Recently I was riding one of my favorite young horses and really enjoying it, I think the horse was too. The weather was great and the horse was working exceptionally well. He is just that kind of a horse. Just one of those great moments in a barrel horse trainer’s life. I was loping around the barrels and thinking to myself what a wonderful country we live in and how great it is to be able to pursue our passions: riding horses and barrel racing and also: boy, this is going to be a nice barrel horse.

There is nothing quite like just being around a horse. Their breathing, their movements, how they run and buck and play, how they learn. How we can take an animal that is really just a flight or fight animal and turn them into our partners that will run hard and then rate and turn three barrels, time after time! It is truly amazing if you think about it. Just brushing them and seeing how they are made and how they can move and also be very gentle. Now tell me you have not smelled your horse’s breath at some point! We are definitely a lucky bunch to be able to spend so much time with God’s great creatures.

Horses are a wonderful thing for sure. Lance and I are very lucky to be able to get up everyday and not have to go far to begin our day job of working with these wonderful creatures. Growing up I had a very supportive dad (I still have him) who stood behind his daughter’s passions for these hay burners. I think his real motive was that someone told him “kids that are into horses, don’t get ino trouble.” Don’t know who that was, but would like to thank them. My dad was never a horseman or cowboy by any stretch. But, he tried to understand my passion. He did a great job of it too. He knew this was not a passing fancy for me. Heck, it is almost an addiction. My dad always supported my passion with the healthy investments of money and encouragement. 

This is where the next mentor came into my life. Dixie Glick, mother of Carolyn Mendes, hauled us girls in my dad’s El Camino and two horse Miley everywhere we wanted to go. She was patient, and still is. She really encouraged us couple of horse crazy girls. We both still barrel race and Carolyn helps run a barrel racing organization and raises her own barrel horses. Now that I look back, what did Dixie get to do for fun? I guess it was go with us to the barrel races and 4-H shows. She sometime says to me now “Did you ever imagine you would get to here doing this”? I think I did! She sure did encourage us to be better horse women. And the next time you meet a 4-H leader, thank them. They deserve it. Or better yet do something to help out a youth horse group. 

Lance and I are not big time horse breeders by any means, (four foals this year). Breeding and raising and training and then seeing our foals, aka family members, go on and do good for their next family is such a great feeling, I can’t describe. And foaling season is here, with its feelings of wonder, excitement, worry and even sometimes grief, an amazing event to say the least. If you don’t believe in God, you should see a colt be born and take his first breath and then jump up and wobble within the first 30 minutes, then run. Even the ones that we do not raise, but just start (I feel this is what we do because training is a life long process for a horse) go on and make their owner happy is a great feeling. Lance is an amazing horseman and has the same passion for horses that I do. Our passion for horses has never waivered.

Many of you have the same passion that we do. Many of you have experienced the same support from your parents or spouse in your addiction to the horse world. You are the lucky ones. We all need to look for ways to help other newbies in this wonderful sport of barrel racing. Pay it forward is what I call it. Because of these wonderful creatures, I now have a wonderful extended family, two legged and four legged. Even if some still think we are horse crazy. 

So go and share your horse passion with others.

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