It was the beginning of summer and training had just started. Every morning would start with going to the barn to feed the horses hay. Afterwards I would eat breakfast and get ready. My gear included tan riding pants, my black and red cowboy boots, a plaid shirt and my black and pink covered helmet. Then it was straight to the barn. At the barn I would get my twelve-year-old American Quarter horse, my best friends, my racing partner Blaze out of his stall.
I would have to brush him down, clean out his hooves and clean him up. By the time I was done he would be back to his light brown/ cinnamon color with his pretty white markings. The next step was the tack him up. I had to make sure his curve bit was in right and not cutting his mouth up, make sure the black leather show bridle was on correctly and not to tight where it would cut off blood flow or to loose were it could fall off, put on his black fleece saddle pad and black and fuchsia western barrel racing saddle, make sure that the fleece girth was strapped on tight but not too tight where it rubbed his ribcage, made sure that his tan leather chest straps were tight but not too tight and lastly put on his black bell boots. From there it was warm up time for about twenty to thirty minutes.
The warm up consisted of walking him around slowly. Then building up to a trot and eventually on to a canter. Once he was warmed up my coach, my mom would have us go into the arena and run the barrel course. We would start that course slow starting on the right hand barrel, bolting around the barrel and shooting to the left then finally rounding the last barrel and bolting home. We would have to switch it up every once in a while. One we got fully warmed up and familiar with the course again we bolted and zoomed through course with ease. Our fastest time on record was 13.9 seconds. My coach always told me when we weren’t doing good “If you aren’t afraid of the speed, then you aren’t going fast enough.” That made us push harder and we would end up flying like the wind. We would train for hours at a time. From sun up to sun down we were in that arena. Rain or shine, day or night we practiced with everything we had in us.
After we finished training for the day I would untack Blaze. Use a sweat scraper and ring his coat out, put his hunter green halter back on him along with his green and white lead rope. I would walk him around for an hour just to cool his body back down. Once he was cooled off I would take the hose and hose him down with cool water and wipe him down with the red sweat scraper once again just to ring all of the water out of his coat. I would then put his dark blue coat on for the night and put him back in his stall with grain and hay.
Blaze and I had a bond that was hard to explain. We did everything together. He was my everything. We had a good run with the barrels as well as many other things. The phrase 3 barrels, 2 hearts and 1 dream applied to us on the dot perfectly.