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Being a Teenager Isn't Easy

By Caroline Almy Hamilton

AKA Hope Hamilton


Being a teenager isn’t easy, but I made it even more difficult by breaking both of my arms while barrel racing in a rodeo.

Poison, my sleek lava stallion, exploded like a torpedo around three barrels that are in the shape of a clover leaf. In jockey position and glued to my saddle, I guided my steed as close to the barrel as possible.

This is a timed event, so I never wanted to knock a barrel over and get a five second penalty. As I crossed the finish line, my time was posted at 15.0

Like a train screeching its brakes at a stalled car on the track, I saw a young girl standing in the chute. I knew I’d knock her down like a bowling ball if I didn’t do something quick. I grabbed the reins and turned my horse’s head through a partially open gate I had just past. The neck of my horse didn’t make it through and both of my arms collided with a post.

They put screaming me in a screaming ambulance down the mountain passes to  the hospital.

The doctor’s diagnosis was not happy news. I broke both of my wrists.  He put my arms in right angle casts of white, thick plaster. I was very embarrassed for six weeks while someone else had to do the indelicate job of feeding me, wiping my derriere, and blowing my nose.

The good news is: I won with a time of 15.0 and my biggest competitor was 15.2. That made me feel like a lion licking my wounds but I remained king of the Pride. Or is that a prideful Queen?

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