By Jamie Walters, at Reining By the Bay
A few weeks ago, I had the worst ride of my career. Yes, after six years of showing and thinking surely my worst rides were behind me, I hit a dirt-eating, rock-crunching, graveling-licking show ride that makes me cringe to even think about it. It was a ride that made me reevaluate everything, made me wonder why … I was either going to crumble or double down.
I chose to double down.
Paste a smile on my face, put one foot in front of the other, show up and listen to my coach … and oh yeah, look for some humor while I’m down there … I promise there was plenty!
Then I got to WORK …. I headed to Reining By The Bay EARLY and RODE every day. I PREPARED FOR THE DAY, KNEW MY PATTERN, LISTENED TO MY COACH and TRIED MY HARDEST. I SMILED and LAUGHED. I ENJOYED the BEAUTIFUL venue and weather. I was GRATEFUL for the OPPORTUNITY AND PRIVILEGE OF PURSUING MY PASSION, REMINDING myself OFTEN that plenty of people DON’T GET THE CHANCE TO DO WHAT I’M DOING. I AM SO BLESSED.
And things changed, they shifted.
On Tuesday, I had the BEST RIDE OF MY LIFE ON COPPER (Hot Rockin Spook) in the Non Pro – a legitimate 73!! We ended up being co-champions in the Non Pro and champion in the Prime Time Non Pro. (We would have been circuit champion if it weren’t for an amateur mistake on my part in the second go round – I won’t be making that mistake again.) Overall, Copper and I took home over $400.
Things were going well, so I entered my four year old, Ricky Bobby (Talladega Ice) in the Non Pro Derby, but we haven’t really connected yet, so I was hopeful but had my reservations.
And just to back up a little – At Reining By the Bay, I started doing SOMETHING NEW … Dan has always told us to spend time thinking about our “perfect run”, visualize it in our heads, and I’ve done that in the past. But this show, I decided to “UP MY GAME”! I decided to write down EVERY SINGLE DETAIL of my “perfect run”. It had worked well on Copper (except for forgetting to check my lead after the rollback which I hadn’t written down ) so I figured it would work on Ricky Bobby! The writing is slow and tedious and boring … but I think it REALLY MADE A DIFFERENCE! My ride on Ricky was different… it was fast and much more aggressive than I’ve ever been. AND THERE WAS STILL CONTROL. IT WAS LIKE I HAD DONE IT BEFORE, BECAUSE I HAD (in my head! )
We ended up DOING REALLY GREAT FOR US!! We were Top 20 overall in the Non Pro Derby and earned over $2,300 in our various levels. I even came out of the pen thinking, “WOWZA!! That was REALLY, REALLY, REALLY FUN!
After the show, I was talking with Chandler’s mom, Deb Winard. And I mentioned that it was interesting that I had just come off the very WORST show of my life, the soul searching, why-am-I-doing-this type of show, and the very next show was my VERY BEST RIDE. And she said, “Do YOU KNOW WHY, Jamie? It’s because YOU DIDN’T QUIT! YOU DID NOT QUIT.”
She’s right, I didn’t quit. It was right around the corner. Right there.
Moral: Don’t quit. Keep going.
Before I close, a BIG SHOUT OUT AND CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL my HUSS TEAMMATES who also had a GREAT SHOW this week:
Dan Huss – Over $4k in winnings (in a salty group of OPEN DERBY horses)
Chandler Winard – over $30K in NP DERBY
Michelle Fumagalli – over $7k in NP DERBY
Morris “the Master” Kulmer – over a $1k in NP DERBY
Nicholle Schlem – RFTM qualifier and Novice Horse 2 Reserve Champion
Mark Roberts – Personal best score and RFTM Rookie qualifier
Thank you to my AWESOME COACH Dan Huss and his dedicated team of Lauren King, Dakota Hudgens and Phillipe. Without your help, assistance and guidance none of this would be remotely possible. THANK YOU! Thank you to Pat Warren and Brumley Management for putting on a spectacular show in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.