Yesterday I found myself at the first barrel race of 2010. I would love to tell y’all that I won all kinds of money. But I’d be lying if I said that.
What won’t make a liar, is to tell you that my horse, Gump, made two really pretty runs, and I am extremely proud of him. We had two really pretty second barrels and for the first time ever, he ran at a second off. There were some tough horses there, and some girls that are consistently at the top of their game.
I also took one of my students with me. Sydney has been my student for about 4 years. She comes and rides with me anytime I am back in town. This was her first barrel race in 6 months or so. We were lucky to find her a really nice horse when it came time to buy her a step-up horse. Dude is worth his weight in gold. Not only is he broke like I would have him broke, but he’s really honest and wicked fast. Keeping a secret isn’t something I’m particularly good at, but I failed to tell Sydney (on purpose) that they were giving buckles to the first place winner in the average. The average, for those of you not rodeo savvy, is the combined time on more than one run.
This barrel race was a double header- so we made one run, and then had a break, only to make a second run about an hour later. In her first run, she ran good, but didn’t push her horse to the first barrel. So I sat her down and said she needed to let him run to the first barrel. She was like, “seriously? He’s not running? I feel like he’s not going to turn.”
I reminded her that he is very well trained and asked her if she trusted me. She was like, “yes”.
“Then send him to the first barrel. He will turn when you ask him”, I assured her.
And send him she did.
And she ran 1/2 a second off in the second round. Not only was it her fastest time ever; she won the biggest check she’s ever won. And she won the average buckle. And this wasn’t just any buckle- it was her first buckle to ever win! Talk about an excited 19 year old girl!
For those of you wondering- she outran me. And I couldn’t be more excited about being beat!