I’ve needed to write and share all the news about my life with you for some time now. Somehow, time seems to slip away from me, despite my best efforts. I find that the more horses I ride daily, the less interested I am in social media. I suppose that’s a double-edged sword. I even forgot to post to Instagram one day last week! My horses are getting better, I’m riding better, getting in better shape, both mentally and physically, but I feel like I’m letting myself down if I don’t share at least one glimpse into my life, daily. Do I need therapy?
In case you’re not following me on Instagram, you should be. It’s become my micro-blog because it’s easy and convenient. You also get a behind-the-scenes look at my life through the “story” portion of Instagram. Think “SnapChat” but I prefer the Instagram platform to SnapChat. Sorry, not sorry, SnapChat! I love that Instagram lets me go live. My followers and I have a great time watching me handle colts, or visit the saddle horses; they ask questions and I answer them!
I skipped almost all my yoga workouts last week. I’m not sure why, but I think it was mostly because I was riding 3-5 horses a day and by the time I got done I was too tired. I’ll try to do better this week, I promise. I did do some stretches, and I did a 40 minute flow one day that had me sore the next day!
I scored a magazine cover, the first of this year! It’s here, in my hot little hands, and it’s even prettier in real life than it is in the photo below. If you don’t subscribe to this magazine, you need to.
A few weeks ago, I committed myself to something I’ve wanted to do for many years but either couldn’t afford to do, didn’t have the horse power needed, or wasn’t brave enough to try: I’ve joined the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association. As such, I’ll be working to put $1000 in earnings on my Permit, and once I’ve won that much, I can buy my card, or I can keep rodeoing on a Permit. One reason you’d keep rodeoing on a permit would be if you’d like to go for “Rookie of the year”. You’d start that at the end of the 2017 season so you have a full year to rodeo on your card. I haven’t decided yet if that’s something I’d pursue or not. It will depend on how the rodeos go, how I’m riding my horse and if I think I will have the financial support to go for Rookie, should the rodeos go well. Let’s be honest for a moment — rodeoing isn’t inexpensive. Which is also why I will not be riding with Buck in Rapid City this year. Avie isn’t getting any younger, and of course, I’m knocking on the door of 40 years old this fall, so neither am I. If anyone has sponsorship suggestions, I’m open!
That said, I’m entered in my first ever PRCA/WPRA rodeo, on March 10th, in Valley City, ND. It’s a little pen where a 12.4 – 12.6 second run will win you first, and you’ll need a 12.8 or better to win a check.
I went to my first barrel race of the year on Sunday. It was the first time in ages that I’ve ridden my horse and felt no pressure and no fear. It was simply ride your horse where you want to go, as fast as you can, help him when you need to, and stay out of his way when he’s with you. He was with me. He placed in the 1D both runs (though I only ran him once – his first time was fast enough to win us a check in the second round, even though we didn’t win one in the first round). I made one mistake leaving the first barrel that may have cost me a check in that first round, but I don’t care. That run felt better than any run I made on him last fall — maybe even better than any run I made on him last year!
A couple gals offered to video me, and I turned it down. I often obsess about my runs on video, and if I don’t have it, I can’t keep watching over and over and over and pick myself apart. I need to stay positive, and in the moment. I am not always kind to myself, and I should be. Of all the people in the world that should be building me up, I should be at the top of that list. We all should.
So, for Valley City the goal is simple: ride my horse where I want to go, as fast as I can, help him when he needs it, stay out of his way when he’s with me. The pen we ran in Sunday is small, but Valley City is even smaller. I will likely have someone video for me at this rodeo, because for posterity’s sake, we need my first ever pro-rodeo run on film, right?
This year I’ll also, The Good Lord willing, get to partake in Cowboy Christmas, known as the run over the Fourth of July week where there are some big rodeos with a lot of added money. I won’t venture too far from home this year, but fortunately for me, there are some big rodeos close to home I can attend. I’ll be going to many of the same barrel races, but those that won’t help me with my goal of filling my permit, I’ll likely skip.
Saturday as I was packing up to go to the barrel race, I found my beautiful Giant Cochin Rooster, Diablo, dead. He hadn’t shown any signs of illness, was only 6 years old, and had walked around crowing that morning. I don’t know if he had a heart attack or choked or what. I won’t lie. I picked him up and cried over him. He is a rooster that one of my older, now deceased hens, raised. That made him extra special to me, plus he was a pet.
Earlier this year, in the span of a week or so, five of my hens got taken by either the pack of wild dogs that are running around this country, or coyotes, I’m not sure which. I guess I’ll be raising chicks again come spring. Those critters are such a labor of love.
I’ve talked often, though not as much recently, as in the past, about making myself a bridle horse. I moved Dino into the two rein in November, and that is going pretty smashingly. We are getting flying lead changes quite a lot now, though we are far from 100%. I’ve struggled with lead changes on him for the past three – four years. It took looking at things from a different perspective and tweaking one little thing and voila, they’re coming now! It took me a while to figure out how hold my reins, and adjust them to fit the given situation, but I feel like I’m making some progress and holding the reins seems not as foreign to me!
I think that’s about all I have in the ranch-life update for now. I hope your life is going well, and that you’re making the most of everyday. I know that’s my goal!