From the time we are children, we admire people, places and things. We all have someone we look up to and aspire to be like. For most it is a parent, teacher, grandparent, athlete or another professional in a given field. I have personally admited many people over the years including my parents, grandparents, teachers, riding coaches and other barrel racers.
As I started competing in youth event, “Watch what the winners do,” was a phrase I heard several times. I took it and ran with it, working with trainers, coaches and more experienced horseman. Needless to say, I learned A LOT! My performance improved probably every time I was out, I practiced and worked my horse nearly everyday and it paid off. I started researching supplements and found what worked best for my horse’s joints and body. For several years, I was very competitive.
My trusty steed retired, I worked with other horses and people. My admiration shifted as I learned more and more. My eyes were opened to another world of training and starting colts, perfecting turns and working with my horse’s natural movements to improve. It has totallly changed my performances for the better!
There are many people out there that are MUCH MUCH better than me! I stil have many that I admire, but maybe for different reasons than when I first started racing. I strive to have the patience that others have shown with me. Someday maybe I will be close, but I still continue make improvements.
Outside of the horse world, I admired teachers and started working on myself to be able to learn to teach. I know it sounds crazy, but there is an easy way and a hard way to go about teaching and helping. I learned that relationships are far more valuable than any placing or ribbon and I started investing more and more into them. It was intersting being on both sides, and still being on both sides, learning and teaching. Without helping others, when they ask, I am not using others’ investment in me to its full potential. Others invested in me, and I am gladly willing to help others.
One of the first kids that I started coaching when I was younger, is now one of my best friends. We ride together and race together still. It is such a blessing to watch her with her horse, she has learned so much and is always asking me about different things to learn more and improve her races. We have so much fun because we bounce ideas off each other now.
Admiration is a good thing. Hopefully everyone has a good rold model to look up to, and I encourage you to continue the tradition and strive to be a positive role model to others in your life. Everyone needs someone to look up to!