Independent Learning Recap

There have been a few weeks gap on the learning projects so bear with me while I kind of try to gather what I have been doing!

As many of you know my learning project is on becoming a better rodeo athlete. As many of you also know, everything I have done lately is on my big gray steed, Reno. Well, I do love him, and he in my favorite to ride, however, in order to become a better athlete I must be able to ride different styles of horses.

Some of you may wonder what I mean when I say style of horse so I am going to give you the two examples. There is a free running horse, and what I call, a ratey horse. The horse that I spent the last two years college rodeoing on was a ratey horse. His name is Dash, and if he was not 20 years old and in need of retirement, I would still be running him. When someone calls a horse ratey it means that they WANT to turn. When a horse rates a barrel it means that they are shutting down for the turn. Dash is so ratey I literally have to kick the entire time to get him past the barrel or he will turn on top of them. Below is a video of me running my favorite old man, Dash. He really is one in a million and I wish I could run him forever. Pay attention to how hard he sits down to turn the barrel.

Now, I shared Dash with you because Reno is the complete opposite. Reno is what we call a free runner. He has much smoother moves, and he does not set down to turn the barrel. This was so hard for me to adjust to, and it still is! I struggle with Reno because I am so used to kicking. I will be honest when you run barrels everything is so fast it is hard to think. On Reno when I get a few strides before the barrel, I need to think to myself, “sit down and pull on the inside rein Emily.” Everything happens so fast sometimes I get ahead of myself and I do not do this. This results in Reno blasting by the barrel and not turning! In order for me to be the best rodeo athlete that I can be I need to know how to ride both styles and I need to do it well. So this week, I practiced on me reflex skills and forced myself to sit down. Below is a video of Reno. Watch the difference in his strides and in his turns compared to Dash. That is the difference in a free runner and a ratey horse. Regardless I love them both, and am going to keep striving to be the best I can be on both types!

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2 thoughts on “Independent Learning Recap

  1. What an awesome post! I *loved* seeing the different videos–and in fact, my whole family watched them and talked about what we saw the two horses doing! We know nothing about rodeo, so it was super cool to watch and learn a little bit! Dash is amazing–he practically squats to the ground in those turns!

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  2. This comment made my day! 🙂 I was really worried that people would not be able to see the difference. The difference is so huge to me but it makes me happy that you guys could see it! He really is an AMAZING horse, worth his weight in gold. He got my a full ride rodeo scholarship my first two years of school. It makes me sad that he is getting older, but I am oh so happy that he has blessed me with his incredible heart and athletic ability! He tries so hard!

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