Posts

The Naked Truth – Powerful Insights on Becoming a Horse(wo)man, Part I

The Naked Truth - Powerful Insights on Becoming a Horse(wo)man

A genuine, intense and foundational love of horses is what inspires me, not just to be a top barrel racer, but a true horseman. It’s a fascination that borders the edge of obsession – and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Figuring out how both human AND horse can come together and truly WIN (in the barrel racing arena especially), is my passion.

So you can imagine my disappointment, when after taking six months off from riding to bring Secrets to Barrel Racing Success to life in 2012, just months after it’s launch, and days before my gelding and I were scheduled to return to competition, he came up mysteriously lame.

Little did I know then, that such an adverse circumstance would lead me on one of the greatest personal development journeys of my life.

I often refer to 2013 as the year I took my barrel horse through physical rehabilitation, and my husband’s rope horse through mental rehabilitation. I didn’t expect either to take nearly as long, but then there were a lot of unexpected surprises along the way!

Heather and Dot Com at Liberty

In my never-ending quest for becoming an all-around excellent horseman, outside of barrel racing I’ve enjoyed experiences that range from showing hunt seat equitation, to starting colts, creating positive breakthroughs for troubled horses, achieving success in reining, and more.

I should add however, that just doing all these things doesn’t mean a rider is on a path to becoming a true horseman, in fact, far from it. I believe the importance is in how you go about it, the things you learn, the way you grow and change, and who you become as a result.

Today’s article is about the powerful insight I gained through what many would consider a very atypical path for a barrel racer to follow. But then, I never claimed to be a “typical barrel racer!” Read more

Three Exercises for Relaxation on the Move

Three Exercises for Relaxation on the MoveExcessive tension will slow you down.

Listen to this article in audio form! It’s #33 on the Barrel Racing Tips podcast.
For the latest episodes subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or Google Play.


If you receive the BarrelRacingTips.com weekly email tips, then you may already know a little bit about the “rope horse rehab” journey I’ve been on with my husband’s gelding.

In a recent Q&A video titled Six Secrets for Relaxed, Quality Movement, I went in depth to explain the steps I was taking with Dot Com to get him calm, connected and responsive, instead of being a tense, high-headed, runaway waiting to happen.

As someone who is committed to never-ending self-development, I’ve been continuously refining my techniques, learning lessons and as a result – experiencing even more positive changes. In this article, I’d like to share three more exercises for “Relaxation on the Move,” including tips that will make it likely that you and your horses will benefit (and not make some of the mistakes I did).

First off, I’ll say that in the barrel racing world, it seems somewhat acceptable for horses to be “on the muscle,” and not just in that moment when they are mentally and physically gathering to fire to the first barrel, but in general. I think this way of being becomes acceptable because it’s so common, yet a lack of understanding exists when it comes to accepting this as a “typical behavior trait” of barrel horses.

Like I mentioned in the past Q&A, many horses that barrel racers think are “excited” are actually insecure, tense, anxious, fearful, etc. It’s NOT a fun way to feel, and that kind of consistent mental/emotional roller coaster can take a lot out of a horse (or human).

At the same time, it’s important to remember that a quiet horse is not necessarily a happy horse. Fortunately there is plenty we can do (or not do) to help our horses find some middle ground.
Read more