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
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
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
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?