Ok guys. In January, my vet gave me some heartbreaking news about Lynx. He had a large lesion on his deep digital flexor tendon. No real options available. Turn him out. No riding. No barrel racing. Nothing. Re-check in a year. I was DEVASTATED.

Know that Lynx is my heart horse. My champion. My main man. Telling me that I could possibly never ride him again broke something inside me. Well, today, he was not using that leg. He was a tripod. I went straight to the worse case scenario. My friend went with me to the vet to have him checked out.

First thing first.. hoof testers. Sure enough, he has an abscess in the foot. It’s a good one… but my gut said to have the vet re-check that deep digital flexor tendon. At first he forgot. I mean, he sees 30-100 head a day… so he forgot why I would ask such a question. But he did it… the lesion is GONE. Poof! Not there!!!!! He went and read his notes and looked again… the shock was felt by all! I was asked what I did… well, pulled his shoes and kicked him out in the pasture. Kept him on his once a month dose of summit but nothing else. I prayed a LOT. Loosing my main mount was soooo hard. So I prayed that God make it His will.

God has done some things in my life that I didn’t like, but they always worked out in the end. My first horse died in a freak situation and it forced me to step up on Gabe the Babe. Gabe got injured (broke his hip) when Lynx was 4???? And forced me to step up on Lynx and move him forward. Gabe came back for my son to ride a little. He is 21, can’t be saddled (gets really mad) but is healthy and ok for bareback riding. Well, Whiskey came into my life in December 2 weeks before Lynx was diagnosed. I asked God why He breaks my current horse to force me to ride the next in line. I prayed that this would not be the case for Whiskey and Lynx. I cried, I prayed, I decided to send Whiskey to get his ride on (broke to ride) and just settled in with riding Splash and Declan… not my personal favorite mounts but I needed to ride. Lynx would get depressed when he wasn’t caught to ride. I literally could feel his depression.

Lynx and Whiskey

So today, when I saw Lynx so bad off… my brain went to the worst case scenario and came home with more than I expected! I GET TO RIDE LYNX AGAIN!!!! LYNX WILL BE GOOD TO GO!!!!! Of course he has to heal from his abscess and then get re-checked…. and legged up….BUT, I got my horse back!!!!!!!!! GOD IS SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Please keep praying! We have to do some things before he is ready to go back to barrels but, it’s possible! All things are possible through Christ!!!

So Sweet

There is something so sweet about seeing my student progress into competition. Now if you follow me, it’s never about winning! It’s always about doing the best you can and working as a team with your horse.

Maggie and her Mom!

This 11 year old kiddo had her very first actual competition this weekend! I teach my students that even if you have a whoops, you finish the pattern. Well, Miss Maggie had a whoops on Poles and missed her first weave. No big deal! Keep riding!!! She did! She got a no time yet was happy with her run. Moving forward! On barrels, she forgot to sit for the first barrel. Now this horse is 19, but not automatic. He needs to be ridden. Like, sit, look up and pull. Not hard, but if you are out of position, he won’t turn. They made a half lap and she came back, turn the first, pushed to second and third to make a nice pattern! I was so proud of her for loving on Splash and telling me exactly what happened! Zero anger, disappointment, and total love to the horse that tried! Her last two events were great! Placing 6th in straight away barrels and 5th in the “odd event” out of 13 in her age group!!! Honestly, I didn’t care if she placed. It was all about being correct, riding the horse and not loosing her cool. She did just that!!!

When he got a little upset about the fourth even, she didn’t fight him. I had her stop, step off then we went back to the warm up area. Then had a talk of love and confidence. She mounted back up and went in easy for the last event.

One thing about playdays is that you don’t know what you will see. Normally it’s kids every where. Keeping calm, cool and collect as well as taking care of your horse is the main goal. Not getting angry, not working them into the ground and taking care to cool them down between each event is how I teach. I’m so stinkin proud of this kid for remembering her training and taking care of the horse before her own needs! Splash is 19. He loves to go. But he is very in-tune with this kid. I’m proud of them both! To put up with four events vs one is a lot for a barrel horse. But he did it!!! He worked great for Maggie! I’m so glad we have the first one under our belt, as a team, and look forward to these two moving forward!!!!!! Watch out world, Maggie is up and coming! She is ready to run some barrels and poles!

Me and Maggie!

So back to my lesson program. I want these kids to be confident when competing. I want them working as a team with their horse. I want them to understand that their horse is a huge part of the whole ordeal. With out the horse, you can’t compete! I also want them to have Grace, forgiveness, and be competitive but humble. That is my program folks! Its not all about winning!

Pain and Athletes.

When you are riding horses, in competition, you are riding an athlete. If you are using your horse to gather cattle, work the ranch or check fences, you are riding an athlete. In my opinion, all horses are athletes! Well, broodmares may not but they are still carrying around a lot of extra weight!!!! I do have a point… hold on…

Any time you stress your body to achieve a goal, your body must recover. Wether it be to get those miles in or finishing the fence that you have been building, your cells NEED to recover! Same goes for animals! Throw in some aches and pains…. and think about how you feel the next day! But, you as a human, can make the choice to lay low or push past. Our animal athletes do not get that choice. So how do we help them? What’s the game plan? Do you want your equine partner to have a bad day? Let’s see if I can help with that!

Gabe The Babe giving a lesson! He is 20!

So I have 3 geldings, Gabe who is now 20, Splash who is now 19 and Lynx sitting at 14! Seems odd that everything in my pasture is finished out training wise! Such a change for me! Anyhow, these geldings all have various things going on. Old injuries causing arthritis, being power houses when you ride or in Gabe’s life, being fat and lazy! Because I use my horses for lessons and two of them for barrel racing, I need to keep them feeling their best! First I will say, they are on an excellent feeding program! Next I will say they are ALL ON SUMMIT!!!!!! Summit has changed their lives! www.summitjp.com/resbarrelracing

Summit has helped them recover, restore and perform to their best of their abilities! It’s truly an amazing product! It is Chondriton 4 Sulphate! There is now a human product as well! Pure C4S!

So not only do I choose to take care of these equine athletes biologically, I also choose to work them out. Each horse has their own plan. Obviously, Gabe gets less work outs than the other two! Lynx gets the most! Splash gets at least 3 days a week! But I always start out with walking then trotting then loping. Lynx’s workout goal is 3 miles. Splash’s goal is also 2.5-3 miles and Gabe is more like 1.5 miles. I found that getting their heart rate and respiratory system moving helps them during the work day as well!

As far as soreness issues, I have found that for both me and my horses, Summit if helping beyond all expectations! I noticed that they are more eager to work out on day two. They are not near as grumpy on day two as they were before Summit came into our lives!!!! Lynx can easily handle a two day race now and even a three day! He no longer stocks up in his stall or fizzles out on the second/third run! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Splash is just ready to rock out! I have to slow him down a little to get him to warm up! But he is a lot more consistent in his warm ups now!

Overall, I feel like we may be expecting our horses to recover and repeat without thinking about how they feel. By adding in something to help with recovery, you will be helping them to be their best!