“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” — The Special Olympics Athlete’s Oath
Before the Really Big Weather hit Bryan, we were there for Special Olympics last weekend.
Sam has been competing in equestrian Special O since he was 12 years old. Yet, each year his instructors find new ways to challenge him. He’s become an independent rider, first in English style. This year, he’s riding Western, too. Sam practiced competing in a few “able-bodied” shows earlier this year to help him get ready.
All that preparation is no guarantee for gold. Some riders are more experienced and consistent. Other riders have horses that are competitors, too. For example, the first clip in the video below shows Sam in barrel-racing. This is his first year to compete in this event. He is working on smoothing out his turns and keeping momentum. That got him a silver this year. But the gold medal winner rode a horse that understands The Need For Speed. I’m not sure I could watch Sam on a horse that spirited. I watch and wonder how it tolerates having a rider on its back at all.
I didn’t include the clip from trail. Sam and his horse couldn’t finish the event. There was Big Weather (just not Really Big Weather) when we were there. The horses didn’t like it. And, there were rain delays. Sam had the option to ride trail either English or Western. He chose English. But not because he felt more experienced, but because of the horse. The team saddled up Magic for English and Revenue for Western. In the week leading up to the event, he and Revenue weren’t clicking. He was concerned. Although it’s not the best video to see the difference in his two equitation events, Revenue was the more consistent performer at Special O.
On the way home, Sam remarked, “I don’t know why I was worried about Revenue. He was great this weekend.”
And then he added, “At least I kept the oath. I was brave in the attempt.”
Our prayers to the people of Bryan, the Brazos River Valley and others affected by this spring’s severe weather and flooding.