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Never Stop Riding

Life of a Games Show

As a barrel racer you get spoiled, show up at 7 a.m., pay your entry fees, warm up, time only your three year old, time only your seasoned horse, wait for the tractor guy to work the ground, the arena crew to set the pattern and then you make your run and head to the next barrel race. Unless you are putting on the barrel race, chances are you don’t have to set the pattern, find a tractor driver, write checks, keep track of times, clean the facility and follow up with your Facebook post filled with results.

Two summers ago my trainer, Linzie, got on a kick of hosting barrel racers. At first I was like, “oh, this will be fun!” By the end of the summer when I was writing the last checks of the series, and Linzie was giving out the awards, I thought to myself that race producers don’t receive enough credit. It takes a village to run a barrel race, Linzie and I wouldn’t have survived that summer without all the help we had along the way and especially my Mom who was constantly willing to do anything and everything. For anyone wanting to produce a barrel race, if you put one on, the people will come!

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It’s the Western Gaming clubs that make each and every person work and earn their end of series prizes in more than just your horse/ rider abilities. You have to rake every three heats of riders or run the in gate or records times, etc. Not only are you making five runs each of a different pattern, but on top of all it you are either judging one to two age groups or raking at least 5 age groups or running the in gate for at least two age groups. When the series is over and you’re at the awards series picking up your stable sheet, saddle pad, or hay bag, you’ve definitely earned that prize. It’s not usually until I go to a games show after a while off that I realize just how much work they are. Although I won’t complain about all the Fit Bit steps I get on those days!

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Your day consist of:

  • Warm Up
  • Run
  • Rake/ Judge/ Time etc.
  • Warm Up
  • Run
  • Rake/ Judge/ Time etc.

And repeat this at least five times, that doesn’t even count if you bring a training horse and have to warm up and ride that one through all the events. There’s a special place in my heart for those people who don’t have the obligation to rake for riders but go ahead and do so anyways. I know my horse appreciates it.

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Attending a few games shows each summer definitely puts my barrel racing life back into perspective. I enjoy all the socializing that comes with the raking, making five runs in a day, standing in a holding pen with all the girls you’ve grown up riding with and then camping in the summer with your horse and all your closest friends. The days are long and sometimes hot or cold, but they are good for a barrel racers head, a horse’s head, and will make you appreciate all the race producers and committee members who work hard at barrel racers to make the race a breeze.

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So at your next games show or barrel race, thank the producers, committee members and when they need a helping hand, lend one!

 

Safe travels!

Beauty on the Road

I’m the first one to admit that I love to look good because look good, feel good right? Sometimes being on the road three days a week doesn’t always make it easy to keep your beauty habits up to par. Over the years and many weeks filled with barrel racing, in many, many conditions I have tried to find the easiest ways to keep up my beauty habits and routine on the road.

If you are a barrel racer or really equestrian of any kind usually by Sunday my hair is usually 85% dry shampoo in a messy bun and my mascara is two days old.

Recently my essentials have expanded and for Christmas one of my gifts was a Baggallini which I realized was perfect for all of my products. On Black Friday I stocked up on all the “stocking stuffers” of my favorite items from facewash to eye shadow primer because they are the perfect size to take with me on the weekend. Ulta had my favorite Philosophy face wash and Urban Decay eyeshadow primer on sale both which I couldn’t resist missing out on. Having a set of all the travel size products I can’t go without is so much easier because you can leave them in the trailer, keep them all together, and spend less time packing and unpacking. Besides my makeup bag, I don’t ever leave home without makeup wipes, Batiste dry shampoo, and Tarte lights-camera-lashes 4 in 1 mascara.

