A barrel racer is a special breed of human. Please don’t judge us by our house or our clothes. We rather clean our truck/trailer/barn than the house. What makes a successful barrel racer is the people that support us. For me, it’s my husband. He fed our child and cleaned house while I was away. I haven’t gotten to go run away to a barrel race much this season and I was a bit stir crazy. When I said I wanted to run today, he check my fluids (truck) and my air (tires) and filled up my generator. I hit a barrel but when I came home, he said good job and asked if I had fun. Obviously, I had fun!
That is the the thing. We go into some weird withdrawals after not running. Sometimes it presents as depression. We lock out selves away and wait. I have only made 3 races this year. My brain was stuck. My mood was sour. I needed to run. It takes a special man to say “ok, go run.” Knowing the weather might not be in my favor and not knowing how my horse would do, he sent me on my way to go run. I said my prayers and asked to be safe and to keep all of us from injury. God’s will was done! I may have hit, but I was safe. I may have forgotten how to ride, but God kept us safe. That is the thing. That is what I asked for and I received.
My husband always tells me to go have fun. Not to win. Not to break a record. Just have fun. And I did!!!! He says if we depended on my winnings to live, it would be me, my horse and my dog. I don’t barrel race for income. I do it because I love it!
So when I came home, my child was fed, dinner for me, dishes done, and all is well. So tonight I ask you a simple question. Do you barrel race because you enjoy it or because you want to win?
As much as we would like to pray for something to happen, sometimes God just flat has other plans! Whiskey spent a lot of time with another trainer but didn’t get the rides he needed to become a good citizen. He was being good for me but still so green. I ended up asking for too much from him and hit the ground. He didn’t buck me off, he just got me off. I did get back on him and loped him five laps both directions in the round pen and rode back closer to the trailers. He was a saint.
I ended up hurting my bad hip and my back. I also had contusions on my hamstring. Y’all, the ground is harder when you are over 40! I reached out to find someone to put rides on him. Sadly, even though I loved how he worked with my horse, we had to part ways. I work on a schedule and he didn’t. But… I prayed on it! Whiskey cut his knee so I had a couple of weeks healing him while I prayed!
Now I have a choice between two trainers. One where he is with my BFF and will have access to two arenas, a round pen and lots of cool places to be tied up! Also, pasture riding! This trainer is willing to work cattle on him, haul him on rainy days to covered arenas, and expose him to a lot of things! She is confident she can get him over his baby stuff like hating spurs. I really like her positivity and her mentor! Not to mention that I can go ride him when I want and I know my BFF will keep me posted on his progress!
The other is a professional trainer about an hour and a half away. He mainly trains western pleasure. I know he would put the rides in but it would be similar to him being far away like before. Also, he would not have cattle work, pasture work or anything like that. But he would have a heck of a handle on him!
I decided to go with the first one. I’m attached to this colt and really want to get him to where I can saddle and do whatever I ask him to do without him questioning me all the time! So say some prayers that this works out for us!!! Also, this means I will have Four, the grey mare, as a lesson horse! Yay!
I’m trying. That is what counts! It’s been a hot minute since I responsible for riding a young one with just the basics! But I’m trying! Whiskey is a smart horse. He is also lazy. I love a lazy horse! Why? Because you can always speed one up but you can’t always slow one down! He likes to see if I’m going to “make him” do it. Whatever it is. Sunday, we argued over a muddy spot in the round pen. Granted, it was slick, deep and soul sucking mud. He would go through it without a rider but not with me on his back. In fact, he got half way into the mud and parked. Zero reaction. Kick and kick… nothing. No flinching. No movement. Uber frustrated, I decided to throw him in reverse. He would not go to the side but he did reverse. So I stepped off, put the halter on and made him do it lounging. Then I got back on and did a BUNCH of little roll backs getting him closer and closer to said mud. Finally he gave in and walked through it!!!! Yahoo! Next thing I did was ride to the gate, let us out of the round pen, and we rode around the front pasture aka the arena! He was soooo lazy. I could not get him to do anything but walk. However, he did go through the mud. He did let me open the gate from his back. He did stop and reverse with ease. He actually rode good. Just all at a walk!
Today, Tuesday, I decided to ride again. Y’all, I’m trying to ride as much as my body will allow! So I caught the little booger and proceeded to clean him up for our ride. Of course we did a few laps in the round pen and I decided to do the ground work with the mud puddle before getting on. Shocker, he went though it on first request today!!! So again, we went to the gate, let ourselves out and rode in the front! I decided we needed to trot and then I decided we could do some circles trotting! I haven’t really gotten him used to spurs yet. So I used my split rein to smack him when he flat refused to increase his speed. He is not afraid of that either! Success! We trotted and did some figure 8’s, worked around some random barrels and poles, and FINALLY got a sliding stop! I found the whoa button that works for him! Feet forward, butt down, shoulders back and WHOA. Slid a little then went right into reverse!!! We did that three times. I’m starting to remember little things like that. The cues I give to teach and ride!
I love my riding app. It shows my route pretty well. I had a W pattern set up and then just random barrels. Trot poles. And cones for my figure 8. However, we just started doing some big circles at the trot! I am super excited about how he handled the ride today! My brain is actually encouraging me to ride the way I ride. My gut says “what are you doing now? You are on a baby!!” But my brain says “dude, he is lazy and smart. Ride.” My body is appreciating the fact that we are moving again! It complains a little but it’s opening my hips back up and moving my spine. We have rain coming tomorrow. I will update y’all after our next ride!