When last I shared the goings on of my Rodeo Season, I was headed to Mitchell, SD. I tipped at least one barrel on that run. It’s on film, but we’ll pretend it’s not.
From there I was entered at Deadwood, SD, where I rode like a drunk monkey at one of the coolest rodeos I’ve ever entered. The ground felt amazing but I failed to help my horse on the second barrel altogether.
The following weekend we ran in Ashley, ND. Sort of the same thing happened there that happened at Deadwood. I have worked hard to free-up how I ride my horse and now I’m behind for a reason other than because I’ve been riding him tight.
Back to the drawing board for the week. Up next was the Catfish Stampede, at Onida, SD, where we made a ‘safe’ run but tipped the first barrel in an effort to be just that — safe.
Then we headed to Aberdeen, SD to the Brown County Fair. It was the first good run we’ve had in a while, despite the fact that we were a second off the pace. I loosened up and rode. The video is below.
From there we went home for the night, and drove out early the next morning to Circle, Montana. Slack was at 6 that evening. The horses were in the trailer for about an hour longer than I expected due to a terrible crash that involved a life-flight helicopter and of course, closed roads.
When I warmed Avie up, he didn’t feel right. He felt stiff and off. But warmed up out of it. I chalked it up to having been in the trailer for a day. We ran the slowest time in slack. I cooled him out good, slathered him in some Sore-No-More Liniment (stay tuned for a big announcement and discount code — coming TUESDAY!), and put him in his pen for the night. His soreness, combined with terrible ground conditions made for a perfect storm, I guess.
Several girls had horses that slipped — one horse went down entirely — ass-over-tea kettle- at the second, and not a single horse finished the third barrel. They all stepped off the backside. You know there’s ground issues when even the sassiest of rodeo horses can’t make it work.
With a renewed sense of figuring out how to ride my horse, I drove the 7 hours home, determined to get my mind right.
Friday, I caught my horse and went to ride him, BUT he still felt off. It wasn’t that he was lame, he was just “off”.
Saturday I had Zach watch him go. He said, yup, he’s off. But you won’t kill him to walk and work on the “little things” at the walk. If I walked him for 30 minutes, he was better, but I didn’t like that he felt sore to me. So, I called the chiro. He came and worked on him Monday, I believe. He was out in his shoulder, and poll and really sore through his hips. I gave him four days off
In the meantime, I turned out of the Rapid City, SD rodeo as well as a slot race and 4D barrel race in Belle Fourche I’d planned to enter the weekend of August 24-26. I was determined to take it slow and build him back. I don’t know what caused that soreness, but I aim to not have it happen again.
Our first run back after our month-long hiatus, was at the Golliher Arena in Belle Fourche, SD for an open run. We tipped two barrels the first run. I had decided to make a bit change — which I haven’t done in probably a decade –to something with a quicker release because I figured I need something to help me break my habit of being behind my horse and pulling on him when I should be forward, leaving the first barrel. I got a quicker release, for sure! I’m using a Reinsman, Easy Five, 7/16 sweet iron, smooth mouthpiece for anyone interested.
The second run went much better. We still didn’t win any money, but It was smooth and pretty and I stayed forward, for the most part, on my horse the whole run.
The following weekend, I went to Bowman, ND and entered The Blitz. The first run isn’t on film, but we ran a faster time that day than the second day and we argued across the pen from the first to the second barrel, that day. So he really fired hard. Other than how I rode him on the first barrel, I’m really, really happy with how that run went.
The second run on Sunday was 2 tenths slower, but netted us our first check of the season and it wasn’t a shabby one either! For the first time in 5 years, I kept my hand forward and rode him correctly around the first barrel. I think my focus may have cost us some time, however. Multi-tasking isn’t my strong suit! But building proper muscle memory will keep me from having to multi-task, so I’ll keep working on that!
Badlands Circuit Rodeos are over for the 2018 season. But the barrel races will remain in full swing until mid-November. The first rodeo of 2019 will be in Brookings, SD the first weekend of November, and I’ve not yet decided if I’m entering. I love that building. I’ll probably go! In the meantime, I’m going to keep my horse happy and healthy, and I’ll share with you all the details of the fun stuff I’ve learned this season– on Tuesday!