It was coiled up in a circle with a white and cream color and a fluffy messed up kind of tail at the end. I could smell the baby powder on it and I decided to pick it up. This nylon rope wasn’t too heavy, but had just enough weight in order for it to have power behind my swing. First, picking it up, it has a rough feel, putting the coils in my left hand and my loop in my right, making sure the loop was big enough to my liking. Remembering that the honda of the rope has to be halfway and my hand has to be far back enough, I point my index finger on the rope to give my tip direction towards my target. When swinging the rope I move my right arm in a circle around my head, but also as if there is a volleyball in the inner “L” of my arm. I allow one strand to glide through my fingers extending the size of my loop, making a smooth sound of the strands rubbing together. That sound is music to my ears.

The rodeo life was all new to my family and me, although we got into it very quickly. I fell in love with this sport when my brother started before me and I would watch him from the fence. I’ve wanted to compete since then, and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. The sight of a freshly groomed arena, with the sun beating down on it, quickly became the background on my life’s canvas. My passion for the sport of rodeo since day one continues to grow. I can thank my mom for it all since she was the one who got my brother and me into the sport. She is my inspiration every day and she encourages me to pursue my dreams. My mom is the one person who understands how strong my passion is for horses and rodeo. Although the journey of searching for a horse was not an easy one, it definitely played in my favor. It may have taken a few tries until I found the perfect match, but boy did I. At the time I was an inexperienced rider and had not had any lessons. My mom and I both had an ideal type of horse in mind - a horse that was gentle and would take care of me. Little did we know that we would find that and better.

One Thursday night at my brother's team roping practice, it was beginning to get dark out. The arena lights began to warm up to guide all of the ropers with light. While walking in the gate of the arena, I felt the temperature begin to drop. A fellow roper who had become familiar with us over practices had heard we were looking for a horse. He offered me to try out his 13-year-old mare who wasn’t for sale. As I walked over to her, I was taller than her, but she was very cute. She was a dark bay color with a very wide chest on her and a black maine with light brown highlights through it. When I walked up to her, I put my hand on her head. She seemed very gentle and caring right away. I was nervous and didn’t know what to really expect, I mean, here I am getting on this horse, while I have no idea how she is going to react to me. I ran my hand from her face down her neck to the horn of the saddle - she was so soft. I put my foot in the stirrup and before stepping on, she turned and looked at me and we made eye contact. She looked just as nervous as I did, but I gave her a little smile and the look in her eyes I knew I would be fine. As I mounted on her and got the saddle adjusted, I became very relaxed and comfortable. I don’t know if it was just a comfy seat or if I felt like I belonged on her, but I felt like nothing else mattered.

I grabbed the reins. Sliding my hands down them, the leather was smooth. We began to walk - both of us starting it off slow. When I had control, I kicked her lightly, transitioning into a faster walk, into a jog, and then began to lope. Peppy and I were having a blast! Just going in circles, trying to feel each other out, it felt like we were flying. Our bond was created on that first ride. I knew from that night on that we found each other for a reason. I knew that she would better my life and that I would better hers with as much love as possible. We eventually had to stop. On the way back to the front of the arena, I was petting her and thanking her for allowing me to ride her. As I stepped off of her, I felt a sadness come over me, and something popped into my mind, “ What if I can’t have her?” I was worried that was going to happen, but I kissed her on her head and just looked at her and practically fell in love with her.

That night is still a very important memory to me and will never be forgotten. I will forever be grateful to the previous owner, Derek, for allowing me to take an amazing horse off his hands. I know she must have been hard to give up. Peppy has become my whole world very quickly, she is the one I think of when I am sad and the one I will always love. We work hard at every practice and rodeo, and she has done a lot for me including help me. We have grown together, and have been champions together. She deserves the best and I try to treat her that way because, that's how she treats me. We have had great accomplishments together and have many more to come.