This past weekend I ran in the Manitoba Barrel Racing Finals here in my home Province. I had high hopes of making three nice runs and being lucky enough to fall into some money. We aren’t ready to run for the 1D win yet, so I was hoping to fall into some division money or side pots (MB bred and derby).
I didn’t think that I set my sights too high, I just wanted honest, clean runs. On our way to the first run, we had a big scare where I almost ran right into the side of a very big truck. At that point, I was happy to be there to make my run. On my way to the first barrel I could feel something wasn’t right and when I came out I said to my friend “there’s either something wrong with my horse or something wrong with the ground”. She didn’t feel like she normally does in that arena. We concluded that the ground was tacky and she wasn’t fond of it.
In my run, there were a few things (other than not running fast) that concerned me. She was quite short and a bit stiff going into the second barrel and hadn’t committed to the first barrel. The first barrel “thing” isn’t new, but the second was surprising. The next morning I had a chance to ride at home and fix up those little things I didn’t want to become big things. We had a good ride and I felt we were primed for a good run in the second round. Abracadabra warmed up really good and was pumped in the holding arena when I asked her. She was soft and responsive, but more energized than the first run. I saw this as a great thing. I was focused and prepared ready for this run.
I sent her to first and turned my hips instead of pulling her like I had been looking to make a change at first. It worked, but she got on her front a bit and went by first a hair more than I had hoped. I pulled on the right rein to get her to come back and she didn’t follow the pressure. She stepped off first and gave me the feeling we were going to cross the timer. I manhandled her back over and she got short at second and mowed it over. At this point, she was taking me for a ride and is feeling really scrambled. I picked her up and got her back to me and we galloped through the rest of the pattern while I held her back. She never really got soft through this. The reason I chose to hold her back was twofold. One was that she had a cough the day before when I warmed her up and I didn’t think I needed to use her lungs up anymore. Second, she wasn’t listening to me and I needed her back.
I was really mad after this run. I didn’t like how spun she felt and how everything unraveled. The old me would have been worried about what others thought of me after this gong show, but that wasn’t my concern. My mind went to what a disappointment this was. I should have just tossed my $228 entry money in the air and stayed home. I don’t know what I’m doing. I put in the effort and this is what I get. What am I going to do now? What’s wrong with her? What the fuck? This sucks, this is bull shit. I’m so tired of lessons! I’m sick of learning things for everyone else. “I quit” didn’t come to mind, I was more in fight mode, although the tears were on call too. I took her tack off, brushed her and went and sat in my trailer. I was madder than I’d been all year. Then I went to judging myself for being so mad. Aren’t I supposed to have my shit together? People come to me for advice. Then I was mad again because I know shit happens to me for the lesson. I’m tired of lessons, I just want to win. Well, I just want a nice run, I don’t even need to win. I texted a friend, she talked me back to the point I could go make peace with Abracadabra and give her some love.
After this weekend, my plan was to turn out this horse and start riding some others. I needed to switch things up, it felt like she needed a break. When this happened I was a bit mad that I was going to have to solve this, to fix this, to figure out what this is all about. I needed to enter something else and make sure we had this fixed up. My brain….. my EGO was rearing its head and getting me away from being mindful.
You see, this happens to most of us who have a sense of give a shit. We care, we want to do good. We set goals, we want to achieve them. Sometimes God (or whoever your higher power is), has other plans, other lessons. Sometimes I feel like I am overwhelmed by lessons. Once you open yourself up to them, you find more of them. They find you. It’s not easy. But the growth, in the end, is worth it. It just doesn’t seem like it at the time. It’s these lessons that make you a fighter.
It’s nearly impossible to get the messages and the lessons when you’re in a fight or flight state (kick the tires or a go for several beers state of mind). The biggest thing that was hanging over my head was what now? While half asleep Sunday morning, it came to me that I don’t need to change my plans, I don’t need to do anything different. I don’t need to “fix” anything. There is no problem (unless I make it one). She still needs a break, she still needs to be turned out. She has some things I need to take care of. They were exaggerated by the ground, but I’m thankful they came to my attention sooner than later.
Although my effort and preparation that day, was ideal, I’d be lying if I told you my preparation the month prior was equal to my expectations. In hindsight, I could have done things better. She does have some health things I could have taken better care of. I feel a bit like the plumber with the leaky pipes! I don’t judge myself for that, it is what it is, but it’s a fact, Jack. I’ll do better.
What happened the day of the “bad run” was that I was operating from my Ego and I was going to MAKE the run happen. I had a plan of how it was all going to go down and anything outside of that I wasn’t okay with it. I was not going with the flow or rolling with it at all. I watched some kids run and I admire that in them. They are still competitive but allowing at the same time. They just roll with everything and are very flexible.
Ego is what has us feeling like we are lacking in something. It gets us wrapped up in competition looking for recognition, looking for the prize. Soul sees life itself as a gift, it seeks authenticity, it enjoys the journey, it’s already whole. Next time, I will work to get out of my ego quicker. I will look to be there from the start. In my one post I put on Facebook I mentioned that just being alive wasn’t enough, I wanted more. I recognized that and wondered what that was. It was my Ego that wanted more. Noted!
As a human, it can be really disheartening to not meet your goals. Whether they be for the day or for the year. I didn’t meet my goals for the year either, but I’ve learned more than I could have imagined and I’m still looking forward to the next season. I think the trick is don’t stay in your head too long. We cant’ stay in this funk for long. Do what you have to do to get away from the judgments and low vibration feelings.
Last night on my Spotify app it made a Playlist suggestion so I clicked it and then shuffle. Ther first two songs that played were Fighter (Christina Aguilera) and Roar (Katy Perry). Nothing like some powerful chick songs working through Spirit to get me back on track! I sang along. That helped to raise my vibration and get me into faith and out of my ego and worry.
‘Cause it makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
It makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter
Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
Although for that moment in time it felt like a huge deal, it’s just a spec in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps if I had not put so much weight on it to start with, it would not have been so heavy in the end. It’s lighter now and I still have complete faith in my horse and myself that we’ve got what it takes moving forward. For now, this is the last of this weekend I need not speak again of because it’s going to be so far behind us it’s not worth mentioning. Moving onward and upward.