Give a Girl the Right Shoes and She Can Conquer the World

 

Hey girls, this month’s shirt is by me, Brooke. I went back in forth on what I wanted on my shirt, but at the end of the day I knew it needed to be this- My Horseshoe. It represents so much of me. So much that I even have it tattooed on my wrist. So why a horse shoe? Here it is...... 

I got my first “real” barrel horse back in 2008, his name was Buckshot. He was young, big athletic buckskin paint horse. I had never been on a horse so powerful. We didn’t have the greatest of starts. He was a lot of horse for me as a newer rider. When I first starting riding him, I rode at a local riding club and I heard a lot of talk, people said he was way too much horse for me, that I would ruin him and such a nice horse needed a more experienced rider. People would come up to my parents and basically say what are y’all thinking putting her on that horse? He was a 1D/2D horse and I was making him 4D, some days 5D, but my parents never batted an eye. They said if I liked him and he made me happy he could slow lope the pattern all day, he would not go wasted. But all that negative talk just pushed me to become a better rider. I spent every day in the summer waking up at the crack of dawn to go up to the arena and practice. It didn’t take us long to find our groove. I raced him from 2008-2012 as much as possible. In that time, he won me 4 saddles, 10 buckles, and countless checks. He taught me so much about the sport and gave me my first taste of wining. I had no clue the things this horse would teach me about myself. He taught me to be confident, that I’m stronger physically and mentally then I gave myself credit for at the time, how to win and lose graciously and most importantly, he showed me a love for horses that I don’t think will ever go away. 
    As I got older and started college, I turned him out for a while. A few years later, I was ready to start back at racing, he had gotten spoiled to the turned out life. His heart was not in it anymore. He refused to do the pattern and showed an attitude I had never seen from him. It broke my heart to see him hate the sport that we had once been this amazing team together. There were days that I felt like he was ruined and he would never be back to even half of what he was. At one point, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to ride him again. I had him checked by a vet, dentist, and chiropractor. They all said the same thing. Nothing was physically wrong with him. 
It took me about two years to get him back to the point where he actually enjoyed being ridden. It took blood, sweat, and a lot of tears, but I couldn’t give up on him, he meant way too much to me.
      During this time, I didn’t have a horse to ride. Thankfully, I have any amazing support system and my sister offered me her horse Cougar. He’s another horse that has truly changed me. Abby got him as an unbroken 3 year old. She broke and trained him pretty much all by herself. I never rode him because to be honest, I was a little scared of his crazy self (If you high school rodeo’d with Abby you know exactly what I’m talking about.) He was known for the way he came down the alley, basically like a little freight train that God himself would have trouble stopping, but once he got into the arena he is on autopilot. He loves racing. I love him with his crazy quirks and all. He knows I won’t let that plastic bag get him or that I’ll always touch his side before taking off his boots so it doesn’t catch him off guard, and in return he takes care of me inside the arena. He has shown me how to enjoy the sport again…  maybe even more than I ever have. But the most important thing he taught me is that it’s okay to start over and work your way back to your passion even if you get sidetracked for a little while.
      Today I’m able to race both Cougar and Buckshot and they both are doing great.
Horses are the best animals. You may think you are training them, but I’ve learned that they are teaching you so much. Patience. Trust. Strength. Love. 
I wouldn’t be the person I am today without these great horses. They have made a huge impact on my life, both in and out of the arena. 

Let’s face it- If you give a girl the right shoes, she can conquer anything. Mine just happens to be a horseshoe and I am so excited to share it with you. 🖤🖤

 

By: Brooke Lottinger

 

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