Reacting to Life by #TeamDiO Member Cheyenne Spencer

People always say that “life happens”, well you never really knows what that means until you have been in your low of lows and high of highs. Struggling is the best way to find out what you are made of because struggling sucks, but struggling can also be an opportunity to grow. From the experiences I have been through have taught me that no matter what happens in your life, or how bad you struggle to get by, if you let it drag you down then you are giving in and not learning from life. I was raised by a single mother, I was always taught from a young age to work hard for anything and everything that I wanted because it wasn’t going to be handed to me. I started riding horses at the age of 2 and when I got older and started competing a lot more I realized that a lot of people are bought horses that are worth a lot of money and they go out and win every race. I got discouraged because we could not afford the best horses and I knew that if I wanted to win I would have to train my own horse. My grandpa helped me buy a young gelding that barley knew anything and was really bad about crow hopping.

I started him on the barrels and when I thought we were ready I started competing. We were not the fastest, but he would go in there and make the perfect run and that would always land us in the 4-5D everywhere we went. I won lots of buckles and saddles on that horse because he would go in there and make the same run every time and I was having the best time of my life running him. I got teased a lot because I did not have a “fast horse.” I didn’t care because everywhere I went I knew that if I trusted my horse he was going to give me 100% and we would almost always win money. My mom told me that people were jealous because even though my horse was not the fastest we would win all the time. I struggled for a long time wanting the perfect horse that I knew probably didn’t exist because we could not afford a lot. What I didn’t realize then was that when life gave me this horse that I had to train on my own that he would be the best thing to ever happen to me because he taught me that through hard work and determination that I could create my own perfect horse. As the years went on and I got older and more competitive I knew I needed another horse that could give my other horse a chance to have some time off.

We found a horse that was already trained and I was a little worried because what if I didn’t click with this horse because I didn’t train it? What if I don’t have that special bond like I do with my gelding? My mom brought the mare to our house before we decided to buy her so I could rider her to see what I thought. The mare had not been entered a lot and was still very inexperienced. The first time I rode her was at almost midnight bareback in our pasture. My mom asked me what I thought and if I wanted to enter a local rodeo just to try her out and see what we could do. I told her that I was willing to give it a shot and we entered the rodeo the next day and I was very nervous, I kept thinking what we mess up because I didn’t know her like I knew my gelding. I looked her in the eyes before I got on her and told her to trust me and that if she took care of me that I would take care of her. We ended up winning 2nd and made a perfect smooth run and at that point I knew we were perfect for each other. My mom and grandpa help me buy her and after a few years my gelding was getting older and I knew it was time to let him win with someone else. I sold him to a little girl that was just starting out in Junior Rodeos and I knew he would be prefect for her because he was the perfect kids’ horse.

I continued to run my mare and we have a special bond that I thought I would never get with another horse, especially one that I didn’t train myself. Now I know how those girls that had the best horse money could buy could continue to win, it was because they trusted the horse that carried them. I was able to train another horse and now compete on two horses that are very special to me. The quote “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it,” has a lot of different meanings to a lot of people, but to me it means that when life gives just enough it’s up to you to see what could be possible.