There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
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
As we drive home, in the middle of nowhere.. the road passing by with the beats of the music, the kids exhausted from the late nights of lights and thrills … I sit here snuggled by the heat coming out of my seat, reflecting on the last 3 weeks of the whirlwind that could be deemed a “rodeo season”
It all started with the thrill of being able to get shown the ropes from a quick becoming friend, a friendship developing through the path of the boutique, she gave me the light to explore the unknown world of Pro Rodeo, and I was game to step to the challenge.. Life had other plans and unfortunately her season ended abruptly and I found myself having to look deep inside and find an own kind of light, though dim and timid, somehow the wheels kept turning and we made it from one rodeo to the next… my support system became texts with my husband who was in Europe, phone calls for pre rodeo prayers with my best friend, and support from my tribe making sure I got to the next despite all my nervous attempts to get out of going on to the next.
Over the last month … I have placed last place in EVERY pro rodeo, I have gone to a super show and come home with over 1k in winnings, and won an amateur rodeo …. there was no sure bets that I’d make it to the next rodeo, no guarantee that my 15 year old gelding who has come back from a broken leg last year would hold strong and healthy to the task, and the only guarantee seemed to be that “growth is painful”
As we drive and I question what in the world the outcome of this adventure is, my mind settles and finds comfort in one truth or lesson that was being taught through the process “ we must not be afraid to FAIL”. We must not be afraid … Gods grace is enough to hold us through the hardships of expansion, He will be the light that shines on your path.
Of course it takes being open to the path .. .. Did I want to cry every time I came out of that Pro arena knowing that once again we had the slowest time , yes !! Did I want to cry coming out of the arena and winning the rodeo, yes !! It’s amazing to look at the last month as a whole and think , I DID it .. something that seemed so out of reach became a building block for the next part of the adventure
Though in a perfect daydream I would have filled my card this year … I have determined the foundation has to be set to be at the top of my goals .. Can you be a good winner if your foundation isn’t strong ? What kind of winner or influence do you want to be ? What’s the base of your foundation … Some of the riders I look up to most know how to ride into the arena each time like it’s gonna be the best time .. they have let go of the fear of failure and ride for each ride and each experience… the last month has taught me to run into each pattern not as a fail or win , but for what each night and day brings, to appreciate each ride, and the process as a whole. With approx 2k in earnings, 3 weeks of making memories with family and friends and being brave enough each night to face fear and say , not tonight … my faith in Gods timing couldn’t be stronger … I want to be the winner that has a complete foundation and can you be that without the struggle , absolutely not .. does God give us struggle to weaken us .. absolutely not but rather to make us whole.
This season I am thankful for learning the lesson of not being afraid to fail .. our idea of failure is such an obscured and frightening emotion .. “For God is with me, I shall not fail” I believe this and hope to all of you who feel like quitting , DONT !! The story will come full circle, may not look as we hope , might hurt our pride, might have bumps and pitfalls but it will also have joy, growth, love, and true meaning..
What is failure …. it is not something to fear … everyday we get to make the choice .. take the trip, make the job change, give into love, forgive, make time for a friend, learn that new skill…. face the next ally
“Cowgirls Don’t Cry” Written by our team member Noelle White
I think that there is something beautiful, special, remarkable and purely magical that goes unnoticed about a girl who falls down, time and time again, and stands back up with the courage to keep going. A girl who remains unfazed and unintimidated by obstacles that, lets face it, sometimes seem impossible to overcome. Struggles that often times seem like the entire universe is working against her, despite her faithfulness and whole hearted effort to do no evil. We’ve all been there… humming the quote “good things happen to bad people”. Wondering why, and when, things are going to fall in our favor.
Well, my sweet friend… your time is coming. All of these obstacles and hardships that you dread to shed light on are making you stronger, more resilient and more prepared for your forthcoming.
It is usually fun to set out and tackle a new goal. You enthusiastically dive in determined, holding a picture in your mind of what the finished project will look like. Your motivation is at an all time high and everything is going exactly the way you planned… until it doesn’t… You hit a bump in the road, you loose the spark and it’s beginning to feel like this is more work than you can handle.
What do you do? You remind yourself of the things that inspired you from the start. Remind yourself of the goal and reimagine what the final product will look like. Ask god to re-light the fire in your heart and to give back the passion you so desperately need to keep moving forward. Effort is what brings reward. When you’ve tried and failed, you know that the decision to keep trying usually leads to a break through in all of your hard work. Take a moment to look back at where you’ve been? Did you think you would be where you are today? No? I didn’t think so. That is because you are a kind, driven, motivated, beautiful, fun, passionate, resilient, poised, cowgirl who refuses to fall off, and not get back on.
