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Celebrate the Little Things

Remember to celebrate the little things.

This weekend I took my young, inexperienced mare to a local jr. rodeo. My plan was to just ride around and let her see the sights. When I went to enter the breakaway (on my finished rope horse), I found out that the entries in 16 to 19 barrels, poles, and goats were slim to none. Maybe it was a sign, or maybe it was just the fact that there were three big, added money events within a 40 mile radius, but I saw my chance and took it.

My sweet girl had no idea what she was in for. We had worked barrels and poles at home for the past couple of months, but she had only had a handful of exhibitions at a small jackpot. So this was truly her first rodeo. Over the past two nights, we switched bits, made adjustments, and got faster each time.

She handled the situation like a champ. Being the only person in my age group took away the pressure. I was less focused on winning and more focused on improving and giving my horse the best opportunities to succeed. We didn’t set the world on fire by any means, but the cool thing about being the only one in the event is that you automatically get the buckle if you have two qualified times.

I stepped back from being my normal, overly competitive self and really embraced the small wins. I chose to celebrate the little things like staying on, her not spooking at the loud announcer’s stand at the end of the alley, and winning my first check with her. Speed and confidence will come. For now, I’m just focusing on the little victories.

✏️ Kalli McCoy

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