Change the way you lose – Cowgirl Chronicles

 

This weekend I won my first barrel race!

But the weird thing I didn’t come home with a check…and they won’t be mailing me one either. I took home something much more valuable than some jackpot change, this weekend ‘perspective’ rode shot gun with me all the way home.

I earned the perspective of what it ACTUALLY means to win and learned in order to win, I must change the way I lose.

(We know barrel racers are nuts…yes I realize the fastest horse is the winner on paper. That’s why we haul thousands of miles.)

But this was the first race I was able to say, “I did it.” Me. And the horse I rode in on.

I rode it. I saddled it. I trained it. I fed it. I trimmed it.

This was the first race I arrived to that everything I sat on, I owned.  I obtaining it out of my own desire to work for it. A safe truck and trailer I wasn’t completely embarrassed of. A saddle and tack that did no harm to my horse’s. Completely sound hooves and teeth that allowed my horses to feel were they were. 100% drug-free horses allowed for no false positives on things I perceived. Quiet horses that don’t sit and paw at the trailer or become nuts running the pattern.

On paper I left with one horse in DEAD last place of 200 riders. To anyone watching our run, viewing the video, or listening to my time – I would be judged as slow, or a work in progress. But I know I left with more value than a check could have written me.

But if anyone asked me what it’s like to make a comeback run on a horse that wasn’t supposed be raced ever again, I’d tell them: I did it.

If any asks who trained my kid’s friendly horse, I’d tell them: I did it.

If anyone tells me it takes too much time, too much money, too much work, I’d tell them: I did it.

If anyone says they will never make that mistake, I’d tell them: I did it.

And if anyone asks me if they can do it, I’d tell them: I did it. 

Barrel racing is like life; You get dealt a hand of cards that you can’t really change. You just have to play them as creatively as you can to gain what you are meant to from reading them.

In my experiences, I’ve felt like I’ve been dealt some pretty unfair cards. A city-family. No experience. Grade horses. Rusty trailers. Part time jobs. Training heart breaks. Selling good ones. Buying lame ones. Etc…

The thing about card games and barrel racing; the better you play the hand the more you learn to win the game. And sometimes after decades of fighting, you get to cash in on something major – like perspective.

In the paraphrased words of Teddy Roosevelt, “Don’t count the critic, credit the one in the arena who’s striving valiantly, daring greatly and failing over and over again. He knows triumph because he plays a worthy cause!”

Having the perspective that YOU and only YOU are responsible for the outcome IS winning.

The worthy cause I’m playing for that Teddy references is a clean run. A run that reflects the true and unadulterated ability of my horse. A run that isn’t trying to look fast to hide slow progress. A run that is authentic and unrushed. A run that represents where our level of partnership is currently.

Psalm 46:5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

This means every day. Every race. Every horse. Every ride.

We get up with our sights set on winning for the One who enables us.

Earn what you want to learn.

Sometimes a slow clean run, can actually trump fast and sloppy – on more than just the clock.

Winning is not about what you’ve won – it is about the thing you’ve overcome.

2 Responses
  • Heather McGhee
    Nov 19, 2017

    Wow…..this , I believe, was meant for me today. I’ve just had to put ALL of my barrel racing stuff on hold as I am deploying. I was feeling upset, the impact of that on my Mordi who is finally sound (after a year) , the impact on HellCat, we just started riding, the impact on all my horses (yes, I have too many), time lost, training lost, but mostly, relationships lost……I’m not sure I can do this! But, I can and wll…so I will keep on dreaming, even if it breaks my heart…cause that’s what us cowgirls do….and we do it damned well.
    thank you for the perfect timing ….” I DID IT”…..cause that’s what I will be saying when I get back!
    H.

    Heather McGhee Nov 19, 2017
    Reply
    • Kathleen Rossi
      Nov 19, 2017

      Oh Heather I’m so sorry you have to put the ‘good stuff’ on hold even after what seems like a long build up to perfect timing of finally getting to ride again – I KNOW the absolute sting of what a colossal disappointment that is. I believe in you, and don’t for a second give up on a opportunity coming that you just don’t see yet. Lastly thank you for your selfless service in deployment, I have family sacrificing the same way so my appreciation runs deep and true! Keep reading and keep believing friend!

      Kathleen Rossi Nov 19, 2017

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