Now, whether you are connecting to this in or out of the saddle, makes no difference when tell you… DON’T GIVE UP & DON’T GIVE IN. There is a reason you have set out to do what you’re doing. Don’t give into the hardships the world tries to bombard you with, take it, learn from it, and grow from it. Let your biggest failures and challenges motivate you to be be a better individual. Become kinder. Become joyful. Become grateful. Be more humble… and always thank the Lord. “God will never give you more than you can handle”, is what one of my dearest friends told me, the night before a big queening contest, and she was right. In the arena, my entire right stirrup detached while riding the HOTTEST gelding I’ve ever sat on… but I willingly dropped my second stirrup, evenly distributed my weight, gave him the reins and rode that ball of fire until he died out. Meanwhile I was smiling the fakest (and probably the most frightened) smile I could smile, with the sentence “oh sh*t I’m going to fall off now” running through my mind over and over again. The point is that god gave me a situation, knowing I could handle it (even if I really wish I didn’t have to) and I worked with what I had. I did the best I possibly could have done with what I had at hand, and I completed the task to the best of my ability. True strength grows in the moments when you think you cant go on, but you keep going anyways… so take a second, cry it out cowgirl, and don’t stop trying.
If I’m being honest the overwhelming “ how’d I get into this” started a few days before leaving for That Famous Preston Night Rodeo… In a slight daze I tried to get my brain to wrap around any idea of what the heck I should make sure I had in my trailer … any conscious thoughts couldn’t be formed .. no fears , no plans of attack, nothing but a daze … my sweet husband washedthe trailer, filled the generator and water tanks, my ride or dies came up and worked horses and loaded cubes with me ..
the full understanding of the weekend is still straining through my brain like a colander… from the moment we checked in at the rodeo office and couldn’t have but only the number one in the world run right before, to having the most winning cowgirl running after, to telling my horse how brave he was as I sent him down the ally, packing up with the two little girls and two pups to haul out of Idaho leaving all my friends and partner to go through the motions of getting onto the next … the daze set in while we drove and I unconsciously got us to our performance with another clean run … a weekend running with the pros and honestly
I GOT MY ASS WHOOPED …. I can’t picture getting to first barrel, let alone how I rode to get us cleanly around all 3 barrels … I’m certain the announcers paused at both rodeos wondering if the timers were right when they said “19….” like they never knew anyone could be THAT out of the competition…. ASS WHOOPED …
And over the next 2 weeks I have 8 more pro runs .. honestly I felt like the embarrassing little sister that your mom makes you bring to the party but you are just embarrassed for her the whole time cause she just makes a fool of herself …
But here is what I did get ….
I DID IT … sigh .. I showed myself that , hell, I can run that horse down any ally … what comes in our pattern has yet to be polished but … I don’t have to back down … I won’t pass out from nerves , my horse will handle anything I throw at him and the feeling WILL come back in my hands once my heart rate slows back down …
I learned how amazing and deep my family and friends love for me was through their excitement, encouragement, and not a single one cared what my time was … do you think my 8 year old knew the difference if I had won or lost … she came out knowing that her mom just confronted a fear and came out the other side proud and full of gratitude.. that fear didn’t win.. our friends daughter came out and saw that world champion or first performance newbie we can all be parked next to each other and connect over our love of horses and Christ , that she , as a teenage girl can still dream in this modern world and take the reins and go for it … my friends are amazing , and bold , and supportive .. my husband, and I quote( as I’m about to cry or possibly pee my pants walking back to the trailer to tack up) “well … go out there and hang with them baby girl”
I’ve been praying and wondering lately.. what is it all for ? God, why do we as humans have passions, emotions, connections … why are some connections deep , some never take hold .. what is it all for ? In a world such as this where everyone’s “what for” is so varied and opinionated, I find comfort in God, Christ, and those who I can ever serve and grow closer to … so as I soak away the weekend .. and prepare for another .. I can’t help but to think … did I not win? Is my time yet to come and my path unwinding as I continue to desire to grow ever closer to God , to love those I can’t live with out deeper and fuller , and take the unknown one step at a time …. I am not looking for a consultation prize, I didn’t actually DO good in my sport … but I stepped up .. and you’ll never play ball if you don’t have the balls to get there .. this whole ride with my horse is taken day by day … he broke his leg , as a 15 year old horse with a long career why is he back and strong as ever ? I broke my neck and nobody really knows how my body healed it …. my amazing friend planned the rodeo schedule and can no longer make it … so it’s 2 cripples .. living on hope and leaning on Christ .. some might call it stupid , some might laugh, but the experience as a whole … I don’t feel like a single lesson was lost. At this time of life .. where it’s easier to NOT push yourself and NOT question and not push for growth .. because who is gonna care .. really … we can just live through social media, let the cloud of fear dull our dreams.. integrity, connection, desire, hard work, goals, dreams, knowledge, creativity .. it’s all being thrown to the side … so why do it ? It’s in my quest for God and Christ, for loving those I’m close to deeper that I am learning to follow the challenge and face the fear .. I wouldn’t give up what I learned about my friends and about my perseverance this weekend for the win… so for now .. I’ll take it one crazy day at a time, trust the process, feel the emotions and continue to try .. try to run cleaner, love deeper and connect more .. that’s my why
Every year, this time of year, Christmas comes early for those running the rodeo circuit. We have all heard the term but have you wondered why it’s a “thing”?
