Barrel racing isn’t just about going out there and winning, beating the girl on the expensive horse, or racing against the one who always wins the 1D. It is about bettering your run each and every time you step foot into the saddle and your horse runs through that gate.
One of the most important lessons I have had to learn running an older, less competitive horse, is that it isn’t always about pulling a check or winning the division. My job as a barrel racer is to running my horse to the best of my ability and to make sure that each run is better than the last. I strive to be consistent every time I swing my leg over my horse.
As I start to haul and run a new horse, a young horse, a horse that has never been competed on, I need to remember that we are not going to go out there and win every time. There are going to be ups, downs, steps back, and steps forward. Each run will need to be better than the last and if it isn’t, it needs to at least be a learning opportunity.
Many girls go out to win every time. I feel that I am a humbled barrel racer, winner and sportswoman because I have never had the fastest, most expensive horse, but I have a horse that takes care of me, teaches me all the time, and is consistent enough to keep me close to the top 10 in the NBHA, but does his best to keep up with the younger, faster horses in the other associations.
You are your only competition each and every time you step up on the horse you are preparing to run. How do you keep your head in the game and stay focused on your task at hand?