Horses and college, the stigma that all you are is a spoiled kid. Ya I’ll admit I have nice horses, are they the nicest? No, but that doesn’t mean they lack in any way. Whenever anyone hears I’m in college and I have not only one but two horses they automatically tag me as, spoiled. I’ve never denied that I am spoiled because I am; however, I also work very hard and have been given high expectations.
Bringing your horse to college hasn’t been no walk in the park. In fact it’s turned into a lot of long days and sleepless nights, and relying on others for help when I need it. My boyfriend has hauled endless loads of hay, my brother has hauled my horses back and forth from home to school for me when I haven’t been able to do it myself, and my parents have taken time off work to go to barrel races with me.
Barrel racing and horses kinda has the snowball effect on people. Once you start you can’t stop, it’s more addicting than cocaine! Not that I’ve ever tried cocaine, but that’s what everyone says. I don’t think barrel racers ever stop looking for their next barrel horse. A word of the wise once said to me, “don’t be afraid to trade up!” I sold my high school horse when I came to college and it was the best thing I ever did! Now she has a great home with a competitor she exceeds with.
Horses aren’t cheap, in fact their downright expensive. My parents always joke about all the things we’d have if we didn’t have horses, well mostly my Dad. Horses have taught me to work hard, I’ve had a job since Freshman year of High School and haven’t stopped working since, last spring I went out and got my first grown up job because sadly these horses don’t pay for themselves. If I didn’t have horses to pay for I’d be a millionaire but my life wouldn’t have half the fulfillment it does!
Although I’ve had more financial help with this horse dream than I could ever repay everyone that’s helped me along the way I’ve also had endless amounts of emotional support. From helping me mentally be able to lay down a run my horse was capable of to everyone who’s cinched me up prior to a run or rubber banded my feet in my stirrups, thank you it’s all helped. The stigma of spoiled horse girls is strictly a stigma. We drive through the night to make it to the next barrel race, we ride late at night or early in the morning between work and school, we are responsible for not only keeping ourselves alive but also our partners!
Barrel racing is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. Just when you think you’ve got it all under control or all figured out more curveballs are thrown at you. You’ll be at finals brave enough to finally lay down a nice run and think your all set and then boom after an awesome first and second barrel you can’t finish the third no matter how hard you work. But hey if life wasn’t like that barrel racing would be boring.
Horses are a weird thing like one day you love them, the other day you wanna give them away but really you learn endless amounts of life lessons. I’ve been bucked off, drug through a parking lot (don’t ever let go of the stud horse), I have hit more barrels than I can count, but I’ve made the best friendships, gained the best mentors, felt on cloud 9 about runs, sometimes the best things in life are the hardest to reach.