New Year…New….

I really don’t care much for the New year, new me phrase! I like me the way I am! Many people think of the new year as an opportunity to change themselves. I do it a little different! I plan to grow! Not change but grow! Whether that be in mind, spirit or body, I shall move forward! I would like to learn more about horses and how they work. In fact, I think I will find some cattle and give sorting a try! I am still going to barrel race! No doubt about that! But I have two cowy geldings that would be a blast to just work some cattle and enjoy learning more about how they work! I used to team pen back in the day! I was pretty darn good at it too! It was something I did to keep my barrel horse from being bored! Splash and Lynx both really love cows! So that is my goal this year. Lets learn something new!

Another thing I am super excited about is Summit! This product has changed my horse and dog management! My vet was shocked at how fluid my horses are moving! My 13 year old red heeler is actually playing with her siblings! She found a new lease on life! She has terrible hip dysplasia! She was beginning to get a little depressed last summer. I started her on Summit and WOW. She is jumping and running around like a pup! My retired gelding, Gabe, is back to giving lessons! He was 100% lame before starting on Summit. Now he is the horse I put the scared kids on to build their confidence! Heck, I even get on him and ride him around. He has also found a new lease on life at age 20! Splash and Lynx are rockin’ out on it as well! Last month they announced the new human product called Pure C4S. I took my loading dose and have taken one of my maintenance doses. My only complaint is that I feel good and too more than what I should, being out of shape and such! One thing I know about this product is that the longer you take it, the better you feel! My horses and dogs are proof of that! I would love for you to try it too! Check it out at www.summitjp.com/resbarrelracing

Watch out world! With my horses feeling like Rockstars on Tour and my body healing, we are going to blow the doors off!!! What doors? Not sure. But we will find doors to open!

My other goal or something I would like to grow….is my Faith. My Faith in the Lord and how he will provide! I think we all are befuddled by the state of our country right now. I have watched in wonder at the world crumbling around us. At the same time, God has blessed my home! I have gained more students! I have grown my company! My husband still has a good job! My son is doing great at his new school! RES is doing good! Then I go outside of my bubble and see all the masks being worn. All of the protests. All of the “madness” and all I can think is…when will this calm down?? In God’s time. That is when. I need to quit questioning HIS time. I need to pray more. I need to spread HIS LOVE more. I need to look at ways I can help MORE. I am not much for cold weather so I will do this from afar for the moment! But soon….soon I will be back out in the world spreading HIS LOVE!

With this post I leave you with one more thing. Stop and count your blessings! Count your loved ones twice!

Tomorrow is a new day.

Tomorrow I will turn 42. It’s a new day. I figured I should post something about the new age of ME. 42 year old me needs to focus on my life. I need to focus on my little family and my horses, dogs etc. I need to realize that others won’t understand where I am at in my life. See, when I turned 40, I didn’t realize how life had caught up with me. Now, I get it.

So my new thinking is simple. I have simple goals. I have simple thoughts. I tend to complicate them with emotions. When it comes to my horses, it is really hard to realize that we have aged! Where did time go? My focus has changed to now. Not later. Now. What do I want to do now?

I currently am thinking about the 2 day race this weekend. In reality, it’s gonna be a mess. Then got more entries than ever before! This puts my draw number later in the day than I would like. What to do? Well, I want to run both days. My body has decide that running at 9pm does not allow me to drive 2 hours home. How does this change me? Well, if I can’t run till late (after 7pm) and I can sleep in my trailer….. why not sleep then drive home? In the past, before 40, I would drive the two hours home and call it good. Now that I have reached a new level in life, why drive home in the dark?

This is a new thought process for me! I used to burn the midnight oil! But now, I don’t see well in the dark. I’m not in a rush. I feel safety is more important than speed. I value the all mighty dollar for those entry fees more than the drive home. I think I realize that my life is worth more than it was before. So what will I do? I don’t know.

In all fairness, I have a child and a loving husband that worry about safety. I need to respect that. I need to analyze the situation and do what is best. In my 20’s it would have been a no brainer. Drive home. Now that I’m in my 40’s I have to think it out. Maybe it’s self preservation? I dont know! But time changes everything!

