Taming Broncs | An Essay by Sophia D’Agostino
Sophia D’Agostino is the 2nd Place Winner for Grade 10 in the 2017 Your Favorite Seton Course Essay Contest
“Ain’t them horses beautiful?” the cowboy asked, as I watched hundreds of these Equus ferus caballus being shown to potential buyers, of whom I was one, “What d’ye think?” This sudden address woke me from my reverie as I replied, “They are quite prepossessing, but I am still uninclined to take a risk on any of them.” “Gee, ye’re sure hard to please,” he drawled, “but this cowboy agrees with ya; if you’re hankering after some real hossflesh, then follow me!” I willingly obeyed, as he led me into an enclosed corral. Before showing me what he had, the cowboy proudly explained, “This here horse is one mean fellow, but if its looks and spirit ye’re after, then take a peek at this one!” Directly opposite us, there stood the loveliest horse I had ever set eyes upon; its golden coat shone beautifully in the sunlight, with a mane and tail of the purest white conceivable, a tapering head and flashing eyes. The most attractive quality of this horse was its noble, defiant stance, with head carried high and nostrils dilating, as it suspiciously eyed us. “I am certainly willing to take on this stallion,” I said eagerly, “What’s the catch?” He promptly replied, “The hoss’ name is English, and few have been able to master him; if ye’re up for a challenge, then he’s yours, but I tell ya, it won’t be easy. ‘Struth, I believe you’re in capable of taking him on.” “I’ll take that risk,” I said quietly, “but I believe that with perseverance, a gentle hand, and diligence, you’ll be surprised at the result.” With that, I closed the deal and embarked on the greatest challenge of my life. To master English, and show him off to the best advantage is my dream, and perhaps I will be among the few who have. With the help of my excellent friend Set Onscool, and a good disposition, I have a chance. I love to work with English, it is quite an exciting field of interest, and it constitutes the aim of my professional future as a novelist.
My favorite subject is that of English, which also encompasses reading, writing, and grammar. Taking on English was proving to be quite the task. I found that he had the spirit of three horses combined, the coyness of a damsel, and an unconquerable disgust of being ridden or controlled in any way. But how could I not forgive him, when he was so captivating! After each grueling session, during which I could barely maintain my seat, I learned what wonderful qualities he possessed. Having the face of a prince, muscles of iron, graceful carriage, and lovely gaits, he would be capable of performing any discipline I chose. Similarly, English presents me with the opportunity to make a choice. I could choose to become a poet, a journalist, a researcher, an essayist, or elect from among thousands of other professions; but the skills necessary for any one of them can be acquired through that one simple subject, English. However, to achieve perfection in English is comparable to breaking the spirit of three recalcitrant stallions. The first obstacle is comprehension; in order to write well, one must be able to read and understand the usage of words, in any manner of communication. The second challenge is grammar, through which one learns to communicate in logical and structurally correct sentences. The last stallion to be broken is the art of eloquence. This represents the ability to express oneself in an intelligent and engaging way; it demonstrates one’s mastery of a language. During the learning process, English is sometimes attractively agreeable, and at other times becomes extremely hateful. With perseverance, however, it becomes quite tractable, and one can wield words without any difficulty whatsoever. Thus, even though I get quite exasperated with English, I can observe a gradual, almost daily improvement which gives me the encouragement I need.
Because of the scope of the English language, it is a truly exciting field of study. Working with English has proved to be my most challenging yet rewarding venture yet. Each day pushes me to be at my best, work hard, and achieve perfection. He finally allows me to ride him in relative peace, but I have not yet harnessed his full potential. What longing I feel whenever I sit astride his strong back, feeling his virility and energy! English has formed some affection for me, but he is still uncontrollable, and refuses to do what I please, unless it is in agreement with his own ideas. I would not have advanced as I have if it were not for the advice, encouragement, and invaluable help afforded me by Set Onscool. He has provided me with a regimen and goals to work for, so that I am not focusing my energies in the wrong directions. The English course that I am currently taking is skillfully combined with other subjects and arranged in a manner most conducive for advancement. Seton Homeschool provides me with the guidance I need to attain excellence. It is a rich educational experience, and I hope that I am making the best of it, both for my own good and the good of others. English is fascinating to me because of its variety and singularity; I can develop and perfect my own unique style and my writings become, as it were, a reflection of myself. Truths and good examples can be communicated through books for the edification of the readers and the glory of God as well. With Seton’s help, I can be at my best, and gain the experience I need for the present and the future. The English language, though finite, appears to have no limitations for the creative mind.
The skills and technique acquired through the arduous study of English, I mean to apply towards the future goal of authorship. Now that English and I are passably acquainted, I am beginning to visualize an equestrian practice in which we would both excel. With that intent, I can coordinate and knowledgeably carry out our exercises in the most suitable manner. The most difficult part of this beneficial arrangement is the horse itself. English is the most obstinate creature that ever walked the earth. I may have my own plans, but to carry it out without his consent is well-nigh impossible. The beauty of this, however, is that when I master him, it will be in an entirely unique manner, with my own personal touch. That unity of mind and will between man and beast has not yet occurred, but I am increasingly hopeful. The rich selection of literature with which I have been presented has inspired me to pursue the course of writing novels. To be able to write an engaging, exciting story that captures the mind and inspires the heart, is a beautiful skill worth cultivating. The indispensable experience and skills required for successful authorship are given to me by Seton Schooling through their comprehensive English assignments. Someday, I hope to add to the rich annals of English literature and give proper credit to the excellent training I am receiving. To become a professional novelist, even on a small scale, is my personal ambition.
I prefer English above every other scholarly discipline, it is a stimulating subject, and I am presently pursuing the course of fictional writing. Now that I am finally managing to maintain a proper seat on English whithersoever he wishes, I must learn to lead him where I wish to go. Each day finds me, an exasperated, dirty rider, futilely pulling on the reins, as opposed to that lovely, golden horse who appears more at ease than ever (namely, whenever he mocks my desperate attempts to curb his will). But as I said, perseverance, a gentle hand, and diligence will overcome the most obstinate beast of labor. Starting with simple exercises, and graduating to more complex routines, English and I are becoming more coordinated, as horse and rider should. Even though he often raises my ire, I find some selfish satisfaction in the fact that he allows no one but me to sit astride his back. The day will come when we will each find our position relative to the other, and then we will grace the equestrian realm with great success, and dazzle the eyes of those stickler judges. There is no need to tame broncs, though; try tackling English at your own pace.
About Sophia D'Agostino
Sophia Faith D’Agostino is enrolled at Seton Home Study School and is currently in the tenth grade. Her favorite subjects are English and Biology, and she enjoys reading, cooking, playing the piano, and sketching in her free time. Though presently contemplating a literary career, she would also like to be a piano performer, a cook, or even a horse trainer. She has previously been involved in a variety of sports, including figure skating, gymnastics, and horseback riding. She is one of three children, having an older and a younger brother. Sophia was born in New Jersey, but has lived in both the East and West coasts of the United States, travelling cross-country twice in a small car. Besides having settled temporarily in five states, she has also lived in South America and Japan. The flexibility of the Seton Homeschooling program, as well as the educational advantages it provides, is helping her to acquire a solid education despite her frequent moves.