Today, Sam finished Chisholm Challenge, a horse show hosted for the past 13 years by the Fort Worth Stock Show and area stables that serve riders who are veterans or have disabilities.
Sam didn’t want to talk much about how the trail ride went. (Hint: Not every kernel popped, either today or yesterday.) He did have thoughts about tackling the gate at the end of the trail ride. (Another hint: the gate isn’t a real gate, it’s a rope representing a gate.)
Sam had to both open and close the gate while remaining on his horse, Rosalie. (Yet another hint: This is so difficult that riders at lower levels may be required only to “open” the gate.) Many times, a rider drops the rope before completing the task.
The rules allow them to pick up the rope and try again, at least a few more times. But many riders, once they have dropped rope, simply give up and end the ride.
Sam says he has been thinking about the gate for many years. Here is his advice to riders who are thinking about giving up:
Independent riders should consider a few more attempts to close the gate if dropped. All they need to do is walk the horse up to the side of the gate where the rope still hangs down, haul up the rope without taking it off the gate, then bring the horse to the other side with the rope in hand and finally … CLOSE THE GATE!
As you can see from Sam’s ride today, a little planning, determination and positive thinking goes a long way: