I wanted to introduce you to my good barrel horse Rocket. We have been together since 2006 and have had many ups and downs over the last 8 years. When I purchased Rocket he was the horse of a young girl that had blown his mind. He couldn’t see a barrel pattern without breaking into a terrible sweat and jigging around the arena. The first time I saddled him after I bought him it took me quite awhile to get him cinched up, bridled and mounted. He jigged around the entire arena without actually going through the gate and had no “whoa”. I brought him home for Christmas break and rode him a bit without going to the arena and working on the pattern.

In the spring of 2007, I decided to run college rodeo on Rocket. We had a rough season and didn’t do very well. I brought Rocket home that summer and just let him be a horse. The next year we came back for college rodeo and had an okay season but ever pulled checks. I decided to leave Rocket home when I returned to school in the fall and just left him out to pasture and to be loved by my mom. He became a calmer, friendlier horse. He started to come around and want to be ridden again.

I decided in 2010 to start running him again at barrel races. In November, we went to race on a rainy Saturday after Thanksgiving. Going into the first barrel, he took a bad step and came out of the arena lame. Turns out he bowed a tendon on the left front leg. I left him alone and turned out to pasture to heal for about a year. In 2012, I made the decision to bring him back and chase my dream as a barrel racer. I joined NBHA and later in the season joined ACBRA. We had a rough start but once we got out groove back and I got in sync with Rocket, we headed to our first ACBRA finals in August and then to our first NBHA finals in September. In 2013, we ran hard all season to hit both association finals again. Rocket and I started pulling checks in NBHA and finished the season #1 in the 4D.

2014 has been a good year too. Rocket and I ran at our 3rd ACBRA finals and we are two races away from taking our second 1st in the 4D with NBHA. I don’t know how many more finals weekends we have left or even how many runs we have left, but I have learned a lot from this horse and I will forever be grateful for the biggest step toward my dream he allowed me. We are headed to the vet on Tuesday to have his hocks checked and to see if we will get another season of barrel racing. My seasoned horse will hopefully help me season the babies in 2015.

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