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Don't shrink those britches

Cowboy and I have been riding pretty well lately. Following the path of “Sharon and the A.R.T.” combined with the intense regime of our local trainer Bev, known locally as “Mommy Dearest,” we have achieved some major breakthroughs and significantly better runs. The clock stops a lot faster these days!

As a devout Parrothead, I subscribe to the ideal of "growing older but not up!” Ergo, I just had to brag a bit to Miss Sharon, Miss Cheryl, and anyone else who would listen. I should have known, Miss Sharon would respond in the role of “Your Teacher” with the admonishment “Don’t get to big for your britches.” Don’t worry – tight English britches are NOT an image I want to envision. I wear good old western jeans. However, we will discuss pink shirts and yellow ribbons at a later time.

After my traditional snappy comeback regarding the ongoing efforts to “stay the course of my diet,” I started to consider the implications of those very wise words.

As our runs improve, Cowboy and I face far stiffer competition. Improvement that was measured in seconds is now measured in tenths and will soon be a question of hundredths of a second. Not to worry – it will be quite a while before we have to consider thousandths. But a boy and his horse can, and should, dream.

From the heart of a true champion, Miss Sharon wrote:

  • Do not out run your ability! This is a common error with competitors experiencing success.
  • One run at a time.
  • If your performance is efficient, the time and speed will take care of itself.
  • Take one step at a time!
  • THINK one step at a time!

I do my best to think ONLY of the course beyond the gate. Each run is an individual event. Cowboy and I strive to do the best we can, learn from our past mistakes, learn from our past successes, and remember the teachings of our teachers. If you focus on “running faster than the other contestant,” you will lose concentration on the skills that will stop the timer faster than the competition. Focus on the run and only on the run.

Living in Southern California, one becomes very familiar with the concept that “you are only as good as your last movie (or barrel run).”

Constant, Consistent and Focused.

Purpose, Patience and Passion.

There are only three entities in the arena: Cowboy, Gerald, and three little barrels! Remember this and the timer will take care of its self. Focus on the run!