I felt like I was going to puke. My mind spun in circles just thinking of mounting that crazy beast that lay ahead of me. Muscles that I never knew I had were twitching with excitement. Sweat streamed down my forehead like a waterfall. I was about to ride my first bare back horse at a rodeo in Caldwell, Texas when I was only fifteen years old.
My parents and I had driven almost two hours from Houston for this challenge I had taken on. They supported me completely and I had been training for this moment for a long time. I have eight horses so I was well informed about their habits. I knew I was prepared physically and I thought I was ready mentally. Little did I know that my nerves would get the best of me when it was my turn.
“Ride em Cash!”
My dad yelled from the stands as the cowboys preparing the horse encouraged me but I could see the doubt in their eyes. I looked toward the bright blue sky looking for a neon sign from God saying “Relax!” It never came. Carelessly, I tripped over a rope and looked up to see the monster staring straight at me. Its face was pitch black and its eyes were blood red. Its muscular body shook with rage and anger. None of this helped my already queasy stomach.
I mounted the horse with cautiousness and looked to my mom for support. She winked and gave me a thumbs up like she always did. Her presence gave me just what I needed for comfort and determination. The horse bucked the bars of the cage that held him in. I was surprised that his strength couldn’t just rip them out of place. The announcer yelled out my name and age. I knew what I had to do and I was ready to go.
One. Two. Three. I was out of the chute and into the arena as fast as the speed of sound. All I had to do was stay on for eight seconds. I held on tightly and as soon as I knew it, I was on the ground again safe and sound. My heart raced a million beats per minute. Those eight seconds were the longest eight seconds of my life but I finally accomplished my first...