Girl you were born to run.
I have always had a passion for all things animals, but horses have always had my heart. I was born and raised in Utah and grew up in the home my parents built themselves. Growing up my family didn’t have a ton of money and we defiantly could not afford to own horses. I had to get my fix for horses from somewhere else. Usually that meant I was sneaking off to the neighbor’s yard and playing with their horses. I was “that kid”, anytime I saw someone riding horses I had to stop and watch or ask if I could see their horse. Sometimes I got really lucky and I could sit on or actually ride the horse. I took every opportunity I could to ride. I was lucky enough to have really great family friends that owned horses and put up with my horse craziness.
I get asked all the time, if I grew up doing this or how long I have been barrel racing. Or what made me get interested in the sport of barrel racing. The answer always surprises people. I didn’t grow up barrel racing. My family didn’t rodeo, I didn’t even have friends that were into horses like I was. In fact I didn’t run my first race until I was in my 30’s. Now I’m competing against girls (and guys) that have been doing this all their lives. So how did I go from young horse crazy girl to now racing my owning my own horses? Well for me it took a huge shift in life., A ton of faith, and literally walking on fire!
Now I’m not saying that you have to walk on fire to achieve your dreams, but you also cannot just sit around and wait for things to happen for you. It is truly amazing what will happen when you set your mind to something. The universe will conspire WITH you, when you set your intentions to it. I had to completely change my mindset. I didn’t have courage, I doubted everything , and was a huge skeptic. Once you kick out those thoughts and work on your beliefs system, changes start to come.
I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t have a barrel horse, I didn’t know the first thing about how to barrel race. But I knew that it was something I wanted to do and I wasn’t going to stop until I had achieved my goal. I set my intentions and I had to really step out of my comfort zone, and put myself out there. It’s not easy being 30 and admitting you know absolutely nothing about something you love so much! I also was not a super out going person, so the thought of having to make new friends and connections terrified me. But again, I was not going to let that stop me! I had to hang up my pride, I had to put my faith in God, and I had to show up and put in the hard work. I rely heavily on prayer and constantly asking God to give me strength and courage.
Here I have a few tips and tricks that I use to help me prepare for race day, or just life in general.
- Prayer/meditation, to me this is the most important. It doesn’t even have to be a religious thing. For me it is, but it can also just be about grounding and finding your inner peace. This is so important for both you and your horse going into any competition. Obviously nerves are a part of the experience but anything you can do channel them gives you an edge. Just beginning each day with a grateful heart and setting your intentions for the day will greatly improve your mood and overall life.
- Essential oils. I love to pare my essential oils with feelings and emotions. If you have a horse that tends to get nervous or anxious this is a great way to help them cope and deal with them. Using essential oils when you are not competing in times of calm and peace also help your horse associate those feelings of calm with competition. Have a game plan and make a regimen. They can help in so many aspects of your journey I use them daily for myself and horses. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out.
- Prepare/putting in the work. I know this sounds obvious. But in the beginning this was something I really struggled with. I had this naïve thought that I could just show up with my horse and that everything would just fall into place for me. I thought that if I just had faith and prayed a lot about it that we would start to win. But God doesn’t reward the unprepared. I needed to show up, I needed to put in the work. I had to prove I was willing to do hard things and put forth the effort.
- Family/friends. Man I know this so important. Studies show that the 5 most people we surround ourselves with are who we most become like. This is no joke, you want to be successful? Put yourself around people that want to be successful. It doesn’t have to be in the same area. Just people who are motivated to rise and not be content with the status quo. You want to be around people how have good energy and fill your glass as much as you fill theirs. I have heavily relied on my family for this. My Parents have ALWAYS been behind me and even now are one of my biggest support systems. I have a husband and a couple of truly amazing friends that I rely on. They help fill my bucket and give me strength. Find that support system because the journey will be lonely if you don’t, and the celebrations will be boring without them.
- Humility/kindness. I cannot say how important this is. Horses themselves are so humbling, just when you think you have it figured out BOOM! Your horse will hand you your ass tied up with a big bow. But in those moments that is when you need to stay humble and never be cruel. Someone is always watching your actions. It’s how we act in private that define who we truly are. Be the person that makes everyone proud to call you a friend or family. Smile and say hi to the new girl at the arena. Offer kindness to those that are your competition. Always stay humble and kind.
Through this journey I have been frustrated. I have had to relearn everything I have ever known about riding. I have had haters. I’ve had people that didn’t believe in me. Some made comments that I have ruined my horse and I’m doing it all wrong. I’ve even questioned my own abilities, and if I should even be living this crazy dream of mine. But through it all I come back to one thing. This is my dream, it gives me joy and girl you were born to run. Never stop chasing your dreams. #whatelseispossible #longlivecowgirls #daretodream