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Weekends barrel racing usually means summertime sunshine. Just like any other girl I love that all the summer sunshine means getting some color in my skin, especially my face, and for me that means less makeup. I no longer feel the need to put on moisturizer, concealer, foundation, finishing powder, and blush. Instead it’s usually moisturizer, concealer, and finishing powder all put on in the drive thru of the coffee stand at 5 a.m. My favorite concealer is Bare Minerals, finishing powder by MAC, and my Neutrogena moisturizer. Other times I wake up 5 minutes early on day two to put a face on because by this time my feet hurt, I’m over tired, my hair is 85% dry shampoo, and this is the one part of me that can look good and feel good quickly.

I try my best to come prepared for every situation. Running water and power when you pull into a “campground” are luxuries. More often than not you’re parked in a field with only the water you have in your trailer, living out of cooler, thankful your trailer has a battery so you have an electric plug for your phone charger and lights at night. If you know me, you know I like to take good care of my skin! This being said no matter what every night I always make sure to take off my makeup even if I don’t get to wash my face and apply a moisturizer before bed.

Top Beauty Products on the Road (that won’t break the bank)

1. Batiste Dry Shampoo
http://www.ulta.com/dry-shampoo?productId=xlsImpprod2040049#
This is found at Target, Ulta, Walmart, but I buy it from Marshalls or TJ Maxx because it’s only $4.79 a can!
2. Neutrogena Oil- Free Acne Moisturizer
http://www.ulta.com/oil-free-acne-moisturizer?productId=xlsImpprod12041845
I’ve found the best deal at Ulta because hello more rewards points and you can use their weekly coupon on it.
3. Makeup wipes
http://tjmaxx.tjx.com/store/jump/product/women-beauty-makeup/3pk-Facial-Cleansing-Wipes/1000194356?colorId=NS1003538&pos=1:1&N=4099689032
I think the Marshalls or TJ Maxx ones for $2.99 – $3.99 are comparable to the Neutrogena ones for usually $8.00.
4. Tarte lights- camera- lashes 4 in 1 mascara
http://tartecosmetics.com/tarte-item-lights-camera-lashes-mascara
This is one product I will spend more money on ($21) however, sometimes Tarte.com has sales and you can get it for $10 a tube!

I could go on for days and days about skin care, makeup products, hair products, what I’ve found that works, what doesn’t, so if you have any questions feel free to contact me!

 

Stay looking good and feeling good, barrel racing beauties!

 

 

Food Along the Ride

No matter how long or short the haul may be there’s a good chance you’ll stop for food along the way. Sometimes its a mini mart inside of a sketchy gas station where you opt to use your trailer bathroom over theirs. Sometimes its a Subway inside a Love’s truck stop. If you are really lucky there will be a Taco Bell, Taco Time, Subway, McDonalds, and Denny’s to choose from, even on occasion there’s a Safeway with a deli inside of it. Breakfast burritos for the win!

Most importantly, barrel racers love coffee. The green straw. The non-fat milk. The iced brew. They love all of it. However, that is another topic for another blog. i90_220px

If there is a Taco Time at an exit along i90 through Washington or along the i5 corridor, more than likely I have stopped at it at least once, even when a normal person thinks the horse trailer won’t fit. What can I say? I love tacos!

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Most barrel racers have a favorite place they always eat at, no matter what. However, Im not one of those barrel racers. It all depends on what I am in the mood for. Except if I pull in somewhere I’ve never ate before, without a doubt Im going to choose Subway. It all depends on the time of year, time of day, what Im in the mood for, how my run(s) went, etc. In the most ideal conditions its a late summer afternoon,  I had pulled a check or two, my horse worked well, and it’s ideal driving conditions where Im probably not stuck in traffic. This has happened like three times ever but still, a girl can dream. If the entire trip is going perfect (or close to it) then there’s a Taco Time and I get to order my all time favorite Mexi Fries with two beef crunchy tacos.

