"The ground was bad tonight." "There was a dog that barked, that caused my horse to lose focus." "My stirrups were to ________.." Excuses, excuses, and more excuses. Is there times when the ground is bad, and possibly your horse does stumble, or you are airing on the side of cautioned to prevent a possible wreck? Yes. Can things distract your horse? Yes. Sometimes are people just digging for reasons because they were ill prepared? Yes. Everything on horse, be it human or animal, will have a flat out bad day. If you run barrels or just mess with horses in general, there will be times when not a thing in this world can go right, then other times everything is absolutely perfect. Its part of life and horses, there are ups and downs and that is the only constant, but so much of the time, we are making excuses because we didn't put in the work, or pilot error. If you are a client you know that I have a clubhouse now for all the kids and parents. In getting it set up the to do list was quite long. I had to wire, insulate, panel, paint, mold, floor, and so much more stuff. I was immensely blessed to have people here that were able to do wiring and carpentry work, and just plain extra hands sometimes. The problem was though, being a clubhouse for kids, I wasn't going to sink a ton of money as I would in a house, etc. So there is some things half way done. I bought a set of doors for a killing, the guy completely took me on them, they wouldn't work, but thank God that a local contractor traded me some doors that would work. Except they were different widths... Also they are wooden interior doors... They swell more then my pregnant mini, and when they swell, you had better break out the sander and have some time because they will not close. I wanted to save money upfront so I spent it in the long run. How does that relate to a barrel horse? Picture this. A child wants to run barrels more then anything, the parents don't know much about horses, and there is very little riding experience on the child's part, but they are all in. You buy the trailer, the truck the saddle, and since we're going for the best, we buy a 1D barrel horse, or if you don't have much money, you buy a young horse with potential and you have trailer-pool (yes, I believe i did make that word up). With the 1D horse, the child just needs to hang on, but since the horse is used to a certain rider, cues, etc, there is soon a problem, then the child becomes fearful and before long, since its not fun, no longer is riding. The project horse is just that, it has never been ridden much, its at the age just like the child of testing boundaries, and not being an experienced rider, the horse takes and takes, and acts out until a best case scenario is your child either isn't riding, or gets very aggressive in order to control the horse. Not always will this be the case, but so many times it is. I have seen tons of overmounted riders. Lessons, or seeking advice, help, a role model, or mentor is the best way to start, along with a seasoned, forgiving horse that will not take advantage. Time spent upfront developing skills and how to ride and problem solve and to actually help and not hinder a horse, saves much time down the road, and heartache. Back to the clubhouse though. I had molding that has yet to be put up, needing it out of the way, its best to put under the building, right? That is much closer then the 50 foot walk to the horse trailer. Pretty soon though, you don't want to put it back inside, but you will tomorrow, or at least cover it with plastic to protect it from the weather. Until you don't. Yes this really did happen, so today the hundred some dollar molding that was left, has lost all the paint, is bowed, has snapped, basically unusable. I may can salvage a few pieces with the sander and paint, but the 5 minutes it would have taken to put this stuff in plastic... Panelling that is off center a little bit, because no one will notice, and more things that maybe no one else has noticed, but I do. IT DOES MATTER. When you are willing to take small shortcuts on things, its a reflection on you, it says little things don't matter, that you aren't aware of details, or just do not care, and don't want to invest the time. When you shortcut on one thing, it will lead to another and another until the big things don't matter. With horses you are so ready to have them riding, running, or whatever the case may be that you forget that first they have to know the most basic things: steering, whoaing, backing, their gaits.. I have been there, I didn't want to spend the time on getting a horse prepared, and it cost me so much more then money or awards. I've caught myself saying, "its just a lesson horse for the kids, he doesn't really need a supple mouth" "its just a kids place.." No one realizes that you get exactly what you invest into a horse, they are a mirror of YOU. If you don't like what you see, its all on you.