I have not really ever hauled a Horsw to the race without one for myself to ride. However, I did just that this weekend! One of my students, Maggie, went to her first big race! The whole weekend was totally different for me!
First, I will say that this kiddo is almost 12. She is a quick learner and such a positive kid! I’d like to think that I had a hand in that attitude but I’m going to give all the credit to her parents! She is a Boy Scout, (yes, Boy Scout), volleyball player, rides English and rides western! But… with all that going on, she made the decisions on what to do. Her parents encourage her to figure out her own path then help her get to where she needs to be to follow said paths! She is a middle child of 3. Not once have I ever seen this child throw her sucker in the dirt!!! Never! Not a single time!
To start off, she has gone to some playdays, attended several of my races to watch and always ends up on a horse. She has fallen off. She has gotten back on. She has made mistakes but corrected them and she ALWAYS loves on the horse she is riding!!! ALWAYS! This makes the coach a happy coach! (Me) I applaud her efforts every single time she rides yet she doesn’t need that constant pat on the back! But she will smile and love that horse like they won a million bucks! Man oh man! You just don’t get that sort of competitive yet loving nature all the time! This is why I had zero negative thoughts about loading up and heading out to a weekend race for this kiddo!!! I knew, no matter the outcome, she would come out with a smile, learn from the experience and get ready for next time! And she did! First run was a little sketchy. She did get a no time due to just having a little too much control on the seasoned 19 year old Splash. We made some adjustments and had them ride bareback late that night. Her comeback the next day was amazing! And that is why I coach! I love seeing them recognize the issue, putting the changes into action and seeing them progress!
As for me, y’all, I have only run my horse maybe 4 times in 2021. It’s been a rough year! I’m finally starting to heal and ready to get my horse in shape. It’s an odd feeling. Going to a race without my mount. I had so many friendly faces ask me if I’m ever going to come out of retirement. Last time I ran was spring break? I think? It doesn’t seem so long ago! I was simply shocked that so many thought I hung up my Spurs! I didn’t. I just had a lot of jaw dropping injuries (not all horse related but barn related) and just need some time to heal! 💪🏻 I need to get back at it! So thank you to all my well wishers. Is that a word? I will be back on my pint soon! Lynx was plum pissed when I loaded up his older brother and left for the weekend! He is still pouting!
So here is three cheers to barrel racing! To taking the time to heal myself so I can be the best rider for my main mount! Honestly, right now, I am enjoying coaching and watching my students grow and thrive through the love of horses! Rock on kids! This week, I may even coach from the saddle! 😜