This weekend I competed at the Montana Barrel Daze at the Cottonwood Arena. It had a great turn out with about 400 entries both days. The weather was beautiful, the announcer was great and the ground was fantastic. I would like to thank Lana Tibbetts and crew for putting on such a great event and I would like to thank the Cottonwood Arena in Silesia, MT for the great facilities.
I came into this weekend with some specific goals in mind for me and my horse. I didn’t pick a time to beat, or a person/horse combo to beat either, but I had a few specific goals that I wanted to accomplish. They are as follows:
- Build confidence in my horse and myself. This is a goal that I have been continually striving for since I started Deuce on the pattern. He is so talented but sometimes he doesn’t quite know it. My job as his trainer/owner/jockey is to help him realize what he is doing right.
- Trust Deuce going into first barrel. I need to let him choose his own speed and I need to let him work! He did quite well, on Saturday he kept my knee along the barrel edge to whole turn (scary and painful but wow, what a turn!)
- Make the best run possible to see where we are at right now. I switched Deuce from right to left about 45-60 days ago so I wanted to see where he has in his confidence and how snappy his second and third barrels were (he loved turning second before, it was his best barrel).
To me, these goals were specific (without demanding from my horse that he break the arena record or beat Suzy Q. Competitor) and they were measurable. I now know I can trust Deuce to run in and turn first barrel just about on his own (this arena set up at least) and that he is starting to hunt for second. I also know that he hates camera flashes at the timer line and that I will have to change a few things to help him get over that.
Remember, when setting goals:
- Keep it simple
- Achieve able (even through steps)
- Be specific
- Don’t stress if it takes time to achieve some goals. Rome was not built in a day, but as long as you keep improving and striving for your goals then your dreams are possible!