Site Title: Jackie Jatzlau



 11/13/2006 12:02:44 AM  
I am going to try a little something different this time with my diary.  I am going to tell you all a story that is very inspiring to me, but I am also telling you this as it is a BIG part of my plan as I am gearing up for the 2007 rodeo season.  Things are drawing to a close and the NFR is only a couple weeks away.  I am both excited and anxious for the slate to be wiped clean and the hope that a new year brings.  Anyways, hope you find this story as touching and motivating as I did…..
I have done a little research on this story about a horse that won the Kentucky Derby. The famous, hall of fame jockey Pat Day won his first and only Kentucky Derby on a horse named Lil E Tee. The trainer of Lil E Tee, Lawrence Littman came to Pat and told him he had to ride Lil E Tee because he was the greatest race horse that had ever lived.  So, Pat goes to work him to see if they get along good and to see if he wanted to ride this horse in the biggest race of the year.  Pat flies there and as soon as he gets off the plane the trainer picks him up and tells him all the way to the track how great Lil E Tee is and that he is going to win the Kentucky Derby.  He continues on to say that he is the fastest horse that has ever lived, and on and on about this horse. When the get to the track Pat is all fired up, he even believes how great and fast this horse is. He works him out and thinks he is ok, but definitely not the greatest horse of all time or even the fastest horse Pat has ever ridden. He is good but not great. But, as soon as he steps off him everyone starts telling Lil E Tee how great he did and how he was going to win the Kentucky Derby. They continue on that Pat Day is the greatest jockey and he is going to ride him because he is the greatest horse. Every one who came into contact with Lil E Tee told him how wonderful he was and how fast he was.....on and on. His grooms, the trainers, workout people, his owners all had nothing but positive words of encouragement and praise for this horse. So, Pat Day just goes along and doesn't want to bust their bubble and tells them that he thinks he is that great too. Pat decides to shop around and see if he can find a better horse to ride, but nothing comes up so he rides him in the Kentucky Derby. The positive talk goes on all the way up to the day, up to the last minute when Pat mounts for the race. The race starts and when they start to make the turn for home. Pat and Lil E Tee are sitting in contention somewhere close where they have a chance to win. Pat says to him out loud as he releases his head for the sprint home. "They say you are the greatest race horse that has ever lived, show me now!!" He flew by all the horses in the stretch home and won the Kentucky Derby. This is proof that if you believe something in your heart, you can make it happen with a positive attitude and a little faith.
With that I leave you with these words….Princess is great, she is going to be a world champion, we are a great team and together nothing can stop us, see you in the winner’s circle!!!

 10/16/2006 9:07:38 AM  
Just wanna say thank you to everyone out there that sent flowers, memorial money, called, or emailed… meant so much to Mom, Tammy and I.  We were overwhelmed with over 500 people that either came to the prayer service, the funeral home or the funeral.  We also had around 300 flowers and live plants.  Wow!!!  It teally made me feel special that my Dad touched others like he touched me.  He was such a great man and I miss him so much.  I keep expecting him to walk in the door and yell at everyone to get to work!!!  Of course, there will be a lot of adjusting to do…but life does go on and he would not want us sitting around moping. 
I went to run Tuesday night and Wednesday night at Waco and my heart was just not in it.  I made the exact same run twice, hitting the 2nd barrel both times.  So, I turned out the rest of the week.  They had a memorial horse race at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, TX Friday so I went with Mom to that and it was super nice.  They gave us the huge stack of papers that are the race records from every horse my Dad ever ran on the track.  A life time of memories……
"I think it is all a matter of love: the more you love a memory, the stronger….it is."  -Vladimir Nabokov

