Bullies is a 7 letter word that can bring hate into somebody's life. I was bullied for so many years because I loved riding horses. My mom and dad put me in everything from dance, to gymnastics to Karate and even swimming- all were fun but not like riding horses. I did not want to just sit around playing video games all day. To be honest, I found myself stuck in the middle- should I give in to the bullies and stopped what I loved to do? Or did I continue getting bullied? I felt there there was no physical way to deal with it without getting physical myself which was NOT the answer. I decided not to let the bullies bring me down or at least I try to.
My love of horses started at the age of 3 when I first started riding. ( I am now in 6th grade) My parents thought it would be a great idea to put me in different activities at a young age, such as gymnastics but I quickly grew out of that realizing my real passion was the horses. I was in kindergarten when my parents bought my first pony, Sprinkles. On my first day of Kindergarten I was so tired for my lesson but went anyway and as I was walking around on him I laid my head down on his neck and fell asleep! Sprinkles was so good he just continued to walk around the ring until I popped my head up, about 20minutes later. My trainer was so surprised but we all knew after this I was going to be a rider no matter what it was in me. I only had Sprinkles for about 6 months before he died. I was heart broken and just needed some friends who would understand what it was like to lose a friend. The only ones that understood were the older girls from the barn and they all gave me hugs and cried with me. My friends from school didn't understand because they never rode horses or even had a horse.
The real bullying didn't start until I was in 1st grade. It just started as why did I enjoy that and why didn't I play soccer or softball like all the neighborhood kids did which I had never showed interest in. There was a boy in my class who would just hold his nose when I walked by and it made all the other kids laugh. I didn't know why they all did that to me until now. I was always being laughed at and the name calling started when I was in 2nd grade. I didn't tell anyone because the school policy was that you didn’t tattle. I didn't know what to do other than act sick everyday. That only lasted a few days until my mom found out what was really going on. My mom said that she would handle it and I was happy that it would stop. My mom when I need her to be gets angry and handles things like a champ. First, she sent an email to the teacher. She also informed the principle at the time and the school counselor. I thought the name calling and laughing would stop after they were contacted but it didn’t, it continued day in and day out. I didn't understand because horse riding is a sport. I was just doing a different sport. I saw the school counselor daily as she told me to find my voice and tell the bullies to stop. I was afraid to hurt feelings even though my feelings were being hurt.
I fell off of my pony and was in the hospital for a week. I broke my arm in half and had 3 surgeries to fix my arm. I heard the doctor once telling my parents he didn't think I would have full range of motion ever again. I thought after this the kids or my so called friends would be there for me. Again I was shocked to see who would stay by my side. For therapy for my arm I went into swimming for a year and no one called me names about smelling like chlorine. It was after my last surgery I told my parents I needed to ride, that horses were in my blood. I think my parents were worried about the name calling again.
My mom did everything to help again but this time it was different the name calling turned into blocking me in a school bathroom. I was shoved up against the wall by girls I didn't even know and was called smelly horse girl and told that I looked like a horse. The name calling doesn't hurt as bad it was being blocked in a bathroom with girls that knew who I was and knew what I like to do as a sport.
I decided to be strong and take a stand against the bullies which is often hard to do, with the principle I went to the different classrooms and pointed out the girls who were my bullies. It took a little while to get better but was glad I finally did and they were finally leaving me alone. I thought about giving up my life of horses but that would have given the bullies the upper hand and I would have lost what I loved most.
I love this school year because the girls who once bullied me by calling me names are now trying to understand my love for horses. I don't fully trust them because of the years of name calling but am happy to have a good school experience again. When horse show season starts if I do well I bring my ribbons in and explain it's harder than any other sport because I have to trust a horse, that is 1,200 pounds and I have to control it. They can't say the same about softball or soccer.
In the end I didn't let the bullies take me down when they tried to break me, if they did break me they would have won and I'm not a quitter not when it comes to my love for riding horses. I was 5 years old when it started and now I'm going on 12. I'm sure I will continue to run into name calling and even physical abuse by ignorant girls and boys, but it will not "BREAK ME".