There are not very many people that understand what I do for a living. To most, I just get to ride horses all day and play cowgirl. I am sure from the outside my life seems very glamorous and easy..
I get to travel all over the country, eat at expensive places and I even live in the most beautiful part of California. What a life, right? Trust me, the perks of my job are without a doubt amazing and I am so grateful.
But when people ask me what exactly it is that I do, I simply say "I get horses ready to show for my Boss." and the response is usually... "Oh, so you just lope them."
Yep, I sure do. Let me tell you what though, I take a lot of Pride in what I do. This is not your ordinary 9-5 job. This is long nights and early mornings, this is cracked callused hands, this is blisters on your bum because you ride for hours upon hours at a time, this is bags under your eyes because there is not enough time in the next 24 hours for sleep, this is an aching back, sore knees, and a tight neck, this is doctoring every last horse even if it takes until 1am before you allow yourself to eat dinner, because the horses and their health are always first priority.
People probably wonder, why put yourself through all of that?
What people don't understand is that there is an unconditional love hidden in all the hard work that we do, and that is our love for these horses and our love for this sport.
A nuzzle on the cheek to say 'Good Morning' or a playful buck when they're being turned out, that is where we see our hard work meet its purpose. That is when you know you were made to work with Magic.
One piece of Magic I get to work with is named 'What Daddy Don Know' AKA Petee Lamb owned by Cathy and Monty Lamb.
In today's cutting industry, greatness generally starts before training, even birth. There are many money earning AND producing mares being bred to the best stallions available. Petee's mother had done neither, making his odds of ever seeing the winners circle grim from the beginning... But Morgan Cromer is no ordinary trainer, and Petee Lamb is no ordinary horse.
Petee was recently put in my show string while we were in Las Vegas at a weekend cutting. I was just starting to get open horses ready for Morgan and having a tough time getting the hang of things. My boss was coming out of the show pen horse after horse not so pleased. She knew I was trying but it was going to take some time. At about 10:00pm I was bringing another unsuccessful run back to the barn.
With my head down and my feet dragging I met Jake back at our stalls. He could see the tired in my eyes, but he had Petee saddled and ready, my last horse of the day.
The last thing I wanted to do at this point was get on another horse and lope until midnight but Jake handed me the reins, a bottle of water and reached into the front pocket of his shirt and handed me a hand full of wheat thins. He then said to me "Here's your redemption, Petee is going to be badass, now get out there."
And so I did... I loped and I loped and I loped some more. Petee was amazing and won money that night. I guess you could say the rest was history.
We went on to Queen Creek, Arizona where Petee won Reserve every night and was Champion the last day.
The show after that was The Pacific Coast Round Up where Petee went on to win the Classic Challenge Championship, adding $10,000 to his NCHA earnings.
I had never been so proud of something my entire life.
After seeing such consistency and try out of the strong gelding we went ahead and entered Petee in the NCHA Super Stakes, a very prestigious show in Fort Worth, Texas.
I was JACKED to say the least.
Holy moly, my very first horse to get ready in the Will Rogers Coliseum?! I was so excited and I felt so valued in my work place, which is an incredible feeling.
A couple weeks later, here we are at The Holy Cow Performance Horse Headquarters in Weatherford, Texas preparing our horses for their upcoming performances. I am very proud to say that among those horses, is my Petee Lamb showing in the Open Classic Challenge Finals this Saturday evening.
I am so thankful for the opportunities Morgan has given me these past 7 months. To trust me enough to get her open horses ready at The Super Stakes meant a great deal to me.
It is the employers like Morgan who show trust in me and the co workers like Jake who show faith in me, even when I am at my weakest.. They are the ones I aspire to be like in this industry.
I love this horse, and I love that he doesn't have the slightest clue at how talented he really is. He is a humble, sweet and honest gelding and I am lucky to have had the privilege of getting him ready here at the 2017 NCHA Super Stakes.
Along side Petee is none other than your 2016 NCHA Open Classic Challenge Champion, Maid of Metal owned by Judy Seibel. Both horses shown and trained by the one and only, Morgan Cromer.
Head over to http://www.nchacutting.com/events/triple-crown/superstakes/ncha-live-webcast-2017 to watch these amazing horses take a wack at the 2017 Classic Open Challenge Championship tomorrow evening! The finals start at 6 o'clock pm central time.
Wishing the best of luck to all the amazing athletes that made it to the Finals!
See you all there!