Well Stretch and I are drawing near to the pinnacle of our journey. We leave next Tuesday for Oklahoma! There is a lot of excitement in the air, with the team and I making our final travel arrangements.
Looking back to the beginning and the progress Stretch has made, I can honestly say that no matter what the results are in Oklahoma, Stretch is still a winner in my mind. He has endured an incredible amount of stress for a three year old and has given me all he has. I was reminded of this the other day when I was talking to my shoer about some of his liberty training falling apart. My shoer said, “Don’t fret about what he isn’t giving you, but remember all the things he has given you when you didn’t deserve it.” That was exactly the piece of advice I needed, Stretch has been a cheater horse in so many ways. He certainly has given me many things I didn’t work for.
Before we even entered this competition, I sat down with my team to create a list of principles and values we would conduct our journey by. I wanted our journey to honor God, I wanted to make sure we stuck to our MM Training principles and my personal values, and I wanted to keep the whole thing fun!
To honor God, I want to give Him all the glory. From God helping Kori find Stretch for me, to even thanking Him for Stretch needing to be laid off for his two-year-old year so I could use him for this event. I also thank Him for Stretch’s goofy but willing personality and for my incredible team. My prayer every day has been to keep Stretch and my body and mind sound. To date we our both still sound ;-). God is good! He has certainly had His hand in every step of our journey.
Some of the principles we wanted to conduct ourselves by include, putting Stretch’s physical, mental and emotion well-being ahead of any competitive goals. If Stretch needed a break, that’s what he got, even though I am a pusher and would have rather been training. Also one of my personal values is I just want to be a good horse trainer; I am not a trick trainer or a sensationalist. Not that I think there’s anything wrong with doing tricks or sensationalism, I love watching these types of trainers. But I didn’t want to slip into something that wasn’t me. Goal accomplished, I feel our training and presentations are good but we still stick to this value.
And on top of all of that, I wanted to have fun! I wanted to share this experience with friends and to not feel like it was a job. Another goal accomplished! This has been one of the best six months that I can remember. We have had a blast!
So as I said above and it’s worth repeating, I can honestly say no matter what happens in Oklahoma, Stretch and my team are winners! We have given it all we have and that is enough! That is our win!
In closing, I’d like to thank all the men and women behind the scenes that are making this Horse Woman’s Challenge possible. You all are very appreciated! I also want to give all the other competitors my best. I pray you all have safe travels to Oklahoma and you and your horse do the very best you are capable of during the competition. I can’t wait to meet everyone of you!!
Take care and I’ll see you all in Oklahoma!!