The Brainiac gets Equestrian

Yesterday we took a little drive to watch The Brainiac compete in a horse show. We have done this many times before. But this time I was the most proud I have ever been because The Brainiac has some new obstacles that make being in a barn an absolute misery, but she keeps on competing anyway, because it is something she has a passion for.

You see, we recently found out that The Horse-crazy Brainiac is allergic to grass. And because hay is basically just dried-up grass, a barn is just about the worst place on earth for her to be.

Her eyes get red. Her nose turns into a faucet. And then she starts to sneeze like crazy.

It wasn't always like this. Back when she started riding at age nine, she didn't show any symptoms. But over the years things have gotten gradually worse.

But she is not giving up. She shows up for her weekly lesson and comes home clutching her kleenex.

Yesterday I held my breath while she rode around the arena, paying attention to the perfect transitions from walk to trot to canter, knowing that while she was focusing on signaling the horse she was also doing everything in her power not to sneeze.

Finally came the time for the riders to ride to the center of the ring for the ribbon ceremony. I heard them call The Brainiac's name.

And then I heard the sneeze.

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