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"Riding horses" - my University of Florida application essay

vturbyfill 1 / 4  
Oct 14, 2010   #1
I began riding horses when I was nine years old, but it didn't take long for me to catch the "horse crazy" bug that adolescent girls often acquire. I was at the barn every day after school, and on the weekends I was there from the break of dawn until dusk - absolutely horse obsessed. The "bug" usually only lasts for a few years until a new obsession or hobby comes along and puts horses out of the picture. However, this was not the case for me. With time, lots of perseverance and every penny of my savings, I convinced my parents to let me get a horse and begin showing in western reining. I had a dream, and in January of 2006, I decided that I was going to pursue that dream by striving to become a National Reining Horse Association Youth World Champion. I knew the haul would be long, and that the year would be tiring, but I was determined to turn my aspirations into reality.

Thirty-five horse shows and 30,000 miles later, the trek was completed, and I was awarded the National Reining Horse Association World Championship. What I gained from this yearlong experience, however, was much more than a just a world title. I developed perseverance from the relentless schedule of hauling from one horse show to the next, going into the show ring again and again. I gained self-determination because I knew that from the moment I entered the show ring, it was all up to me to succeed or fail. I learned that my thresholds for frustration, patience, and physical exertion could be expanded far beyond what I would have thought possible. However, I would say the most important principle I obtained is the belief that anything is possible with enough hard work once I put my mind to it. I have used these values in several aspects of my life, one of which is my schoolwork.

I have always been a good student, but after my year hauling for my World Title, I attacked my school work with fervency and unwavering force because I wanted to be the best student possible - another dream. Just like my horses, my academics became part of my self-identity. I pride myself on my determination. I know that no matter the class, the test, or the assignment that is given to me, I will be able to succeed because of my tenacious internal drive to excel.

Horses have given me memories, values, and an aspiration to become a large animal veterinarian to give back to the creatures that guided me throughout my youth. By specializing in lameness, I want to work rehabilitating horses that have undergone crippling injuries sustained from their equine profession. For the horses that have been injured and are incapable of being cured, I would like to open an equine sanctuary/therapeutic facility where the animals can live out the rest of their lives in peace.

Horses have played such a major role in my life, and I feel that many kids miss out on the wonderful experiences that horses have to offer. Therefore, in conjunction with my equine sanctuary, I have a dream to open a therapeutic facility for handicapped and underprivileged children who would otherwise never have the opportunity to experience the serenity and tranquility of a horse's presence.

I knew by the end of my first western reining lesson that horses were going to change my life forever. My passion for horses and my world title in the sport of reining have shaped me into the person I have become. These incredible life experiences have given me a high level of discipline, perseverance and responsibility which I look forward to translating into my academic efforts as a student at the University of Florida.
StillLifeWitHam - / 15  
Oct 14, 2010   #2

I love your essay - how you describe your experiences, what you learned, and how your dreams were shaped.

I didn't notice any grammatical errors but maybe someone else can check for you.

Good luck.
OP vturbyfill 1 / 4  
Oct 14, 2010   #3
Thank you so much for responding!!

In my paragraph (#5) about my dream to one day open a therapeutic riding facility, I'm wondering if I should inject something about wanting to expose the UF campus to the idea of volunteering in this incredible, developing field?

One aspect of the prompt I don't feel my essay addresses is how I will contribute to the UF campus community/citizenship ...
StillLifeWitHam - / 15  
Oct 14, 2010   #4
I assumed the essay was a personal statement. Can you post the prompt?
OP vturbyfill 1 / 4  
Oct 14, 2010   #5
Yes - sorry! Here it is:

In the space provided (3800 characters), please write a concise narrative in which you describe a meaningful event, experience or accomplishment in your life and how it will affect your college experience or your contribution to the UF campus community. You may want to reflect on your ideas about student responsibility, academic integrity, campus citizenship or a call to service.

I do see that it says "how it will affect your college experience *OR* your contribution to the UF campus community ... just wanting to cover the bases!
StillLifeWitHam - / 15  
Oct 14, 2010   #6
I think it fits well with that prompt. People tend to underestimate how their passion and accomplishments and sense of purpose affect those around them. You have all of those and those alone contribute to the community. But you also explained how your experiences will affect you in college (and beyond) and so I think your essay works well. I wish you the best of luck.
OP vturbyfill 1 / 4  
Oct 14, 2010   #7
wow - you've made an incredibly insightful comment about how people can underestimate themselves. Thanks! Best of luck to you too!
MoeMoe1 13 / 75  
Oct 14, 2010   #8
Inspirational that now you want to open a place for handicapped and underprivileged children for what you experienced! Good luck!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Oct 17, 2010   #9
In the first sentence, I think you should replace the word but with the word and.

from the relentless schedule of hauling from

Can you use a different word... you already used the word "haul"

I think it gets better and better toward the end of the essay. I really kind of wish this sentence was at the beginning of the essay, so that it is the first sentence the reader sees:

I knew by the end of my first western reining lesson that horses were going to change my life forever. ---Do you want to try moving that to the beginning so that it appears before the first sentence?

alexla 7 / 17  
Oct 18, 2010   #10
Hey, I love these types of essays. This is pretty inspirational. You illustrate the undying importance of horses well to us forum-goers and I think you'll do the same for adcoms. The only thing I would say is to elaborate more on what you're going to do as a student at U of F b/c of horses. If you planning on majoring in like zoology or something then maybe you can talk about that.

Best of luck!!
msdezee 1 / 2  
Oct 25, 2010   #11
Your essay is so good! I love the introduction. Your passion and determination really show through in what you've written. I am also trying to get into the University of Florida, so I know it's hard. But I wish you the best of luck!
ABoris 2 / 6  
Oct 25, 2010   #12
Essay is very solid.
Introduction definitely grabs the readers attention.
good work.
gloriaaa_26 - / 2  
Oct 25, 2010   #13
Your essay was overall great
it really caught my attention very inspiring

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