With everything in life you have to make a choice and horses are just another part of making choices. Which saddle pad to buy, do you enter that barrel race or this rodeo, are you going to be gone all weekend or pick one to attend, how many shoes are you going to put on your horse all summer? These are all choices we make daily, often times without even realizing it.
Just like with anything the “celebrities” of barrel racing and rodeo affect what the everyday people are going to use. When Fallon Taylor came out with her helmet line everybody bought them and they started dying their pants wild colors just like Fallon. People are going to listen to NFR people who get to live the dream about the products they trust from tack to supplements to therapeutic products. I am one of those people that waits awhile to see if a product is all its cracked up to be before I try it. For example when Back on Track started becoming “the next big thing” I held off, watched if they worked, waited to see if the product lasted and then went out and bought them. I started out with just one pair of quick wraps, won another pair a few weeks later and in the last few months I’ve bought the mesh sheet, saddle pad liner, and hock boots. Needless to say, I LOVE Back on Track, and so does my filly. She was that spoiled two year- old who got to wear it and so now as a coming five year-old she absolutely loves it.
I’ve never felt the need to always be up with the trends but instead do what works best for me and my horse. People probably think I’m crazy for waiting to put my boots on until right before I run but it’s what works or scratching her neck right before we go in the arena. I’ve struggled a lot with loading Tana in the trailer (she got her stubborn side from me), but what works is opening both trailer doors so I do it.
Over the years I’ve also learned its not the most expensive thing that’s always the best either. For the last three years I’ve used a classic equine pad I got from my friend Kylee for $15. I tried to use a nicer one of my pads on Tana recently and she just didn’t like it, so back to the CE I went. Does she love the BOT Liner I put under it? Of course! Tana also likes to stand with someone instead of being left tied to the trailer or in her stall, so my Mom and I do our best to try and be with her at all times. As time goes on, you start to realize every horse is different and is going to have their own set of quirks. If they like something, do it, even if people laugh or question why you do what you do. At the end of the day, you know your horse the best.
When it comes to entering for a weekend, do what you think is best. Don’t enter somewhere you don’t think your horse will like the pen or where you know you won’t make a good run. I’ve worked really hard the last few years to make all experiences good ones for Tana because of this she doesn’t freak out when a horse becomes loose at a games show in her heat, she will stand quietly at a trailer all night and doesn’t escape her pen, and she doesn’t shy at anything in the arena. I’ve also put her in a lot of situations that will gain her more experience.
At the end of the day even if the choice isn’t necessarily what I want to do, I make sure its the right choice for my horse because we wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for them.