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!