I remember showing up to my first barrel race; a local rodeo in my hometown.
I drove to the fairgrounds earlier that day to enter. I wasn’t a member of whatever organization it was, I was just some 14 year old kid who wanted to run barrels.
At the time I was riding this horse who never wanted to go fast. I trained him for the pattern in this small little patch of sand in our fields. Our property was beside a river and it flooded yearly. The floods left behind river bed, also known as sand all around the property. I hopped on the tractor and started to reassemble the sand into patches where my barrels would be. The pattern was no bigger than a 40×40 foot square. It was small but it got the job done
He ended up becoming a great 4d horse. At the time I didn’t even know what that was. (if you dont know what 4D is, click here)I just wanted him to try and go faster that day at the rodeo. I even breezed him a little at my house before loading up, hoping to get him excited and want to run like that later. Its debatable if that really worked.
I knew no one, We showed up in our tag-along stock trailer just in time for my event. I don’t remember being nervous or scared, I just wanted to go do a run.
My run wasn’t bad, I remember pushing him to go and we ran what felt like three nice barrels, first run complete! I didn’t make money but I was just as excited to have been in that arena!
Even thinking to my first few bigger first races, I remember a lot of it, but nerves were not one of them. At the time I just didn’t know anyone nor did I care. Staying focused on you is key.
I was so in tune with it just being me and my horse out there.
That’s all I cared about, I had a better horse, one that was all mine and I wanted to race! It was me and him. No pressure, no feeling dumb, just me riding my horse and being in that area I always dreamed about growing up!
Things change as we progress in this journey. One that should not is our level of excitement showing up to a race and running our horses! We must keep that fire alive, the fire I had as a 14 year old showing up to a random local rodeo.
I’ve fought with it a lot but at the end of the day I love it. I absolutely love horses and what they do for us. I love being able to communicate in such a way and always striving to do it better and faster. It can be so fun and beautiful if you let it.
So let it, show up as the eager younger self in you just crazy about horses and wanting to go run a barrel race. It can be as simple as that.