When the Corral Goes Empty 

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It's your senior year. You've had a lot of lasts, which includes your last year of showing. You have spent at least 4 years of your life chasing that title of "Grand Champion." You walk into that show ring and take it all in. You never realize how full the bleachers are, how the shavings feel under your boots, and the way the lights shine until today. You look at your family who are all showing different emotions, but sadness is shared for all. The people who have watched you grow up in the show ring are telling you how proud of you they are and wishing you good luck. Your fellow FFA/4H members are standing there supporting you.

You begin to walk in the show ring and your ag teacher is patting you on the back saying, "Go out with a bang." The need to win is now bigger than the want. You are focused and know that this is your last hurrah and you want everyone to know it.

The show ring is bigger than you remember. You smile at the judge and begin the long walk around. You set your animal up, the judge looks, and then begins placing them. You never realized how fast this process goes until today.

The judge didn't  pick you to win, or maybe he did. Either way your disappointment/happiness is met by sadness. You feel your corduroy knowing your about to hang it up for the last time.

Showing is an experience that some never get to dream about. For the rest of us that do, it's amazing and magical.    You try to tell everyone thanks for supporting you, but can't express the words you want to say. Your eyes are tearing up and you don't want anyone to see you cry, so you say you have to go tend to your animal.

Hanging up your jacket and giving up showing, is something that happens to us all. We never realize just how much of an impact showing had made on our lives. We never realized how quickly the time would pass. We never realize that all good things must come to an end.

If your showing right now, cherish it! Take in all of it and make as many memories as you can. It goes by fast and you'll miss it once it's gone.

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