Since this is my first year as a WPRA permit holder, I am trying to learn as much as I can, and travel as much as our checkbook will let me! I have always dreamed of going to a lot of rodeos over The Fourth of July run, often referred to as Cowboy Christmas.
I’ve got quite a few friends that have been going to all the Badlands Circuit Rodeos for many years, so I’m grateful I can ask them about ground conditions, which runs to skip, which runs I don’t want to miss, etc. Surrounding yourself with positive, encouraging people, is half the battle and I’m fortunate to be surrounded by those kind of people!
So far this season, I’ve only won one check. I’ve been to 6 states, and made close to 25 runs I think! We will get there. It’s coming. I know it is! While I learn the ropes, and work on myself, my feel, my timing, and my confidence, I’m having fun! If it isn’t fun, don’t do it. If it doesn’t elicit a “Hell Yeah”, then you maybe should just stay home. I’m meeting new people, making new friends, and enjoying the journey. I’m so blessed.
Cowboy Christmas began with a run in Belle Fourche, then we came home for about a day and a half, before heading up to Mandan, North Dakota. From there, we came home (only because I wrecked the tailpipe on my generator and that kept it from working) before heading out to another run in slack at Mobridge. Mobridge is only about 80 miles North of us so it wasn’t a really long haul. We (I) drove nearly a thousand miles in four days and I would do it all again tomorrow if I could.
My biggest struggle this year has been sitting too soon on my first barrel. So I tried to work on that through these runs. I think by the time I got to the Mobridge run I nailed it, but Avie and I are having some struggles on the backside of barrel numero uno. That cost us time at all our runs, though we progressively got faster, and closer to the pace as the weekend wore on.
Here are the runs we made. I’m grateful to everyone who helped us along the way, those who filmed, those who let us crash their pads, and all of the encouragement we’ve received! We made three clean runs this weekend! Earlier in the year a clean run was a struggle for us, but we’re making progress on keepin’ ’em up!
Belle Fourche, South Dakota. This was our first “big to me” pro rodeo. I can’t lie. I had heartburn as I warmed Avie up that morning. It is kind of surreal, to be riding around next to women you’ve watched and admired for years. I questioned whether or not I belonged there. I thought for a moment that maybe I was crazy. Maybe this dream of mine (and I’m not sure where it’s taking my just yet – can I fill my permit before you pin me down, please?) is just that. A complete dream. But then I remembered: I have done so much on this horse. I’ve put in the time. I’ve put in the rides. And I’ll keep doing what I need to do to learn and be my best. If I don’t try, I’ll never know and I don’t want that regret.
Mandan, North Dakota
Sitting Bull Stampede, Mobridge, South Dakota – this may be the best I’ve ridden my horse all year, save for our run at the BBR finals (which I think I forgot to share — I’ll get on that!). I quit riding too soon going to the second, but overall, short of our first barrel woes, I’m very pleased!