“Next week she may have corn rows! You never know what she’ll decide to do next,” said a friend of mine to another barrel racer this summer.
She was referring to the fishtail braids that I had put in my mares mane. A newly learned task (thanks to Pinterest) and something to scratch off my bucket list of “things to learn how to do” since seeing my first fishtail braid on a beautiful brown haired girl in second grade. I always admired the girl, but I wasn’t quite sure if she may have been of Asian descent or if her mother combed her hair back so tight in a pony tail that her eyes were slightly slanted. The young girl and I never spoke on our hour and a half long bus ride home except for the one time I asked her if her pony tail ever hurt her head. She said yes, but her mom made her wear her hair like that everyday. I suggested she pull it out as soon as she got to school and I will never forget the look on that little girl’s face. You would have thought I was the devil! She glanced at me and said, “Oh no, I couldn’t do that. I would get in so much trouble.” We never spoke again.
I was never one for girly things at a young age. My mom dressed me in the most beautiful dresses until I was able to give my opinion and then It was jeans and boots. First it was a white pair of boots and then a red. I remember the white ones had to be thrown out while I cried because they were so beat up. So needless to say, I wasn’t one to really sit still and get my hair done on a daily basis and lets get this straight (haha no pun intended) my hair is wild, something between course dark blonde with waves, straight in the front and curly/wavy in the back. It goes from full to poofy depending on the humidity. Most of the time these days I have it straightened and dirty, that’s when it looks it’s best.
So, if I’m going to waste my time primping something’s hair its going to be something I can actually see without looking in the mirror, because as Snow White’s evil step-mother taught us, there is nothing more annoying than a woman who looks in the mirror all of the time! So my friend’s kids and the horses become my mannequins to test out all of the pretty hair styles I get to see on Pinterest.
I call this Pinterest Therapy! I have a theory that if you ever need a booster in life, go on Pinterest, learn something new, like a hair style and then wear it out into the world for everyone to see. EXPECT NO ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS!
The weirdest thing will happen… I promise! People will notice and they will comment and compliment and it will make you feel better. It’s a natural pick-me-up! I have actually tested this theory. It makes for great conversation and while you are searching for your latest greatest thing to learn, time will pass and you won’t think about anything bad that is looming around in that pretty little head of yours. It’s really a distraction, but sometimes I think a person just needs to get through the day. Can ya hear a sister out on that one?
I still think that my horses are my best accessories, sometimes they don’t shine like I want them to, but that’s my job to take them home and polish them up! If they don’t get as shiny as I want them, then I have to figure out how to get them shiny (as you know I’m talking about performance, not grooming)! It’s all up to me. A dear friend of mine posted a quote the other day by Buck Brannaman (one of the founding natural horsemanship trainers) that said our horses are the mirror to our soul. I don’t quite know how to take that! Especially when I think about some of the counterfeit ones that I have ridden in my days. Like one gelding I had that could clock like a son of gun, but would dump me on my head every three months without warning, religiously! After the third concussion he got a “new zip code,” as Bo Hill would say. Bo Hill, being what I’m now calling the most quoted barrel racer, barrel horse breeder and trainer, in all of history, has also said, “If you have a horse that makes you feel bad about yourself, send him down the road!.” I’ve never heard truer words said. I think about the horses that have caused tears and pain and I wondered why I held on for so long. But looking at Buck’s statement… was it me? There is a horse standing in my barn right now, that along with giving me some of the happiest times of my barrel racing careers, including pro-rodeo earnings, championships over then-current NFR qualifiers,and Intercollegiate Standings notoriety, also gave me a plate and six screws in my left knee
after lawn darting me at a dead run before the second barrel. To this day I say that it wasn’t his fault and that he gave me plenty of warning to pull him up. Now that we are both crippled, I kind of figure we’re even. I still make him work and heel some for my step-dad when he comes to
visit. I figure since I’m pushing myself to run a 10k he can go chase some steers down the pen. Besides, even though he made me cry he has given me more happy memories than I could ever count sad. So which is it? Is it you or is it them? If they are the reflection of your soul, then maybe that’s why you see some people win year after year. Those are the ones that inspire me! It’s like they know a language that I’m so eager to learn. I don’t know if it just comes with age or experience but at some point you’re just a girl on a horse going through life… and everything lines up just perfect and maybe that is when you are staring back at a true reflection!