As a horse person, we tend to overlook our own injuries and keep going. Sadly, I have done this so many times! This summer has been very hard on me! Ironically, I’m dealing with old injuries that have caught up with me vs new stuff.

What is the issue? Well, we are a stubborn group of people. We love our animals. We prioritize them over ourselves. I was told by my husband to enjoy my runs (barrel racing) because I don’t do it for the payout. If I did it for the payout, we would be living under a bridge with a horse and a dog. True story! My body and brain simply refuses to not take care of my horses. One week after having total hip repair (not replaced) I was out feeding and blanketing my horses because we had a sudden cold snap. Y’all, I was on crutches and a very strict “do nothing” order. But I didn’t want them to be cold and they needed hay! My horse (Gabe) decided to kick at me and took out my right knee while I was on crutches that day. Yup! This was back in 2014. I had zero regrets. Stupid. I know.

Moving forward… my knees have taken a lot of abuse. I’m a barrel racer but mostly it’s been random stuff. My hip stability depends on my knee. My back depends on my legs. This summer I began having hip pain and knee pain. Then I dropped a metal water trough on my foot. All on the right side. Sigh. Instead of resting, I kept going. Bad move. What could have been 4 weeks of down time has now turned into a series of MRI’s, possible surgery and physical therapy. With all this going on, I developed bone spurs in my shoulder that are attacking my rotator cuff. ALL ON MY RIGHT SIDE. Sigh.

My last lesson

Now let’s talk about how and why. How did I go downhill? I kept going vs resting. Why? Because my brain said go when my body said stop. I love my students, my horses, and my life! Being grounded by doctors and my physical therapist has really sunk my ship so to speak.

What is next? It’s time to take care of my body. I’m still going out to feed my horses. Taking care to not carry things beyond what I can carry. I cannot throw a saddle on a horse. I cannot walk or jog while giving lessons. Even putting a bridle on a horse is painful. So I shall stop. For now. I have an MRI for my shoulder coming up this week. This will be MRI #7 this year. Yes you read that right. Did I mention that I had two ER visits this spring? Not accident related? Yup. Did I slow down? Nope! See the pattern?

As much as I love what I do, it’s time to slow down. Actually I’m past the opportunity to just slow down. Now I have to stop. It’s sad. I don’t like it. But I have to take care of myself! I will get things fixed, do my Pt and come back stronger! I will be mindful of my limits! I will give my horses kisses and their feed but leave the rest to my hubby. I WILL HEAL. God has a plan! I got this!

So Sweet

There is something so sweet about seeing my student progress into competition. Now if you follow me, it’s never about winning! It’s always about doing the best you can and working as a team with your horse.

Maggie and her Mom!

This 11 year old kiddo had her very first actual competition this weekend! I teach my students that even if you have a whoops, you finish the pattern. Well, Miss Maggie had a whoops on Poles and missed her first weave. No big deal! Keep riding!!! She did! She got a no time yet was happy with her run. Moving forward! On barrels, she forgot to sit for the first barrel. Now this horse is 19, but not automatic. He needs to be ridden. Like, sit, look up and pull. Not hard, but if you are out of position, he won’t turn. They made a half lap and she came back, turn the first, pushed to second and third to make a nice pattern! I was so proud of her for loving on Splash and telling me exactly what happened! Zero anger, disappointment, and total love to the horse that tried! Her last two events were great! Placing 6th in straight away barrels and 5th in the “odd event” out of 13 in her age group!!! Honestly, I didn’t care if she placed. It was all about being correct, riding the horse and not loosing her cool. She did just that!!!

When he got a little upset about the fourth even, she didn’t fight him. I had her stop, step off then we went back to the warm up area. Then had a talk of love and confidence. She mounted back up and went in easy for the last event.

One thing about playdays is that you don’t know what you will see. Normally it’s kids every where. Keeping calm, cool and collect as well as taking care of your horse is the main goal. Not getting angry, not working them into the ground and taking care to cool them down between each event is how I teach. I’m so stinkin proud of this kid for remembering her training and taking care of the horse before her own needs! Splash is 19. He loves to go. But he is very in-tune with this kid. I’m proud of them both! To put up with four events vs one is a lot for a barrel horse. But he did it!!! He worked great for Maggie! I’m so glad we have the first one under our belt, as a team, and look forward to these two moving forward!!!!!! Watch out world, Maggie is up and coming! She is ready to run some barrels and poles!

Me and Maggie!

So back to my lesson program. I want these kids to be confident when competing. I want them working as a team with their horse. I want them to understand that their horse is a huge part of the whole ordeal. With out the horse, you can’t compete! I also want them to have Grace, forgiveness, and be competitive but humble. That is my program folks! Its not all about winning!