As as a riding coach and a barrel racer, I’m noticing that people are watching. They watch what I do. They analyze my gear. They study my horses. They are always watching!
What does this mean to me? Well, it means that I am influencing the people around me. How I handle myself will determine how THEY view me.
Looking back, and forward actually, I too am influenced by the people in my life. Always watching, looking, paying attention to their attitudes, thought processes, actions, and how they handle themselves. This is how I know others do this to me. I have met so many awesome horsemen (and women) in my life that I am sure I picked up my skills and enhanced my abilities just by watching them and talking to them.
So what does this mean? Why am I bringing this up? It’s simple! It means you need to always promote good sportsmanship. It means you must always treat your horses with respect. It means you need to do the best you can to be the best you. Not just at a race. In every forum (FB, Instagram, Twitter etc) as well as in your own head. When someone rants or vents on FB about bad ground or how a producer did poorly, I will go back and see how they did at that race. Yes, I will stalk them to find the root of the negative. I look to validate the source of their anger. That sets me up to how I look at them in the future. Same goes for at the races. If I see someone ripping on their horses, showing poor sportsmanship, ignoring the young people whom are trying to connect with them, my brain switches to a whole new perspective of that person. However, we all have bad days so I do take in the perspective with a grain of salt so to speak!
Someone once told me that I need to be more positive. I have always been an optimist. However, sometimes my realist side shows! Eek! So from that day forward, I do my best to be the optimist! Online and in real life! I try to keep my “bad days” private! Why? Because someone is always watching!
So be an influential person in a good way. There are many watching. They watch how you handle a good run or a knocked barrel. They watch how you handle the warm up arena. They watch how you treat your horses at the trailer. They listen to how you speak about your horses and the humans around you. They pay attention to how you bit up your horse, how you saddle, how you ride. Be a person that people look forward to watching! In a good way!!!!!
After saying all of this, I know I sound like I’m a pro or something. I’m not. I’m just the girl with the big red horse (and black one) that is super loud in a run and hauls butt to the first barrel! I’m always shocked when someone outside of my hauling group sends me a video of my run!!! Wow! They actually took the time to video ME! I’m so thankful for those videos! I also have my students that are learning from me. It makes me smile when I see a little of myself in them as they run or ride! It also keeps me on my game. It reminds me that I need to be a positive influence where ever I go. In every post. In every arena. Even at home.
Next time you go to rip on your horse for hitting a barrel, remember that 99% of the time, it’s the rider. Next time you run some young person over or a beginner in the warm up, remember that you are showing them how to be in the warm up. Let’s foster a better group of barrel racers! Let’s show them how to love the ride. Let’s show them how to be positive. Let’s show them to remember to thank their equine partners for doing the best they could despite the ground/rider/gear etc. Let’s make a pact to say at least one positive thing to a rider at the race. You would be surprised how talking to one rider in a positive manner will influence them! #bepositive #GloryToGod #BeaBlessing