In the sport of reining, the number one rule is that your horse is easily guided-- that it will do what you want it to do and do it happily and without resistance. I always think about that as that's the way we should be as children of our Heavenly Father. Are we easily guided? Do we do what we're supposed to do without resistance?
Emily Winegar-- she's taught me how to be more outgoing. She always is smiling, and always says that the horse did good and she tried her best. She's way above her years as far as the work ethic and the determination. When she was 13, she was Reserve World Champion. When she was 14, she was World Champion. She's always smiling. That's her signature in the show pen. She's just always got a smile on. What I like about horse riding is it's a challenge. It's something that takes work. It's taught me a lot of self-discipline. I know what comes first in my life. I know what the priorities are. I mean church, and family, and school. She is really the ideal student to work with. When I have my little classroom session before we show, five minutes before we go in, she'll just recite to me everything that I told her. And then she goes out and does it exactly the way we talked about. When you show your horse, you want your horse to line up on the middle marker. And if you're off of that marker, then they can't give you credit. And so something I learned is if I always have my eye on the marker, that eventually my horse and I just end up on the marker. I think that can be related to the gospel in that if we're always concentrating on being a good example or concentrating on making it back to our Heavenly Father, if we really concentrate on it, we'll succeed. And we'll return there.
She's learned a lot from this sport that success is not always measured with a trophy. Sometimes it's just real small steps. About a year ago, I kind of forgot the basics. I had been doing really well, and then I kind of just leveled off for a little bit. The trainers got together to discussed it and realized, you know, Emily's improved so rapidly, we've got to go back to the basics. And so the sent her to a trainer who just teaches riders how to do the fundamentals. I just had to work on the really little things. And after I conquered those, then I was able to succeed more. It's like everything in the gospel. We have to go back to the basics. Are we saying our prayers? Are we reading our scriptures? Are we doing the basics? And if that's happening, the harder things will be a lot easier. And she saw that in her horse-riding. That was really the difference that helped her win the world championship.
We go through lots of horses trying to find the ones that are easily guided, that will respond to training and to teaching and become the ones that are really successful. And I think it's the same thing that our Heavenly Father hopes that we are as children-- is that we will be easily guided. That we won't resist. That we'll recognize that if we do what we're taught, if we follow the gospel, who knows what potential we can have.