second thoughts about PS topic.. halp?

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canuckian
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:00 pm

second thoughts about PS topic.. halp?

Postby canuckian » Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:30 pm

I am applying to Canadian law schools, and those statements are much longer (I'm guessing - 8000 char) than the US statements. So, this is just the beginning section of my statement, in very rough form, but I'm wondering if it's an appropriate topic to submit for law schools.

With bated breath, I entered the ring with stilled nerves and quiet determination. The air was damp, the rain was cold, but all I was concerned with was the 1200 lbs. animal beneath me. I had trained for this moment for months, and dreamt of it for years. I thought this was the beginning of my long journey to the North American Young Rider’s Championships, but, as I was about to find out, my dream would be cut short before it barely had a chance to begin.
I am an equestrian athlete of dressage, a sport predicated on a training scale that emphasizes time, dedication, and determination. Dressage requires the horse to learn gymnastic movements performed under saddle by developing muscles and sensitivity to the rider’s cues that requires years of consistent and correct training. I first met my horse, Winnie, three years ago. Despite her lack of training, experience, and show record, I trusted my eye for talent and purchased her on the spot. After achieving success at the lower levels in our first two years of showing, a well-known trainer took me in and coached me with the intention of qualifying for the 2010 North American Young Rider’s Championships. The NAYRC is a very prestigious yearly event for riders aged 18 to 21.
It would be a huge task to reach the level of training required of the event with just under a year of preparation, but since it was my last eligible year to qualify, my coach and I decided to go for it. Though Winnie was young and relatively unproven, she picked up on everything I asked of her extremely quickly. I began to feel very optimistic about our chances as we approached the qualifying show season.
As soon as I made my way down the centre line of the ring, something seemed off. Winnie was slow to respond to my cues right from the beginning of the test, something I had never felt from her before. She had a good warm-up, and I could not think of a reason for why she seemed to be ignoring me. As the test progressed and the movements became more demanding, she started to quit altogether, slamming on the brakes whenever I began to set her up into a difficult movement. Although we made it through the whole test, it was a total disaster. We failed to perform almost all of the most important movements, and our score was an embarrassment.
After the test, I was primarily concerned with having a vet check that she had not injured herself in some way before the test. She hadn’t. I thought that it might have been a case of nerves as it was the first show of the season, but the next day, when she performed even worse, I decided to scratch the rest of the show. Not only did I have to give up on my dream of making the Young Rider’s team, but my horse was apparently broken from some mysterious cause. It was the only thing I hadn’t factored in to my chances of qualifying – my horse’s self-confidence.
That’s the thing about animals; they’re animals. In the majority of elite sports, your primary concern is your own performance. In equestrian sports, you have to factor in a living, breathing creature with a mind of its own. If something feels off for an animal, they cannot communicate with you their feelings. Sometimes, no matter how prepared you are, things go wrong. It has happened to all equestrian athletes at one point or another, and is the reason why many of us are so humble. However, with this difficult lesson, a more powerful one forms: never give up. Try harder. Get back up on the horse.



The overall theme that I am trying to convey with this story - horses have taught me to keep going back, day in & day out, no matter what horrendous shit goes down. You never quit, you just try harder. I am not afraid of hard work. That's what horses have taught me from day one, but this particular case seemed to really encapsulate that for me (we later regressed down a level, spent 6 months addressing her confidence issues, and won our last national show.. & now we have even bigger goals for the future). Anyway, I didn't want to get too carried away with it, in case someone posts here saying it's garbage and to scrap it.

I'm mostly concerned it sounds to prissy, like, oooh me and my horse didn't win a huge competition, boo hoo. But also I'm not sure if the topic of horses is really accessible to most people. Anyone have any thoughts? Much appreciated!

canuckian
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:00 pm

Re: second thoughts about PS topic.. halp?

Postby canuckian » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:36 pm

Bump?

qualk
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:52 pm

Re: second thoughts about PS topic.. halp?

Postby qualk » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:02 pm

I am by no means an expert on personal statements, but I am applying in Canada as well so I get the length issue. We do have a lot more space to fill and while it makes things easier, in a way, it also means that we better have a topic worth devoting so much time to.

I think your topic is good, and I think your intro is as well. The only thing that I might change is this part near the end that says "they cannot communicate with you their feelings". I think "they cannot communicate their feelings with you" sounds less awkward.

Sorry I can't be of much more help. Like I said, I don't really know anything about this stuff, just trying to get mine ready to go and am having the same concerns about whether or not what I've written is appropriate. If you get a chance, I'd really appreciate it if you could look mine over as well, it's posted in my "looking for feedback" thread. I think the length might be scaring people off but since you're writing 8000 characters as well maybe we could help each other out! I'd be happy to read yours once it's finished too.

canuckian
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 4:00 pm

Re: second thoughts about PS topic.. halp?

Postby canuckian » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:28 pm

Thanks for the input, I really appreciate someone telling me I'm not being crazy haha. It really is a huge difference to have to add in about 1000 words more than other people. I would love to email you mine (which is now finished) in exchange for yours! I'll PM you my email now :D




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