Let me tell you about my friend Jordyn. She is one of the nicest, most compassionate, animal loving, tough cowgirl, determined, wonderful person that just happens to have an extra chromosome. She also made me love horse showing even more then I thought possible when I was a youth and has given me a point of view about showing that has stuck with me for many years and I hope stays with me forever.
I got to know Jordyn through the 4H horse project. We gave her my first horse when I stepped up to a different horse to show and she gave him a wonderful home up to his passing. As my show career was heating up so was Jordyns. She had a super neat mare name Quincy and the two of them made an amazing team. That’s not to say that Quincy always agreed with Jordyn. I remember practicing with Jordyn and her and Quincy butting heads and Jordyn Cowgirling up and working through some tough task like when Quincy wasn’t so sure about crossing a live stream of water.
My parents had bought me a step up horse named Tiger Lee Zan and we called him Moo! Now my first horse Skipper gave me to love of riding and confidence and the ability to dip my toes into the world of showing but Moo let me taste a few wins and I was hooked! In Colorado the 4H horse program goes through levels with 1 being the novice and 4 being the top and with a bunch of hard work Moo got me to being a level 4 and from there he lead me to some big wins and I was very focused on that big W.
I will never forget the time that Jordyn and I actually showed together for the first time. You see Jordyn rode in the challenged rider classes because she has Down Syndrome. She didn’t spend much time in that division and ended up showing with me at many different shows and as long as she didn’t run the judge over trying to tell them “Hi” and other competitors “good luck”, Quincy anf her were a team to watch out for… Anyways back to that first class together that taught me my greatest lesson…. We were at the County Fair and competition was tough in my division but we were focused and had practice and were ready. Jordyn was the only challenged rider that was able to do everything that was expected in the Western Pleasure class by herself so they asked those of us that were in the level 4 division to ride with her so that she would be able to ride in a full class.
I remembering thinking that this would be just a fun warm up for the rest of the day. I remember the class loading and Jordyn riding by me with the biggest smile on her face. She said some thing like “Oh my gosh I am so excited that I get to ride with such an amazing rider and horse. You guys are going to do so good! Aren’t we so lucky to be out here doing this super fun thing with people we love!” I got to thinking ya know she is right…
We finished the class and you could tell that Jordyn and that little horse were having a blast. We lined up for placing and I lined up next to Jordyn. I remember waiting for the placings eventhough we knew who was going to win and she turned to me and said “I hope that you win. You guys did great! I had so much fun with my Quincy girl.” And then they announced that her and Quincy were the winners and a smile that I thought couldn’t get any bigger grew. She told me that “she was still proud of me that she thought I still did good and she was proud of me but that she couldn’t believe that her and Quincy won and that she was having so much fun this was just the best day ever.”
I have no idea how I placed that year in any of the classes and to be honest I have forgotten a lot of the wins over the years but I have never forgotten that day. Jordyn reminded me that yes we are all out there to win but when it comes down to it we are so blessed to be doing something that we love with people that we love. (If you haven’t been to a horse show, a day at a horse show brings you some of the best lifelong freind’s that you will ever meet.) on a horse that we really enjoy. I am so blessed that I have tucked that little lesson in the back of my mind. Some shows don’t go like we had planned. Maybe we drew bad, the judge just didn’t like your style, the others were just plain better then you. This lesson has really served me well when I bring a young horse to season and even though you know aren’t out there to win the little thought sneaks in that you really do. That competitive bone sometimes like to rear its ugly head but lucky thanks to Jordyn I have been able to keep the bigger picture in mind and say in love with showing horses.
Any day showing horses is a great day. You get to do something that you love with people that you love. I hope that if go showing that you keep in mind the lesson that I learned from Jordyn and that you keep the bigger picture in mind of how lucky you are to be at the show no matter what happens. I will forever be gratful for Jordyn teaching me such a great lesson and making showing always a good day.