of the ring to bow again to the judges. Protocol says you exit the ring by riding to the wall and along the perimeter to the gate. Well, Devil Boy took the opportunity of halting to stand in a perfect show stance, with his hind legs out behind him. No matter how I squeezed my legs, kicked or said â€œwalk onâ€, he would not budge. I suppose he figured since I had five minutes, he deserved a moment to show off, too. Despite what Regan had drilled into me, I finally yanked on the left rein and did an 180o Western-style turn and exited the ring.
Once the two classes were done, the officials were wondering how to get the wheelchairs onto the small podium for the medal presentation; a question that obviously had not occurred to them prior to this moment. Dad suggested that, since we were still on our horses, we simply ride in and stand in front of the appropriate position at the podium. Great idea! We would maintain the same level of independence for the medal presentation as we had during the competition. And the wheelchairs wouldnâ€™t distract from the abilities that had been demonstrated on that beautiful afternoon. Perfect!
They told Dad to direct me to the middle position. Isnâ€™t the middle position gold? I had won gold! Oh, what a feeling! What a high! I instantly forgot that I was melting in my wool blazer in the hot, mid-afternoon sun. I beamed from ear to ear for the rest of the week!
Glenda Watson Hyatt, Do It Myself Blog