Keyword Exclusive - More lessons aboard a horse
Supplement to "Barrel of Fun”
“I don’t want this,” proclaimed Kenzie Gentry to the judge. “I want money.”
Kenzie’s parents, Valerie and Kenny, were aghast. Here was their 7-year-old daughter telling an adult she didn’t want a trophy she had just won. Kenzie knew that she already had a lot of trophies and that horses were expensive to keep. She had already won money in several events. At her tender age, she just didn’t know why that wasn’t appropriate to discuss at this moment.
That misstep, however, taught Kenzie about gratitude and being gracious, even if things are not exactly as you wish they were.
Kendall Gentry was competing in a barrel racing competition in Shelbyville. The arena was indoors, and unbeknownst to Kendall—the first rider that day—the ground wasn’t as solid as it looked. She hit the course fast and, rounding a barrel, her horse’s feet slipped and the horse fell with Kendall on his side.
Fortunately, no one was hurt. Perhaps as important, Kendall learned to take responsibility for her actions and attitude through the mishap.
“I found out that 99 percent of the time, the rider is at fault in an accident,” says Kendall. “It was my fault, not his.”
Accepting responsibility is a lesson many adults have not learned, but Kendall has that one down pat. She also learned to look at every aspect of a situation before competing, even the ground beneath her feet.
Kenzie Gentry had always wanted her own young horse. Like her sister, she wanted a baby she could train herself. Then one day she got what she wanted. Now she had to figure out how to train a horse.
“I love challenges,” declares Kenzie.
Good thing. Kenzie accepted the challenge, applied what she knew, watched older sister Kendall, and learned through trial and error. Today, Dazzle, as she named the young horse, will do most anything for Kenzie, and Kenzie learned how to succeed at a tough task.
The rodeo is one big family, according to many of the parents whose children compete. The kids form solid friendships although they are from different parts of the state. When they see each other again, it’s only natural that they want to talk.
Kendall says her most important lesson came from this situation. She had to learn when to have fun and when to “take care of business.”
“I learned I had to focus on the task at hand first,” she says, “and then have fun with my friends.”
To read the Kentucky Living June 2011 feature that goes along with this supplement, go to Barrel of Fun.