So I forgot to hit post when I created this blog post…..and I will tell you what I did! I stayed one more night! I made two runs on Lynx! We won a nice check placing 2nd in the 3D with some stiff competition! On the way to the race, My New To Me truck decided to be weird. Her clutch began to slip. I had to pull off on the shoulder of a busy road to find a gear that would stick! Lucky for me, I left in PLENTY of time! I managed to get to the race with in a couple of hours of leaving home. I also was able to park by my favorite cluster of oak trees! It all worked out! On the way home, on Monday, my truck drove just fine. We made it safely home by noon!

Looking back, the decision was easier than I thought! God gave me a little push. He said “listen to ME.” And so I did! I truly enjoyed my weekend and getting to share prayers and stories with a lot of people whom I didn’t know. Some, I did know. Sharing God’s love and blessings with my fellow barrel racers was such an amazing feeling! Being able to spend time with my horse and my dog was priceless!

When someone says if you were not scared, you didn’t go fast enough, believe them!! Lynx was on FIRE! I feel truly blessed!

Taking Requests?

So this week I asked for requests! I had two people ask for two things that go hand in hand… in my opinion! Let’s see if I can help these ladies out!

One asked “how do we leg up a barrel horse that has been turned out for a bit” and the other asked “how can older women get “back” into riding after being out of it for a long while”. See what I mean? I think I can come up with ways for the horse and the rider to work together! Let’s give this a go!

First… when ever legging a horse back up, make sure everything is up to date! Don’t slack! Deworming, dental, vaccines, farrier, body work… all detrimental to the well being of the horse! Also, for horse and rider, STRETCH!!!!! Lynx and I have a series of stretches mentioned in previous blogs! Humans, stretch like you are getting ready to do hot yoga! Touch your toes and HOLD for 10 seconds! Step out and touch your opposite toe and hold and vice versa! Stretch your front legs and back legs (that is a joke) and don’t forget your shoulders!!!!! Also, make sure you, yes you, are properly geared up for riding! Good sports bra, comfy jeans, good boots that fit, etc!!!

Moving forward… when getting back into riding for the horse and/or the rider, we must determine WHY the time off. For example, did the horse have an injury? Did the human have an injury? Once you have been cleared by your vet/doctor to begin riding, that is literally the first step. The easiest step is getting cleared to ride! The next step is the hardest… starting to ride AGAIN! So after all of your gear checks and stretching, it’s time to decide how to proceed. For me, I like to lounge or work the horse in the round pen before putting my boot in the stirrup! It might be fear, it might be me watching the horse for signs of distress, it might be a easy way to get the necessary “walk/trot” warm up in for my mount! Or all of the above!

Horses, like humans, need to be warmed up before riding! I prefer to long trot lynx 3-5 laps each direction in my field which is about 1/2 mile of long trotting. Then I will progress into loping. Again, 3-5 laps each direction. If we have had time off, this will be more trotting, less loping and it will make the rider a bit sore! So I also walk and stretch while my horse is walking!!!!!!!! Touch my toes in the saddle!!! Reach back and touch his tail! Reach forward and touch his ears! Trust me! STRETCH! Also, this gives your horse a chance to walk! The more you ride, the more you warm up! But start off with more trotting and less loping!

My first rides after time off normally last about 15-20 minutes. I don’t want to push too much on a horse that is out of shape or that can re-injure himself. Also, my body will be screaming by this point! I highly recommend unsaddling then brushing the horse down from head to toe while stretching yourself as well. Make sure said horse is 100% cooled down before turning them out! Also check any prior injuries to make sure you did not re-injure them!!! Then go in the house and soak yourself. You will be sore!

One thing about rehab and conditioning is… repeat! Yes! You must work with this horse daily! However, it doesn’t have to be strenuous daily! In fact, day two might be a nice leisurely walk. It would be good for both of you to ride on day two but also take it easy! I prefer to start with working out every other day and easy ride in between. Take your time! Both of you need to build back up!

If you and your horse are sore, might I recommend a product that I personally use??? Summit! Now they have a human formula too!!! Feel free to ask me all about it! In all seriousness, legging a horse and yourself back up takes time! 🤟🏻