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The space between can'ts is CANS - barrel racing motivation Cowgirl Chronicles

Updated: Oct 10, 2019


I know, I know it's Monday, or maybe its any day of the week and it just feels like MUNDAYNE - but why not start it with a little motivation? My question is, 'Where or who does your motivation come from when you barrel race or compete with horses?'


For me; my willpower hits rock bottom consistently and more often than I would like. I could give you any excuse of why this happens. My kid is sick. My horse is lame. I'm not seeing overnight success. You name it, I've gazed up at it after it's kicked me on the ground.

When my willpower is depleted I have very little motivation to get out with horses, train hard or even enter race. Sad fact. I was too tired to saddle up this weekend indeed. But I did anyway, because…


There comes a point when you can't dig in anymore to your inner resources and then you must look UP. Up toward God. Up toward your goals. Up toward the bigger picture of WHY you are even doing what you are trying (feebly) to do. Be a work of the spirit not of your flesh.


For my circumstance, my motivation is what God has placed in my heart. To be honest 200 miles, $100, and 4 hours of sleep is hardly enough for 15 seconds around 3 stationary objects. Usually the adrenalin rush takes care of most of those details. BUT in the grand scheme of things it's important to consider that long term and true motivation must have a big part in your horse competition strategy. Because let’s face it, “3 barrels, 2 hearts, one dream” is cute at best.


I’ve heard a wise horseman say, “… that prior and proper preparation prevents poor performance particularly if polite and passive persistence is practiced in the proper position, but that perspective takes patience from process to product, from principle to purpose.”


This week was really infused with many challenges in the circus world I live in. One has not experienced the joys of parenthood until they’ve been shat on. Oh? Too much you say? Well stay tuned. Not only pooped on – like projectile style but thrown up on. I caught it with my own shirt! And do you think this happens at a reasonable hour of the day? Of course not. When is the last time you took a shower at 3am? Probably for fun or during college. That’s when.


So when I wake up the next morning…I yawn, stretch and open my eyes to look for my motivation. It’s gone. Willpower? Missing too. Energy for life? I must’ve left that somewhere…


Riddle me this: Why would I climb out of my child’s warm claw-indented, sleeper-hold from our cozy bed to go drive my glamorous trailer, hours away to run around three 50 gallon drums? You might answer, “Because you’re crazy! And you love the sport of barrel racing!” No. “Because you want to win?” No again.


Because I intend to turn process into product. Because I need to turn my horsemanship principles into purpose. And because my business’s mission is To teach relationship building between horse and human and to develop an intimate understanding of horse psychology and physiology through progressive horse keeping company. Because I need to lead by example.


So the next time you are worn out, tired, short on time, and even shorter on willpower just remember: It doesn’t have to come from you. In fact it shouldn’t because you will only where yourself out and then become frustrated at your horse and your family and your mission. All it takes is the realization that you should be lead by the spirit and not you’re my baggy-eyed, haggard flesh.


Just keep riding, gaining focus, asking for forgiveness and living victoriously. The way God intended.




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