The theme of this contest was defining moments. A defining moment is a significant event or decision that influences the future. It could be a personal or a larger historical event. My first thought was to write about the coronavirus, it is such a major part of my and everyone else’s life! But as I was writing about my experience with the coronavirus it felt weird and too clichéd. The coronavirus is an experience everyone shared. Most people will be writing about it because they went through the same things – the masks, the lockdowns, the tests! So, I decided I would write a story about something nobody else can write about because this is my story. Here it is MY most defining moment.
I should probably start at the beginning. Ever since I was young my grandparents have had horses and I loved them. I loved riding them, grooming them and just being around them. I was six years old when we got Pete and Antonio. They were Shetland pony brothers and were for all the kids in the family. It was very fun having them. But like I said, they were only part mine. I know I was lucky to even have a horse in the family, most people don’t even get that. But I wanted a personal connection with a horse, something more than just a type of transportation. A couple of months later we had to sell them because we couldn’t afford them while also having my grandma and aunt’s horses.
I was nine years old when we got our next family horse. As I expressed before, I wasn’t a huge fan of that. Again, I may sound spoiled, but I wanted a horse I could truly call my own. Luna was a very good horse but unlike how I’d hoped, we didn’t have a personal connection. We were more like acquaintances. Roughly a month into owning Luna she started to act up, bucking when you got on her. We assumed it was a behavioral issue so we sent her to a trainer only for them to tell us they couldn’t help her. After that, we found out she had developed back problems, so we retired Luna to a pasture. About a month later my grandma sold her. I was very sad to see her go even though we didn’t have long to get to know each other.
That winter my grandmother showed me a picture of a horse somebody she knew was selling. He wasn’t exactly the most beautiful horse in the world, he was a POA (Pony of America) so he was short, he barely had any mane or tail, and he had patches of fur missing around his eyes. I wasn’t quick to judge. I told my grandma I would be interested in looking at him, but she shrugged it off. I just assumed maybe he was sold to someone else, or they decided against it.
By summer I started to lose hope that there was any chance we would get another horse. But one day my mom told me I needed to go out to the barn and see something. I walked out to the barn and there wasn’t anyone there. I peered around to the side of the barn and there in the round pen was the horse from the photo! I ran up to greet him and he was very friendly.
My grandma was there and so was a man I have never met before. (The horse’s owner I assumed.) The man turned to me and asked if I would like to ride him. I looked at my grandma and she nodded. I felt relaxed the second I put my foot in the stirrup. He wasn’t strong and powerful, but he was sweet. Later I learned that his name was Blaze. He was six years old, and it turns out my grandma got him for me. Not my brother, not my cousins, just for me.
Today is Thursday, March 18, 2021. I have had Blaze for three years. He is my partner, he is my teammate, he is my best friend and I love him more than anything. So that is my story, a story that no one else can write. That was my most defining moment.