By Savannah Magoteaux

I’ve searched for motivation to write this blog post for the week, but between the stress of work, the anticipation of running at my first BFA World Championship Futurity, and the excitement of the holiday season, I can’t find it.

Barrel Horse News managing editor Kailey Sullins has a great quote hanging above her desk, and I see it each time I leave my office. It says, “First drafts don’t have to be perfect; they just have to be written.” Showing Cinco some of Yeah Hes Firen's WNFR runs for motivation. Both Cinco and "Duke" are by Alive N Firen.Showing Cinco some of Yeah Hes Firen’s WNFR runs for motivation. Both Cinco and “Duke” are by Alive N Firen.

So here I am, putting words on paper.

Riding and writing have many similarities, and I have learned the only way to get them both finished is to start.

With the holiday week, my options for barrel racing venues have been slim. The only real choice available to me was Monday evening at a barrel race well over an hour away. For some of you, that doesn’t seem like much. However, living in a mecca for barrel racing has spoiled me and most events I frequent during the week are less than twenty minutes away.

All day long I grappled with the idea of driving that far for a race. It would be cold. I would be tired. There are suicidal deer on the road. My truck would use a lot of fuel, which means a lot of money would be spent. I haven’t been to that pen much; what if the ground is bad? Surely missing this one wouldn’t hurt me. Maybe Cinco just needs a night at home.

By 3pm I had made my mind up to forego the barrel race, but then I got a phone call from a friend and we discussed my BFA prep and the event that night. She asked, “How will you feel about this in the morning? Will you be ok with your choice or will you regret it?”

Shoot. She was right. Grudgingly I went. After it was over, I was glad we did. A downed barrel cost us, but we would have been second! Wow! The ground and setup were different than what Cinco was familiar with, and the warmup area had no light at all, but it was the perfect place for him to learn. I’m actually planning to go back to this race next Monday.

When we read about other people’s success, it’s hard to imagine that these people ever feel the same lack of motivation as we do. We don’t see the times they’ve struggled to go out in the freezing weather to ride or go to a jackpot to season a youngster. We don’t know of the early mornings when their soft beds felt more inviting than a hard saddle and a wily colt. We forget that they’ve likely turned down several friends’ invitations to parties because they felt their horse needed the attention more.

These champions of the arena deal with the same struggles you and I face. They know that procrastination is the enemy of riders, just as it is writers. They understand that the only way to get something done is to actually begin.

Over this wintry season you’ll no doubt debate putting off your responsibilities. Just remember although “things come to those who wait, they are only the things left behind from those who hustle.”

Until next time…


About Savannah
Savannah Magoteaux grew up in a rodeo family. Her mother, Cheryl Cody, is a former Professional Women’s Rodeo Association Barrel Racing Champion and has won more than $40,000 with her current mount Bet This Is A Shiner. Savannah’s father, Jeff Magoteaux, was an International Professional Rodeo Association World Champion Calf Roper.

After college at Oklahoma State University, Savannah worked for Pro Management, Inc., where she was the media and sponsor coordinator. Clients included the National Reining Breeders Classic, the National Reined Cow Horse Association, the Tulsa Reining Classic, Wide World of Horses, Rein In Cancer, and more. In her spare time she penned articles for Barrel Horse News and Quarter Horse News.

She moved to Texas in 2012 to be the associate publisher of Barrel Horse News. In 2016, Savannah took the same title for sister publication Quarter Horse News.

Currently, Savannah splits her time between her homes in Pilot Point, Texas, and Stratford, Oklahoma. She and her boyfriend Paul compete in team roping and enjoy golfing and cooking with friends. She makes the round trip between Texas and Oklahoma every weekend with her 10-year-old Corgi, Radar.

“What Do We Do Now?” is a blog series written by BHN‘s associate publisher Savannah Magoteaux, 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 under the “Blogs” tab.


Email comments or questions to [email protected]

Write A Comment