By Kailey Sullins, May 7, 2018
Sometimes when you’re seasoning a horse it kind of feels like you’re getting in shape to go to the gym. You know that feeling, like you have to bomb proof your horses before you can take them into public, which is actually contraditory because they have to be taken into public in order to become bomb proof. Nonetheless, we all have those feelings of nervousness or embarassment of our horses acting up in public – even if they are a colt. Nobody wants to have “that horse.”
At some point you have to swallow your pride and just bite the bullet. You have to just jump off the cliff and put that young horse in a public situation and accept the fact that maybe your horse is going to be the worst behaved horse there that day. Maybe your horse is going to be the horse that sets back at the trailer when a kid comes running around the corner and spooks her (like mine did), or maybe your horse is going to be the horse that forces you to pretend you don’t own the little filly that is whinnying and throwing a raging fit tied up to the trailer when her buddy is led away from her (like mine did), or maybe your horse will be the one that runs smooth over you, because she’s too excited by all the noise and people whirling around her when you lead her up to the arena (like mine did), or maybe your horse will be the one that when the day is finally over and you’ve survived and all you want to do is get loaded up and home in one piece, she just seems to forget how to load in the trailer (like mine did).
Either way, when you’re seasoning a horse you’ll just have to take that leap and hope for the best, and when the worst happens, find solitude in the fact that one day she won’t be a raging idiot, but from your hard work and often times embarrassing moments she’ll be a broke and respectful member of society. Until then, you’ll just have to take your knocks the hard way like everyone else. You’re not alone, I promise! One thing to which I can attest is that even through those embarassing moments, we had shining moments where Kitty finally calmed down, ate hay from her hay bag and stood tied to the trailer like a good ole rodeo horse… it just took a little patience on both hers and my part.
Until next time,
Kailey Sullins is the managing editor of Barrel Horse News. She joined the BHN team in 2014 and has enjoyed being apart of a team dedicated to not only the barrel racing industry, but the equine industry as a whole.
Kailey grew up in rural Oklahoma where her family owns and operates a cow-calf operation in the small town of Red Rock. Rodeo was a family affair around her place and as such her love of horses began at an early age. Growing up Kailey competed in junior, high school, college and amateur rodeo competing in barrel racing, pole bending, team roping and breakaway roping. After graduating from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications with a double major in animal science, Kailey began pursuing her career in journalism.
Currently, Kailey lives in Texas with her 14-year-old mare, 3-year-old filly and a 3-year-old black-tri Australian Shepherd named Macy. When Kailey’s not on assignment for BHN or working in the Fort Worth office she can be found training her filly, spending time with Macy or competing in breakaway roping with her mare in professional and amateur rodeos in Texas.
“What Do We Do Now?” is a blog series written by BHN‘s managing editor Kailey Sullins and associate editor Blanche Schaefer, where they discuss the struggles, joys, and rewards of training young barrel prospects as amateurs juggling full-time jobs, all from a real-life perspective. Read more at barrelhorsenews.com under the “Blogs” tab.