In reality most trips don’t go as planned and there’s always a bump in the road (maybe even literally) but I have favorites from any food stop we make along the way. If I’ve had a bad run and still am getting my 20 minutes of being mad time, then all I want is Wendy’s fries and Frosty. A medium fry to a small chocolate frosty is the perfect ratio. Annually Wendy’s restaurants serve 300 million frosties to customers.

wendys      frosty-and-fry

From time to time its nearing midnight and you pull into a McDonalds inside a sketchy gas station because it’s the only “dining room” open and the three horse gooseneck doesn’t fit through a drive-thru. Thank you Jacklyn for being a trooper with me that night. In this particular situation without a doubt a large fry with sweet and sour, Oreo McFlurry, and McChicken is being ordered. Kuddos to McDonalds for always giving extra sweet and sour sauce.

Subway and Taco Bell are the two places I could eat over and over again without getting sick of, ever. Subway is also the perfect meal to pick up on the way to the barrel race and be able to leave in the cooler or the fridge all day and it will still be just as good, if not better, when you’ve made all your runs. Subway is always a footlong turkey on italian herbs and cheese with lettuce, cucumber, onion, green pepper, olives, mayo, mustard, salt and pepper. I’d have to say with everybody I’ve traveled with over the years, Subway is always a go to stop for most barrel racers.

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Safe and Happy Travels!

 

 

Life in the North as a Barrel Racer

Since December 1, 2016 eight barrel races I planned on attending have been cancelled because of weather. Not just snow but rain, ice, pass conditions, hazardous weather warnings, flood warning, and probably more. For all of us barrel racers who are stuck up north during the winter, this one has been more of an adventure than some. Not only have we been unable to barrel race but we haven’t been able to go westbound or east bound over Interstate 90 and most of us in Eastern WA on Wednesday, January 18th, enjoyed an “ice” day.

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Snoqualmie Pass has received 186 inches of snow this season

Weather Men weren’t kidding this year when they said La Nina would probably be a strong one. Strong La Nina years are promising to bring healthy mountain snow packs.

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i90 Summit

It’s been six weeks now that barrel racers have been battling the weather and around week two we finally quit the battle for awhile. Two barrel races have been cancelled in Moses Lake in December and January because of poor pass conditions, icy roads, frozen ground, and freezing temperatures. The race producer didn’t want to take any chances of a horse or rider being injured trying to get to her barrel race because the road conditions were poor.

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Washington Barrel Racing Association has cancelled six barrel races this winter.

The weeks of cold temperatures continued on and all the fortunate barrel racers began packing their trucks and trailers to head south for some of the winter. On December 26 most of the snow birds left the freezing temperatures behind and headed south. As the snow falls outside or in some cases the ice, barrel racers in the Northwest are sitting in front of their computers live streaming all the Classic Equine Futurity and Derby, Greg Olson Memorial Futurity and Derby, and Annual Pac West Barrel Race.

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As we sit at home and drool over the snow bird’s Facebook post enjoying the sunshine and warmer temperatures, we can’t help but be in awe. As most people in Eastern Washington, my horse is currently turned out for the time being as barrel races still continue to be cancelled and we just survived an ice storm here in Ellensburg. Sitting at home has left all of us barrel racers that much more eager to work hard and hopefully one year be able to head south to Arizona for the winter and “chase the dream.”

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First half of January whether in Ellensburg, Washington.

Over the last few days I’ve began to wonder what the outcome of this winter will bring. My filly who is turned out isn’t seasoned, she’s been entered in two barrel races and is supposed to have her futurity year beginning this spring. I’m feeling behind. I’m rethinking futurities and barrel races I want to enter. It’s not fair to enter an out of shape, “green” horse and expect greatness from her.

This winter has definitely been a winter to say the least as every barrel racer from the north has battled snow, rain, ice, sleet, and the occasional sunny day. When the snow melts, the days get longer, and our farmers go back to the fields, there will be plenty of barrel racing alleys to ride down and adventures to await.

 

 

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-snow-outlook-for-this-winter-in.html

http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/passes/snowDepth/

http://hstrial-wpatton.homestead.com/races.html?_=1457559207255

http://www.southbuckeye.com/barrel-racing/

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