Be Ready for Anything with 16 Barrel Racing Boot Bag Necessities

Be Ready for Anything with 16 Barrel Racing Boot Bag Necessities

For a barrel racer, it’s a sickening feeling to suddenly realize you need a specific product or tool just minutes before competing, only to realize you left it at the trailer.

No one wants to experience panic, anxiety or concern in those critical pre-run moments.

Especially considering that the trailer might be a half mile away, having everything we could possibly need close at hand not only saves time, but it saves mental bandwidth – so we can stay focused on what’s most important, which is getting in the zone for our upcoming run, instead of getting distracted. Read more

The ONE Thing Good AND Bad Runs Must Have in Common for Continued Barrel Racing Success

The ONE Thing Good Runs and Bad Runs Must Have in Common for Continued Barrel Racing Success

When I made the second run back on my gelding Pistol several weeks ago, after a FIVE year break from competing (and SEVEN months of re-conditioning) due to an injury, the overwhelming feelings I experienced were ones I won’t soon forget.

While it wasn’t exactly an arena record, the run felt solid and we clocked at the top of the 3D against more than a couple hundred of the best barrel racers in Texas – not too shabby I figured, considering I wasn’t sure he’d return to running barrels AT ALL!

I was pretty excited, and as Pistol and caught our breath, I turned and locked eyes with my hubby (and videographer) who was walking toward us with the same excited and grateful smirk on his face.
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How to TEACH and Prepare Your Horse to Handle Challenging Ground Conditions

How to TEACH and Prepare Your Horse to Handle Challenging Ground Conditions

The barrel racing world has been abuzz lately on the important topic of ground conditions and what must be done to improve them, especially at the super bowl of rodeo and most prestigious event of the year – the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

As individual barrel racers with gold buckle dreams and valuable equine athletes that are both part of our livelihood and families, our hope for change comes in part through believing there is power in numbers, and that our voices and concerns are more likely to be heard when we join forces and take a stand together to #raisethebarforrodeo, as is being attempted through this petition.

It’s easy to get caught up in the emotions surrounding the issue – after all, there’s not just a lot of money at stake each night, but one single slip can be career ending for a beloved barrel horse, and the safety of the world’s top jockey’s is at stake as well. It’s no doubt serious business and an issue that can’t be taken lightly at any level.

In times like this, with social media at our fingertips it’s easy to hop on the finger-pointing and complaining bandwagon. When so many others are on board, it can be tempting to follow suit.

So while I do believe there is power in numbers, and am an advocate for safe ground conditions, I’m also a BIG believer that we must each take personal responsibility for our own safety and that of our horses, and that’s what I intend to help you do today. In any circumstance when we haven’t done everything in our own power through preparation, then a one-sided blame game isn’t quite a fair one to play.

Especially when a public message from WPRA headquarters enlightened us to the legitimate limitations in the influence and control barrel racers have over the ground conditions, situations like the WNFR especially require us to take matters into our own hands in addition to joining forces, and each do our part – which may include reaching out to local rodeo committees, but especially TEACHING and preparing ourselves and our horses, starting with the steps we take in our own home arenas – to increase the odds for safe and successful runs no matter what kind of challenging circumstances come our way.

In the pro members post below, I’ve shared TEN ways to do just that! Read more

Start Strong to Finish FAST – Catch the Correct Lead for a Stress-Free Alley Set Up Every Time

Start Strong to Finish FAST – Catch the Correct Lead for a Stress-Free Alley Set Up Every Time

The degree of responsiveness we NEED at the gate is NOT conditional – it HAS to hold up in any and all circumstances, even (and especially) when energy and adrenaline is high.

For some it’s not quite responsiveness that’s a problem, but the horse’s emotional stability. Ever catch yourself tip toeing around ever so subtly as you ask your horse to get in position because he’s SO reactive at the gate that he’s borderline unpredictable or dangerous?

If that’s the case it’s a different kind of problem, yet it also needs to be addressed before we can truly be set up for a successful run in the alley.

I addressed both these issues and more in today’s NEW Pro Members video post. Read more

Operation Thawing Frosty: Melting Long-Standing Resistance for a New Lease on Life

Operation Thawing Frosty: How to Melt Long-Standing Resistance for a New Lease on Life

A couple months ago I shared Frosty’s story in In It for the Long Haul – Advice from Your Future Self on Keeping Barrel Horses Sound, Healthy & Happy.

It was then that I mentioned that the “living legend” in our pasture represented something really special. When he was retired early due to ring bone, Craig couldn’t bare to part with him. His family raised Frosty, and sound or not, he was with us to stay.

His presence was an everyday reminder to take care of and appreciate what you have – because good horses don’t last forever.

Well now, only TWO months later Frosty is a shining example of a completely different life lesson (and many others).

In that same post, I mentioned that Craig had been blessed with not only one, but two truly “one in a million” horses. The kind of talented athletes that some professional competitors may never even know in a lifetime.

I mentioned that having Dot Com was like a second chance to get things right, to do better.

But now, that’s all changed! Read more

Strip Away Constraints to Deepen Communication and Heighten Barrel Racing Success

Strip Away Constraints to Deepen Communication and Heighten Barrel Racing Success

The taller a building, the more sturdy the foundation must be.

The more tension on a fence, the deeper the post holes must be.

Ever wonder why the vertical part of a cross is longer than the horizontal part?

Because it must go deep to stand strong.

If you’re serious about achieving big time barrel racing success like I am – you’ve gotta be willing to go deeper than most people go.

This year, I challenge you to go further than you’ve ever gone before. Read more

NFR Insider – Will Adversity (and Bad Ground) Cause You to Break, or Break Records?

NFR Insider - Will Adversity (and Bad Ground) Cause You to Break, or Break Records?

When my husband Craig and I stepped off the jet-bridge from the 757 that took us from Cowboy Town back to Austin after the NFR, our tummies were rumbling.

We’d been eating out all week in Vegas and were more than ready for some “clean” food. Nothing at the airport was appealing so we set out to find a semi-healthy meal.

Being that we were still fairly new to Texas, we didn’t exactly know our way around like the back of our hands yet. I have an excellent sense of direction, but my husband is very attached to his trusty ol’ (outdated) GPS. That’s how our little adventure got started.

“Go this way!” “NO it’s left, not right!” “That’s NOT what it shows on my phone!” We missed our first turn and the goose chase began. About 20 minutes later, we finally arrived at our destination. The atmosphere in the car was dense with frustration, but it wasn’t mine.

The situation reminded me of the one the 2014 NFR barrel racers faced. Read more

How to Restore and Maintain Soundness with Quality Movement and Healthy Biomechanics

How to Restore and Maintain Soundness with Quality Movement and Healthy Biomechanics

If you’ve ever experienced the heartbreak of nursing a barrel horse through a potentially career-ending injury, you’re probably extra motivated to do everything possible to prevent it from happening again!

While there are legitimately things we cannot control in life, there are many more things we CAN control that we don’t even realize.

Did you know for example, that many people mistake posture for conformation? Or did you know that your horse’s “style” on the pattern can actually be changed?

While genetics certainly DO play a big part in how our horses look and move, the WAY in which we ask our horses to arrange their bodies (and the reward they receive for doing so) can be literally life-changing.

Developing healthy movement patterns not only has the power to change a horse’s seemingly innate “style,” it can also completely change a horse’s physique.

While it’s easy to consider the way a horse looks or moves as “just the way he is,” the truth is that we have a TON of influence over how our horses use their mind and body – anyone that tells you otherwise, probably doesn’t yet know HOW! Read more