Cowboys and cowgirls, working towards building their year end standings, rodeo most all year to gain rodeo earnings which go towards their ranking in their respective areas of rodeo. This time of year, around the 4th of July , there are so many rodeos going every night that a contest can quite literally hit 2-3 rodeos a day. Their schedules are packed with as many rodeos as humanly possible for as many chances at earnings as they can get. You’ll hear that some contestants have multiple trailers hauling horses to different rodeos so the athlete can hit one rodeo and fly to the next , to the next , to the next. Schedules are planned out months ahead, callins placed, and plans put in motion to get the most out of this time of year !! Wild right !!
I have held my permit with the WPRA for 2 seasons now and have yet to enter my first “Pro” rodeo … it’s been hopeful dreaming so to say, to be with my horse enough to enter.
A little about my main horse, the black gelding that you’ll see in my pictures . Flits Big N Rich, or Dj as we call him, is 15 year old AQHA gelding. I personally have owned him for 2years and prior to that he has had a competitive career since he was a wee young lad. Moral of the story he is freaky fast, my teacher, and I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten sick of me trying to learn how to ride a horse like him, haha. You hear everyone say “it takes a year to really learn a new horse”… well we are going on just over 2 years and only last weekend would I say I have been able to consistently run top times… all in good timing because this year I have decided to enter some of my first rodeos!!! Hence my baby version of my “Cowboy Christmas” !!!
Over the next 6 weeks we have approx 10 rodeos planned and considering more as the schedule evolves !!! Typically I think most opinions would be to jump in with both feet, sink or swim, if you’re going to do it go all in. Well for me it’s more like let me just dip a toe in and I’ll get all the way in as I please, haha.
No matter, I’m really excited for the weeks to come and the new adventures with my one of a kind horse. Follow the fun because we will be hauling with some friends and post all the adventures !! As always the boutique is always open, but custom orders are full as I have current orders and won’t take more till after “Christmas”, haha!!
Thanks for checking out the blog ! And don’t forget to follow the blog/shop for updates on all the fun !!
As promised I have finally gotten to our hauling post and I am so excited to share an peak inside our personal “best”.
We are all so inundated with what works, what pastes, grain, supplements, therapies, wraps, blankets, and on and on; that are or could be perfect for you and your four legged athlete. How do you know what’s right? When to use it? And sooner than you know it you are buying 20 different products and not just for everybody but for each individual horse. At that point hauling can seem like mission impossible, impossible not to forget things, impossible to not stress to the hilt, and impossible to fit it all in the trailer. At the same time, thank goodness we have options, as we all know not one horse is the same in what they needs as we haul and compete.
I am a simpleton, my brain and stress level can not handle anything but the basics when we haul. Because of this I have tried a lot of different product and have had horses at many different points of their career to try it on.. which has led me to where I am in my story now and I’m excited to share what works for us with you !!
I essentially have horses at 3 different points…. Finished, Finished and Performing, and Futurity Performers.
Which means I have 3 basic “Schedules” my horses rotate through. Out to Pasture, Working and light Performing, and on a haul.
Out to pasture my horses are just that… horses. I condition their mane once a week and let them forage as a herd .. I feel this is good for them to reset, go back to herd basics and just be a horse.
Working and performing- This is where my futurity horses are most the year ( 5 year old Futurity colts) and the horses I am keeping legged up. Most likely I have them in their own pen so their everyday interaction is focused on me also to avoid anyone getting in an accident, my way of bubble wrapping. At this point because of the added work load I do grain and feed more. At this point I also bring in my essentials blend( Ill explain further down)
That gets us to HAULING !!
Honestly I am so stoked about my hauling regimen that I no longer have stress about taking my boys on the road. I feel prepared and confident, which allows me to focus on having fun and spending quality time with the horses.
I TAKE 5 THINGS WITH ME WHEN I HAUL….. 5!!!!
