- Last week it was all about no more excuses, that there is some instances where its not an excuse, and a bit of a beginning of where to go. So where do we go without making excuses? First of all, how often do you work out your horse, and how? Do you drill every single day repeatedly on the barrels, causing your horse to hate his/her work? Or do you find yourself with a horse knocking barrels, hanging up, diving or other issues? Sometimes we need to take a serious look and ask a trusted person their opinion. For instance, did you buy a finished automatic barrel horse, that suddenly has started to hit a barrel, run by, or showing issues, but when the old owner rides there is no problems? Chances are you are sending the wrong signal, you could be rating to soon, not rating, giving to much pocket, not enough, and the list just goes on and on. There will be a lot of negative feedback from this statement, but I think there is way to much emphasis put on a horse hurting being the problem. Am I saying that you shouldn't get your horse checked out? NO! If you have a consistent horse suddenly giving issues, by all means you need to check what is going on, but there is some horses that know they can get by with stuff with a certain rider, and that is what they are doing. Some horses even fake lameness. I had one horse that loved to do that, and no vet could ever find anything wrong because there was nothing to find, while another mare had so much heart, she would hide her injury, to the point a vet would even clear her as sound. Here's a quick little check-list:
- Am I riding correct?
- Am I training/tuning/exercising my horse and myself correctly?
- Has there been a sudden drastic change with the horse? (EX: bit change, pasture mate/buddy being gone, rider change, new saddle, etc)
- If you have had this horse for a long time, is there a lameness issue?
The biggest thing to remember to keep an open mind. You can learn stuff for people you never thought you would, be it someone you don't really like, a kid, even someone from a non-horse background teaching you pre-event focus skills. Some people only want to be a weekend warrior, do it as a hobby, and others want to go to the top, but the common thread is your horse is your partner, you have to communicate and take care of your partner, you definitely want him taking care of you when you're running. Don't allow yourself to make an excuse. DON'T! The second you feel one coming on, bite it back, either don't say anything, or think of the most positive thing you can (EX: I have so much _______ to do, I just really don't have the time to ride.. No, you are beyond bless to be able to ride, to have a horse, a saddle, and legs that function so you can), that really changes perspective doesn't it? As a last note to think about this week, the No more excuses isn't just for barrel racers, barrel racing isn't even just about barrel racing, horsemanship has to come first.