Riding Free Blog: Saddle Up!

It’s all About the Personal Best

April 28, 2021

Horse Tips, Mama Stuff

30.32. That number might not mean a lot by itself but let me tell you the story behind it. That’s the first time Abby ever got in barrels at her first CHSRA D7 Rodeo. The same rodeo a friend had to pray with her and talk her into even going through the gate. That was Sunday and the day before she got a “No Time” for breaking the pattern at the second barrel.

For those who aren’t familiar, the barrel event is a speed event where a rider must maneuver their horse in a clover leaf pattern as fast as possible. If a rider hits a barrel it’s a 5 second penalty and if they break the clover leaf pattern it’s considered a “No Time”.

Fast forward to last night. The girl who was afraid to even enter the arena, fearful of my prancing, huge barrel horse…RODE HIM IN A JACKPOT. She ran a 21.3. That is the fastest she’s ever gone and is a huge improvement from her first rodeo. Check out her video here below!

A little slip at the first barrel cost them some time, but she recovered well!

Now, if you compare her results to others in the race, you might assume she didn’t do so hot:

This race was broken up into 4 divisions consisting of a 1D (top), 2D, 3D and 4D. Patterns can also vary in size as well as the conditions in the arena so “fast” times are unique to each arena.

My friend described Abby’s joy after she ran in the race. She was smiling ear to ear, repeating that she had never gone that fast before. She knew she achieved her personal best.

Now, I’m not the type of person who thinks everyone should get a trophy and everyone wins. She did not win the race and has a long way to go. However, I do believe in celebrating personal bests and this was one to celebrate. She was once fear-paralyzed in this event. MORTIFIED.

I don’t think it’s talked about enough. In a social media world, success seems so automatic and it’s hard not to compare your journey or your child’s to someone else’s. So, if you’re a parent with a child who is fearful, continue to support them, acknowledge the fear and help them use it. There is no better feeling than conquering it. Let’s normalize celebrating personal bests so that when they’re kicking butt and winning, we all know what it took to get there.

Our friend Jenna, has worked with her horse for years to get to where she’s placing and winning money! Here is her run from last night where she took 1st place in the 2D:

We’d LOVE to know if you’ve had a success story like this, drop a comment below to let us know!

xoxo- Amber

  1. Amberly says:

    Congrats Abby! As someone who gets a ton of anxiety at competitions (so many crying-in-the-gate stories!) I find this super inspiring 💜 Your hard work shows!

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