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'An inexperienced pony' - Common app essay - topic of your choice


chanty318 1 / -  
Nov 26, 2012   #1
Thoughts please?

I have an addiction. Yes, it sounds bad but it's true. I need it to survive. It started
as something for fun, something that I did here and there to entertain myself. But my
affection quickly grew to obsession and I have been addicted for close to 14 years. I was
introduced to my expensive habit when I was young. Before I was born, in fact. My mom
suffered from the same addiction, which forced her to indulge in her dependence while
she was pregnant with me. Some would say that she put me in danger. I say that she
introduced me to the most incredible thing in the world.
I really only understood two things when first started riding horses: 1) I was
sitting on a massive animal and 2) they smelled a little funny. My parents bought only the
best horses for me and I spent the first few years of my riding career bouncing on top of
chubby little balls of fur that are more commonly referred to as ponies. They would bring
me around the show ring and I would go home at the end of the day with a big blue
ribbon that I was so happy to have, I didn't care how I even got it. Having fun was the top
priority when I was five and winning was the most fun I could have.
When I was in 7th grade, my mom bought me a very young and inexperienced
pony. She was beautiful but my capabilities were nowhere near the capabilities needed to
effortlessly guide this creature through a course of solid obstacles. The first few months
were hard. I was easily frustrated when the pony refused to respond to the things I was
telling her to do and I immediately concluded that it was her fault. But with time, I
realized that I was still learning as well and I decided to try a different approach. Instead
of expecting and demanding, I patiently spent months finding the right buttons to press
and levers to pull to make her the superstar I knew she could be. After 9 months of
training, we finally won our first championship. I was so proud, not of the ribbon, but of
the fact that I was diligent and patient enough to not only teach myself, but an animal as
well.
I look back now and realize that this pony has changed my life beyond riding. I
was previously spoiled. I had everything handed to me and expected to receive all the
benefits without the work. Going forward, I realize that I have to work. I will gain
nothing if I expect to receive everything, whether it be related to horseback riding, or
everyday life. The only way I will truly gain is by learning through hard work, patience,
and diligence.
lulwut 5 / 26 1  
Nov 26, 2012   #2
Though I have seen a lot of essays on riding horses, I must say, this is my favorite. I really like the humorous way you start off the essay!

"1) I was sitting on a massive animal and 2) they smelled a little funny."
I think that it would make the essay appear better to actually write out the numbers and use colons instead of parentheses. "One: I was sitting..."

There should also be a comma between "animal" and "and".

"Instead of expecting and demanding, I patiently spent months finding the right buttons to press and levers to pull to make her the superstar I knew she could be."

This sentence seems a little awkward when I read it. Maybe consider inserting "results" in between demanding and I?

"I was so proud, not of the ribbon, but of the fact that I was diligent and patient enough to not only teach myself, but an animal as well."

I would probably split this into two sentences. "I was so proud. Not of the ribbon, but..."
The end of the sentence also seems a bit wordy. You could consider changing it to "...patient enough to teach myself as well as an animal." It sounds redundant to say "but" twice.

"I will gain nothing if I expect to receive everything, whether it be related to horseback riding, or everyday life."
This statement doesn't seem broad enough in my opinion. Consider adding something like "or any other aspect of life.", or maybe substituting it for "or everyday life."

"The only way I will truly gain is by learning through hard work, patience, and diligence."
This is another sentence that sounds a little awkward. I would change it to:
The only way I will truly gain anything is by learning through hard work, patience, and diligence.

I also feel that your writing seems too much like a story and not enough like an essay. I'm not sure if colleges will like that. Maybe you could drop fragments from the last paragraph into the middle of the essay?

I hope this was of some use to you! Please give my short answer a review too.

EDIT: One more thing. I think that you should choose the first essay prompt:

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

What you wrote about is definitely a significant experience, so I think that it qualifies. I hope this helps you make revisions!


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