I will never assume that being famous in the horse world is all fun and games or that it gives you an extra leg up. Buying a nice horse doesn’t always mean you have an extra leg up either. Buying fancy tack doesn’t mean you have a leg up. The only thing that can truly give you an extra leg up is, talent and determination. Some people are naturally talented and some people are not, you can buy the best bred horse and it can blow up or go lame, the horse world isn’t always in your favor. I wasn’t extremely talented right off the bat, I worked hard at it. My parents had me in lessons multiple days a week, bought me a horse that I didn’t have to work on, but could focus on my own riding. I rode and rode and rode. And now 10 years later, I’m still not anything special. Throughout middle school my Mom drove me everyday to the arena after school. I didn’t always have the nicest things, but in the end I had nice horses. A couple of wise old cowboys once told me, “it’s not how nice the trailer is that matters, it’s what is in it.” Sure would I love a brand new living quarters trailer and brand new dually duramax? Yeah I would, but I also like having nice horses and being able to afford entry fees.
I’ve only bought one finished horse in my whole life, Casey. I give Casey about 80% of the credit for making me such a good rider. I give Zoe another 10% for making me worry about more than just myself. I give all those other random horses I’ve been thrown on over the years the last 10% because they were all different and quirky in their own way. I’ve learned something from each of these horses that has made me the rider I am today. I have realized how beneficial it is to ride more than one horse your whole life because you become more well rounded and have so many more experiences. Go out there and take chances, ride horses that make you a little nervous, it will make you a better hand in the end. If you’ve got big dreams then remember everything that requires big dreams.
The truest statement I’ve ever read is, “most people need a $1500 horse and $18500 in lessons.” If you really want to chase these big dreams then you will work so hard everyday, give up “extra” things to take the extra lesson a week, enter the barrel race, get your horse a chiropractor appointment, add to saving money in your saddle fund, etc. You’ll do all of this because each of these things will help you achieve that end goal. Everybody who is at the top didn’t start there. They had to work and work and work.
Some days after multiple hours of classes and riding, I would like to go home and just relax, but I don’t. I go to the gym and try to find even 30 minutes to fit in some exercise then I head the barn where I ride, clean my pen, and do other misc. stuff that needs to be done. Then I go home and do homework for hours on end along with laundry, meal prepping, household chores, etc. It’s not “easy” by any means but I wouldn’t want to live my life any other way. Because then on the weekend when you load everything up and head down the road, and have a great weekend running, it’s all worth it.
Don’t forget, you are going to hit a barrel, you are going to have a bad run, you won’t make a check one weekend, you’ll get bucked off, but each and every person at the top has had all those things happen to them too. They all had to start somewhere. Reserve WPRA Champion Amber Moore spent her entire life state gaming and it wasn’t until she got Paige and spent a lot of time running her that she hit the Rodeo Trail.
So be brave, saddle up, go to ride even when your tired, keep crossing off achievements, learn from your mistakes, and you will find your way.
XOXO Happy Riding