So far, the rodeo road has taught me a lot, but I’ve yet to win a check for my efforts.
At Valley City, ND, my first ever pro rodeo I was pretty nervous and Avie felt like he never settled into the ground. He stumbled on the second, and really shut down hard on the third. We were way off the pace. I have no idea why this isn’t showing the whole video but I think you can see it on my Facebook page!
I then headed to Verndale, MN, which wasn’t short of its own trials. I spent Thursday, before I was to head out Friday, de-winterizing my trailer, only to have my hot water heater explode. This kind of flooded my trailer. Luckily in Verndale, they have a trailer shop right next to the arena complex, and they were able to (mostly) fix me up on Friday with a little bit of work to be done on Saturday. I was pretty excited for a hot shower Saturday night! In addition to the trailer adventures, Friday’s run, I sat down too soon on the first and because Avie is so honest, he turned in front of it. I then spent the rest of the weekend panicked, riding like a monkey, hitting barrels left and right, fighting the urge to cry before each run. Basically, I had my head up my posterior.
Here is our Saturday run:
From Verndale we came home, regrouped and then headed to Nebraska.
While there, I had the chance to catch up with a very talented friend of mine, meet her new baby, get to know her husband, cruise horseback around their ranch near Hyannis and otherwise had time to get my collective poop in a group.
I truly thought I had myself in a better place mentally, but once again found myself fighting back the urge to cry before our run on Saturday – which by the way, actually felt pretty great, yet was way off the pace. A friend had watched me run and told me I quit riding before the timer. Note to self: don’t do this tomorrow.
And then came Sunday, where the urge to cry before my run overcame me. I went to the horn too soon going to the first and we had to do a bit of adjusting to get around it, costing us at least .4 – .5 tenths of a second. And I quit him too soon coming home. Sigh.
I ran at the bottom of the WPRA sidepot. Both Days. The only people I beat were those that hit barrels. This permit had become a chip on my shoulder. I mean, what do I really have to prove to anyone? My job is to do the best job I can do for my horse, to be the best for my horse. End of story.
A pep talk from a talented colleague encouraged me to simply ignore the fact that I had bought my permit, and to start trusting my horse. So, I headed from Nebraska to Longmont, Colorado determined to just have fun! I had fought back the urge to cry before both my runs in Nebraska. Where’s the fun in that? Why did I want to cry? I couldn’t tell you, except that I was letting negative thoughts get the best of me, which in turn didn’t help me, help my horse. Thank you DG for the pep-talk! And thank you AS for always being encouraging! And to my friend SR who didn’t get to make this trip, but continually kicks me in the ass when I need it.
Once in Colorado, I finally relaxed, let down, and in turn, we laid down a solid 2D time that landed us one out of the money on Friday.
On Saturday, I galloped in — determined to do what I’d done on Friday — and 28 horses in, I left the arena, having clocked the fastest time of the day (so far) and it held, through about 45 horses. We finished 4th that day too, again, one out of the money, BUT behind a girl who qualified to run at THE AMERICAN! Way to go, Avie! Way to ride Jenn! And of course, there is no video. I mean, why would I ask a perfect stranger to film me?
Sunday, we smoked the first barrel, barely left room for a piece of paper around the second but I failed to go to two hands around the third and as such when I went to pick my horse up to turn, I found a little brace in him. We finished 13th in the 2D that day.
I had a great time in Colorado, spending time with my dear friend, enjoying my horses and mostly great weather! The whole trip was good for my soul, even if my runs in Nebraska weren’t what I envisioned in my head.
I am home now, handling some colts and getting ready to go to the Sandhills Showdown, in Nebraska and from there to the BBR Finals in Oklahoma City. Needless to say, I’m itching to get back into the arena, have fun, trust and enjoy my horse! I’m learning to look for the learning opportunities around me, and in each “failure” grow. I am a
little lot afraid of failure, and often, I become so paralyzed with fear I forget to even try.
I’ll keep working on that, and hopefully my next trip will bear fruitful results! If you want to say a prayer, or think positive thoughts for us, we’ll sure take ’em!