HorseLic 5 gallon buckets
Treats – Fresh Apples, Carrots, Peppermints, etc
My essentials blend
Oil must haves kit
I keep hay/cubes in front of the horses all the time on the road, and I keep it the same hay/cubes that I am feeding at home, I do not buy different for the haul. This is the most “difficult” part. Measuring and toting up the cubes, and tying up the hay. I plan for enough to keep food in front of them all the time.
I do NOT haul any grain or supplements outside of my oils. At this point I do not pack grain/pastes/etc. I do have Redmonds Quick Relief tubes in case of an unexpected digestion emergency but personally I don’t want the added “hotness” of the grains and pastes etc, nor do I want the unfamiliarity and ups and downs for their systems from it.
So I have hay and cubes, next I pack treats and 5 gallon HorseLic buckets. The horses have access to HorseLic in the pasture, and when we haul. If I have them on grain I typically wont have them on the Lic and treats aren’t a part of our every day, maybe a couple times a week. Heres why… I never keep my horses stalled 24/7 but on the road it has to happen and I don’t want them to sour on it. So I give them incentives, options to enjoy the time. Its only on occasion that I have a horse that is finicky eating and drinking on the road. If I do, NO BIGGIE, and THAT DOESNT MEAN I HAVE TO CHANGE WHAT I HAUL !!! When I take HorseLic on the road I usually take buckets that are 1/2 gone. WHY? Because the HorseLic encourages them to drink and because they are getting it when we haul, its the perfect way to trick them into drinking and getting electrolytes on the road. If I have a hard hauler, I will put their water in the Lic bucket over the remaining HorseLic… once again encouraging them to drink !! Also they remember the nostalgia of the flavor while being out to pasture being a horse… It genius!!
Now the treats…. I use these as a vessel for my essentials oil blend. I have some horses that are really great at letting me use the dropper directly in their mouth and others that aren’t, so I simplified it by using treats to get them their oil. I put the blend directly on the HorseLic, Inside/on top the treats and throw the treats in the bucket for them to entertain themselves with throughout the day !! So not only are they getting their electrolytes , vitamins, oils, etc, they are keeping themselves entertained and enjoying the hauling monotony of being in a stall all day !! Once again genius…. and EASY !!
Now to my oils, YAY !! My custom Essentials blend has everything they need both when they are under work at home and when we are hauling. With elements to aid in digestion, immune support, mane and coat condition, stress relief, inflammation, focus and emotion support for calm and clarity. THIS IS MY MUST HAVE FOR HORSES UNDER WORK!! What this has done for me …. first and foremost SAVED MONEY!!! I am not buying 5 different supplements all needing to be given at 5 different times in 5 different ways. I don’t have pastes, grain additives, bags to label, grain to pack and measure. I have one oil blend and treats. Saves me time, stress, and money !!
Now even though all my horses are on the same Essential Custom Blend there are times where a particular horse may need something else for where they are at personally; which is where my essential oil kit comes into play. Maybe a muscle comes up sore, I have an oil for that. Lets say my sassy mare needs some support and balance, easy.. lets give her a balance blend to help her mood. Maybe someone is a little more stressed, I have some lavender for that. So I have about 10 oils that I keep in a kit in my trailer as my “just in case” Part of that includes my custom performance blends, which I use pre workout or pre performance, which are Play to Win and Winners Circle. As well as my EquineTouch kit, which I love as a nice treat for the horses every day or so before bed.
So that’s that.. I haul with 5 items… we could say 6 if you include my Bemer Therapy blanket which I also use as a nice treat to reward the horses before bed or early morning.
Why I am so confident in my regimen ?
I have spent a lot of time listening to my horses, researching products, asking questions. I have horses at so many different places in their careers and have found that I can save money, time, and stress with my simplified haul; AND NOT FOR ONE SECOND DO I FEEL LIKE I AM MISSING ANYTHING OR THAT MY HORSES ARENT GETTING SOMETHING THEY NEED. It is truly amazing. Being able to utilize the essential oils and blends has been an amazing transformation in my performance horses, as well as talking to the many companies, brands and supplements that we as athletes and performers are bombarded with. Though we can find good in so many of the products, and there are so many ways to haul. I truly believe in what I have found and am honored to share it with you. If you are on your own journey of finding what your haul regimen looks like for you and your horses, I am glad you took the time to look at my approach. I am more than happy to answer any questions and help in any way I can on your journey.
Happy Hauling Queens !!
Photos of products !!
Essentials Blend , Play to Win, Winners Circle, and individualized custom blends – Available in the shop !!
Personalized Oil Kit – email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get you a personalized kit !!
HorseLic – Email email@example.com for rep information – I am also working on getting a special discount code for my followers !!!