Last summer I listened to a sports psychologist give a fascinating speech. Something she said really stuck with me…
“There are NO accidents, only unintended consequences that are the result of poor decisions.”
Wow. I think there’s a lot of truth to that.
If you’re someone who’s ALL about taking personal responsibility for the part you play in your barrel racing success – for really OWNING your ability to bring out the very best in your horses, then today’s new video is for you.
If there are pessimists, optimists and realists, then I tend toward the latter. I believe in expecting the best, but preparing for the worst.
After all, if “the worst” is gonna happen, it’ll probably be in the most inconvenient and untimely places, such as when we’re traveling and competing with our horses!
Take a look at this quote by William Arthur Ward – “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
Which one of the three is the action taker here?
Which one are YOU?
Truth be told – a lot of the problems and challenges that come up when we’re traveling aren’t really SURPRISES. It’s more a matter of WHEN a horse will get hurt, or a truck will break down vs. IF.
Of course, I don’t go around obsessing over all the bad things that can happen, but making sure they don’t knock us off track all comes back to one thing: PREPARATION.
This includes preparing our horses, our gear & equipment, our rig, and most importantly – ourselves.
A lot of road warriors will tell you that the miles in the trailer are actually harder on horses than the actual runs – there’s no doubt it takes a toll.
But sometimes even more detrimental than the jarring of the trailer as we’re hitting the highway, is the mental and emotional stresses our horses go through.
If you’re stressed out all the time – for example, it’s going to effect your entire body, and NOT in a positive way. What’s critical to remember is that like a duck’s feet fervently paddling under smooth water, many horses don’t show obvious, outward signs of stress. So we have to LEARN how to notice the most subtle signs, then take ACTION.
Our horse’s mental and physical well-being while we’re on the road isn’t something we just leave to chance – WE have the power to significantly diminish the stress they experience, and their performance will often improve as a result!
While certain horses require a slightly different approach to building confidence, there’s SO MUCH MORE to “seasoning” a horse than just jumping them in the trailer so they can learn to “get used to” or “deal with” the new sights and sounds.
We CAN be very specific, purposeful and pro-active about preparing them, to make traveling and hauling positive experiences from the very beginning.
And just because an ol’ campaigner has been hauled all over the U.S. and is completely obedient about loading, doesn’t mean their truly accepting of the trailer – there’s room for improvement with these guys too (as I demonstrated in today’s video with Dot Com)!
I want my horses to LOVE traveling as much as I do, and there’s so much we can to do help them be comfortable. When they’re relaxed, traveling takes less of a toll on them AND they have more energy to direct toward winning runs! I’ve shared the specific steps I take with our horses and the high standards I have for “training” them to ENJOY rodeo life AND be perfect gentlemen on the road!
In the video blow I also shared what I did when adversity (and my admittedly poor attitude) was becoming just a little too much for me to bear last week. It’s the same steps I recommend YOU take during times when you just can’t seem to pull yourself out of the pit of despair after a bad run (or a few).
Again, it’s not IF these kinds of things will happen, it’s WHEN – you wanna be ready to bounce back quickly, right!? If so, then click here to dive into today’s new PRO post.
In “Hauling Do’s & Don’ts: Avoid the Pitfalls to Arrive (and Stay) at Your Best” I’ve shared some things we’ve done with our trailer to make it as convenient and comfortable as possible, PLUS the future modifications and additions I have in mind to make it even more so!
In today’s video, we’re gonna talk breakdowns and meltdowns, specifically how to deal with them in advance and even how to avoid them entirely when you’re on the road. Read more