When I was young, I rode horses. I rode them a lot! I jumped on and would take to the woods to ride! Then I was enrolled in English riding classes that were focused on jumping. I still rode the woods at the ranch but I began to develop some skills! I taught the old horses (they were just trail horses) new things and just adapted to their skills. After a year of English classes, I was granted my first horse!!!! He was a green broke Appaloosa that was race bred. This is when I began to develop my identity!
TJ was a smart, stubborn, but teachable horse. He taught me more about myself that I even realized at the time. I hung out with the barrel racers and the team penners. We had so much fun!!!! I bought my first project horse as a junior in high school. Gypsy was something else. I had to learn how to train a totally different way. Yet I was still a barrel racer. Many horses later, Gabe came into my life. Another one that would do just about anything I asked. We barrel raced. We sorted cattle. We rode trails. We taught lessons. We would randomly go help bring up a herd of cattle. Yet my classification was barrel racer.
Lynx was born and ended up with me just before I was pregnant with my only child. He was broke broke broke. A little quirky but so much fun! I took my 9 months off to cook my baby in my belly as motion sickness really kept me from riding. As soon as I was released, I found a way to ride Lynx, Gabe, Joe and Trip. Trip and Joe eventually were sold and Gabe injured himself in a bad way. Lynx was my only mount! We began to enter the races! I was so excited about how he moved up in the world of barrel racing. He took me places I had never gone. We won things that I never dreamed of winning. I have had a few since Lynx began his career but no horse was like LYNX. I was a barrel racer and we were a team!!!
Lynx is now 16. Lynx has been on and off for the last two years. We have raced maybe 5 times in the last two years. My barrel racer identity has been revoked. Whiskey came into my life a year ago and I’m anxiously awaiting the day I get to swing my leg over him! Currently, my classification is “riding coach”.
I’m am experiencing an identity crisis. I don’t know what Whiskey will be when he grows up. I cannot currently handle taking on another horse. Gabe and Lynx are retired in my pasture. I have two others to give lessons with and honestly, I don’t feel any joy to ride the lesson horses. I want to ride the colt.
This month I will turn 44. I never thought that I would cash in the barrel racing card. Honestly, I never thought Lynx would be down and out. I’m doing my best to turn him out. Let him be a horse. Let time heal. On the flip side, I feel that I may never be at the level of barrel racing that I was with Lynx. Oddly, I’m ok with that. If Whiskey has any desire to chase cans, we will do it. But I really want to learn a new trade. I’m a little exited and a little scared of what that means. But it’s ok. God has his plans. Trusting God to give me direction is really hard. I have to do it! Who knows? I might be a stellar showman!!! Whiskey might light a new fire in me to go show on cattle! I always liked to go team penning! I always liked to play on cattle! Maybe that is our path? Maybe a new door is opening? Only time will tell! I guess this is my midlife crisis??? I have even been looking at stock saddles and gear. My trailer is even ready to roll to a show. Now to get the horse ready to roll to a show!!!