When I first started rodeoing, I didn’t have a truck or trailer. I rented a little one-horse trailer for $5 every time I made a trip. You can imagine how good that trailer looked! I finally bought it for $125. I used my mother’s old Buick that had over 300,000 miles and I was famous for having blowouts, but I learned quickly how to change a tire. My mother worked from 5 a.m. until 2 p.m. She would have my horse and trailer ready when I got off work at 5 and off we would go. She was a great travel partner.

I went to every rodeo I could and won in the tough Texas Barrel Racing Association four years in a row. On Cebe Reed, I won four horse trailers in the Texas Barrel Racing Association, one trailer in the West Texas Barrel Racing Association and two more trailers for winning the barrel race and all-around in two all-girl rodeos. The secret to my winning was setting clear, difficult yet achievable goals for myself, and worked hard every day to achieve those goals.

California Rodeo Barrel Racing
Defining clear, challenging goals can help you be the best competitor and horseman you can possibly be.

I believe in goal setting. Always make achievable goals – you don’t want to say you are going to win the world today, because odds are, you won’t. Instead, set goals you can start achieving now.

Another thing I firmly believe in is writing those goals down. A survey was done at a leading university asking seniors how many set goals and how many wrote their goals down. 80 percent had no goals. 20 percent said they had goals, but didn’t write them down, and 2 percent of those who set goals wrote them down. Guess how many were successful? The 2 percent who had goals and wrote them down.

List your goals. They may be something like this:

•   I need to be the best rider I can be and learn as much horsemanship as possible.

•   I need a good, consistent horse, and I will take care of him the best I possibly can.

•   I want to attend barrel racing clinics.

•   I want to read and listen to as many motivational books, videos and DVDs as possible.

•   I need to find the best truck and trailer that I can afford so I can haul safely.

When you have accomplished these goals, start going to your local rodeos and NBHA shows. By going to these, you can find out if you are competitive enough for the road. When you feel good about how you are running, set your sights for the NFR or go win a big futurity, NBHA, AQHA, etc. There are so many opportunities to win big!

“Put a dent in the universe,” said Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, Inc. I love that quote and think of it often. It’s never too early to start planning for the future, and setting goals will help you achieve your dreams. Dream big, and I’ll see you at the pay window!


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