To me, to ride like a girl means riding with passion and a drive to be the best you can be. More importantly, it means being in tune with your animal. It is really interesting if you take a look around and see all the individual relationships in the equine world. Some people just want have fun, some want to win, and some just want to be confident in what they’re doing. I am personally very competitive, and there is nothing more amazing for me than winning a rodeo with my horses.
What makes it amazing is all the time in the saddle I spent figuring them out. It takes a lot of training for a horse to get to a professional level in barrel racing. Lots of time riding. Hauling to small jackpots, then to larger ones, then–if they’re fast enough–open rodeo. From there, if they’re good enough they go to the pro rodeos. It takes countless hours of figuring out what works best for that horse and you. What ground conditions they do best on, what tack they perform best with, what exercise routine is the best for them. You have to be completely in sync with each other. I love to win and I love to compete. In order to win you have to know your horse and know what he’s going to do in different setups and different situations. One-tenth of a second is the difference between first and last place.
To get to the top you have to put in a lot of work, and putting in a lot of work and time with the same horse makes you learn a lot about them. I know a lot of weird things about my horse and it’s because I spend a lot of time with him. He has to scope the pasture in the morning and make sure everything is in place before he eats. He will only pee on shavings so he always has access to shavings. He absolutely hates dogs. He is happiest in the back stall of the trailer. And he doesn’t like people in general. If you walk past his stall he will bite–but he’s not like that with me. He gives me 100% of his heart and soul. He is a one-person horse and he needs to always know that he is number one. He needs that constant attention. He’s very emotional. That’s how he thrives and feels really confident.
I would do anything for that horse. The best parts happen behind the scenes where no one sees. I take naps with him in the pasture to spend time with him. I lay in his stall at night talking to him simply because he loves when I do it. He stands over me like his foal and always wants his ears rubbed. It is incredibly emotional because of all the love I have for my horses. He is my everything. My horse is my life.