Barrel Racing Life · Equestrian · Equine Article · Horsemanship · Lifestyle · Rodeo

A Barrel Racer’s Summertime Blues

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Hello, September!

Summer is quickly ending which gives me a slight bittersweet feeling as the 2016 barrel racing season comes towards an end in October. I still have a few races to go to this month and a few in October that I’m excited to go to. (For non-horsey updates click link above).

I’m already looking back on the show season, and feeling a bit disappointed that Forest and I didn’t make a huge improvement this summer. This was his first real summer being hauled to different arenas but I was hoping our times and runs would show more improvement. I also didn’t go to as many races as I was hoping too.

Part of that is getting familiar with a new area, finding associations and races nearby. It’s hard moving to a new area when you competed at home for your whole lifetime! Getting used to new associations and clubs is a bit challenging especially when Utah holds more local races during the week than on the weekends. It’s a bit hard to leave work early to make it to the race every other week!

Forest also spent most of February and March getting tuned up with a trainer in Blackfoot. We missed a few spring races.

The other big reason, was July and August was supposed to be our big barrel racing month. Forest however, thought differently and decided to get his leg caught in the barbwire fence one day. We moved the horses down into this huge pasture and the next evening I drove out to ride. I had a bad feeling in my gut that something had happened as I was driving out to the barn. Forest has recently gotten in a bad habit of fighting across fences last winter, but I thought since he was in a huge pasture with out a scheduled feeding time he might leave them alone?! Hmmm I was wrong.  As I was walking towards my horses they were in a group next to the horses across the fence. Roxy walked right up to me and greeted me, while Forest kept standing by the fence looking at me. I looked down and sure enough his leg, right above the hoof was stuck on top of the barb wire fence. As you can imagine, every worst scenario popped in my head. I walked slowly up to him to not startle him. He stood there very quietly and patiently, with a look of mom help me! I was able to lift his leg off the fence wire, luckily he had hoof in between the two barbs. After I let him stand normally for a second, I checked it over. He has a cut his across the back of fetlock area above his hoof bulbs, but luckily it was a clean cut, that wasn’t very deep. He did cut a bit of his coronet band on his hoof that is still healing up. Luckily, it didn’t look like he had struggled, because Lord knows what could have happened if he did. It also seemed pretty recent from the blood, so I was glad I went out to the barn when I did. Let’s just say it could have been a lot worse and I’m still thanking God that Forest was smart enough to not panic!

I gave Forest July off to heal up. His cut healed up very well. When I started riding him again after my chiropractor/vet gave me the okay,  he was still stiff and a bit out of shape the first few weeks of riding him in August. I decided to not race him in August and to save up for September, to prevent more injury and to get us both back in shape. Roxy on the other hand, got a lot of attention in July! She is doing awesome!

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Silly Forest!

I’m a bit bummed that we missed the July and August races, because Forest was doing so well in June (See Dash For Dollars Re-cap) . We made progress this summer in our times but I was hoping for more. Forest still is running in the 4D/5D times depending on the race format. Utah competition is really tough, but I was hoping we would be in the 2D/3D time zones by now. I’m hoping the next few races we have in September and October I can get him in those categories. He was pretty close to being in the 3D last June, so I know we can do it! Just need to get our confidence and rhythm back!

Videos and Results:

Here are a few videos so you can see our progress so far this 2016 year. Unfortunately I don’t have videos for all events.

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Forest and Roxy at a barrel practice

Overview:

When I first started writing this blog post, I felt a bit disappointed and sad in our performance this summer. Although, after looking through these times and videos I do see quite a bit of  progress this year, small progress, but progress nonetheless. It’s pretty amazing how we ran our slowest time on March 9 at the Golden Spike Riding Arena which was a 21.689 and improved it by quite a bit in May where we ran a 16.826!! We also improved our time in the Golden Spike Colosseum from last October. Most of our runs had some improvement, but I was hoping for more. We also had some up and downs but that is part of the sport. I’m really hoping to push Forest hard at this upcoming race and get us into at least the 3D division! That is our goal. I know we can do it!

As a horse trainer and competitor, it’s best to listen to your horse and they will tell you when they are ready.  I struggle with patience when working with horses. I tend to get caught up with all my high hopes and dreams that I push for. It’s easy to get disappointed if your horse comes along slower than you hope. In the long run, it’s best to listen to your horse and don’t over push them when they are not ready. The reward in the end is worth the roller coaster. Hopefully next year we will be in the consistent 2D/3D times and hopefully the 1D, because I would love to rodeo on this horse someday.

Here is a video of us practicing the other day. His turns are on point, just got to get that speed! https://youtu.be/OV5NeFAxN70

Here is one of Roxy and her first practice loping through the barrels. Sorry for the bad video, I was using a fence post! I promise her 2nd and third turns were pretty good. She is a cutie! I think she is going to catch on quickly to the barrels once we start working on our lead changes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kdnp8Jpo3qY


How was your summer competition season? Do you use blogging to help put things in perspective? How do you remind yourself to stay patient with a horse that comes along slowly?


 

 

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4 thoughts on “A Barrel Racer’s Summertime Blues

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