Identity Crisis

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 My barrel racer identity has been revoked.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!!!

Whiskey aka “Skeet Rey Scott”

Trusting The Process

When you have horses and you compete, there are soooo many things that make you step back and scratch your head. Sometimes you have to scratch an event due to injury or sub in a different horse that you were not really ready to enter up.

Something I have learned over the years is that God has a reason. His path for you may not be the path you prayed for but it’s HIS path. We have all thrown our suckers in the dirt. Trust me. I have been there many times. Then I ask God “Why”? I have since learned that if I pray over the situation before I start, I am asking WHY less. Instead I chalk it up to God’s desire for me. Let me see if I can put my example into words.

In 2011, I gave birth to my son. As soon as I was ready to start riding, I did. I had Gabe the Babe as my finished 10 year old. I had Zbar Lynx To Cash as my up and coming and I had Joes Streakin For Cash to exhibition on so I concentrated on legging up Gabe and Joe first. We went to several races until July. The first week of July, Gabe set back, flipped over and broke something in his SI area. His hips basically. He was done. This is a horse that never set back. He was my easy going, do anything, faithful horse! I was crushed! I asked God why. I threw my sucker in the dirt. On top of that, Joe was cold backed and I didn’t feel confident on him enough to haul him. Again I asked WHY, God??? He whispered to me to look at the gangly 4 year old standing right there! I didn’t think Lynx was physically ready. He was awkward, but man oh man was he broke! I decided I would concentrate on Lynx.

Gabe was down for a year before I was able to re-check him and find out that he had some arthritis really take over so he was for sure just going to be a light riding horse. Yes, I cried, prayed, cried… But Lynx was doing good! I set Joe aside because I knew something was “off” with him. Lynx went from the 3D (yes, he started in the 3D) to the 2D and bumping the 1D here and there. I began to pray before each ride, each run and I found that my sucker didn’t get thrown in the dirt anymore!!!!! Why? Because I was learning to trust the process! No, we were not bank rolling but we improved every ride, every run and that, my friends, was a success in my soul! Yes, I was still bummed about Gabe and Joe but Lynx… my gosh, that horse is amazing!

Moving forward. Lynx came down with pneumonia. It was BAD. He came down with it right after I had finally figured out that Joe had a broken splint bone in his hind leg. We did the surgery to fix Joe and had to leave Lynx, for six weeks, at the vet. I was told that his lungs might never be 100%. He might never get to run again. I hit my knees and prayed HARD. God says to me— look at Joe. Ride him. I have Lynx, ride Joe. So I did! Joe and I went to a lot of jackpots to exhibition and honestly, he was not “my style”. He was gritty. He liked to turn that barrel in four wheel drive. I decided to sell him so he could excel with someone else. It was HARD. But I did it. Then Lynx was ready to leg up! The Power of Prayer had healed his lungs! But, he is a bleeder. So I had to pick and choose my races and run him on lasix. No big deal! Lynx quickly moved up the ranks to 1D local and 2D at bigger shows then 1D at bigger shows!!!!! It was such a blessing!!!!

Move on to this year. Really starting last year. Lynx developed a limp in his front right foot. We did the injections. I turned him out. I pulled his shoes. I prayed. I also brought home a little bay horse named Whiskey. He is young and full of it. I really was in a funk about Lynx. We had over 10 years of amazing runs! He won five saddles and I’m not even 100% on how much $$$$$$ he brought home. Every single run was a blessing. Whiskey went to school and Lynx was diagnosed with a core lesion in his deep digital flexor tendon. It’s a fate I do not wish on anyone. Shockingly, he recovered! I was told he would never recover! He had been turned out for about 3 months. I had the vet re-check him and it was gone! The vet even said “I don’t know whom you prayer warriors are, but keep them around because this is an act of GOD”. I was so excited! We worked out and finally I entered a race 3 months later. One race. It felt AMAZING. God blessed me with one more run on this athlete!!!! Sadly, his lesion happened again. And he got another one on his left front. This time, I prayed hard but I am accepting God’s process. HIS PATH for me is always changing.

Now I am comfortable with the idea that Lynx will never run barrels again. I might still be able to ride him. I might even get to work cattle on him. But no barrels. He is done. And since I am accepting God’s will, I’m at peace with that. I have a scruffy little bay colt that might just change my life! Whiskey aka Skeet Rey Scott, is also home grown (literally almost all of my horses are home grown) and has so much potential! I chose a trainer that focuses on more of the ranch versatility vs speed events. Many are questioning my decision. I am not. GOD told me to do this. I think God is wanting me to learn a new trade!!! So I will TRUST THE PROCESS!!!!!!

Skeet Rey Scott “Whiskey”

How did I do this?

You know, I used to barrel race pretty often on my horse Zbar Lynx To Cash. He has always been a powerhouse!!! I always enjoyed letting him fly in and turn three! It was a rush!!!! But, due to life, we have taken almost two years off. Now I don’t know how to do it!

We went to a race on Saturday. I was on the fence about running. I seriously considered putting a bit in his mouth (he runs in a light hack) just so I could slow him down. Well, he managed to injure himself so we didn’t get to make our run. However, I did get to ride in the arena after the race. Holy smokes. He was a freight train!!!!! We were just loping circles. I was having to keep him in the bridle! I had put my low port Myler bit on him so he would know we were not running barrels. I’m not sure how I ran him before, but wow… this horse is BROKE. He is responsive. He has been to so many arenas and won so much!!! He has mostly placed either in the 1D or 2D. He is now 15 and I am the only one that has ever run him on barrels! Now I remember why!!!! I think he would leave anyone else in the dirt!!!! Now I need to remember how to run him!!!!! My brain and body need to find that balance and control we once had while being astride this incredible athlete! Y’all, I’m not sure I know how to run Lynx anymore!!! Maybe I need to borrow a slow one to get my muscles back lol!