 10/8/2006 9:50:38 PM  
This morning at 8 AM God called my daddy, Jack Dube, to heaven.  He lost his battle with cancer and finally found peace from the pain and suffering of the last 5 months.  Mom brought him home from the hospital Saturday morning, as one of his last dying wishes was to die in his own bed at home.  A viewing of the body with be tomorrow, Monday Oct 9 at Phillip and Luckys Funeral Home in Giddings, TX all day.  A prayer service will be held at the funeral home tomorrow night at 7 PM.  The funeral services will be Tuesday, Oct 10 at 10 AM at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Giddings.  Daddy will be buried here on my parent’s place on top of the hill, where he always wanted to be.  After the grave side service there will be refreshments served at the Martin Luther Lutheran Church’s parsonage.  The family requests that memorials be made to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund in Jack Dube’s name.  
Today, I lost my teacher, mentor, my harshest critic and my biggest fan.  I feel confident that he taught me everything I need to know to make it in life and continue to carry the Dube torch to the next generation.   I spent my whole life seeking his approval and trying to make him proud and when I saw his face today I knew that I had succeed.  There are many more championships to win, goals to be met and mountains to climb….but I know my biggest supporter will ride with me in my heart forever.   
"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel."  -Carl W.  Buechner

 10/5/2006 3:39:14 PM  
Just a quick update on Dad.  He is still in Seaton Hospital in Austin.  We are hopefully going to get to come home tomorrow afternoon.  They have one more test to do tomorrow morning.  They are going to put a camera down his throat and into his stomach.  They still can’t quite figure out what is going on to keep him from being able to eat and to have such severe pain in his stomach.  They did a CT Scan a couple days ago…the news was mixed both good and bad.  The good news was his brain and stomach were both cancer free and the 8 sites that they had been doing radiation on had shrunk.  The bad news is that all the spots on his liver and lungs that were not hit with radiation have grown.  So, Monday we started a different kind of chemotherapy.  This is the last drug they have to treat the kind of cancer Dad has.  He will get it one day a week, once a week.  Hopefully, that will help shrink down all the spots that are causing us trouble now.  We are praying for a miracle…that will hopefully be coming quickly!!!
“May every sunrise hold more promise, every moonrise hold more peace”  -Anon

 9/30/2006 7:55:25 PM  
We are in Seaton Hospital in Austin with Dad.  He had just gotten so weak and dehydrated he couldn’t go anymore.  They admitted us this afternoon and we are at least staying tonight and tomorrow during the day, then just see from there.  They are giving him IV fluids around the clock and changing up some of his medicines trying to give him so relief for the pain and nausea so hopefully he can get some food down. He did perk up a little tonight and sit up and eat a little soup and a bit of ice cream for dinner, I will take any little goodness right now.  I am staying here with him tonight so that Mom could go home and get things organized and get a good night’s sleep.  I will head home tomorrow to do the same thing and get my herd of horses rode before coming back.  Mom and I are going to switch off while he is here to keep things are home going.  I will keep you updated…..please keep my daddy in your prayers.

 9/27/2006 9:32:43 PM  
Sorry I haven’t checked in with an update in a while, but when there is nothing good to report that is tough. I am here is Giddings to help Mom and Dad for a while, I have been here about 8 days now. Dad’s cancer has spread to his lymph nodes between his stomach and pancreas. That is what has been causing all the pain in his stomach. They switched him from chemotherapy to radiation. They have done 9 treatments on him and it has been much much harder on him than the chemo. He is having so much trouble eating so he has lost about 10 pounds and has gotten really weak. He is super nauseous and throws up a lot. They have started to give him IV fluids Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and that seems to perk him up a little. But, of course he is still getting out and riding and he has been plowing fields to plan oats. He is so dang stubborn and just refuses to slow down, but I guess his will is just over powers his body and he keeps going…it is very admirable.
Travis left Pendleton with my truck and trailer and 3 horses heading back for California and I flew to Albuquerque to meet up with Walt who had Princess. The engine in my truck blew up in Oregon. Crap what else huh? Anyways, Travis’s grandparents came and picked him up and took him back to Stockton. So….my truck is in Oregon. Travis, my trailer, Mona, Jane and Sally Sue are all stuck in California. I am in Giddings with Princess. Can’t get much more spread out and unorganized than that. After much planning my horses and trailer will be here in a couple days thanks for Darlene. I am meeting her in Stephenville to immediately drive Travis’s truck back so that he can bring the other trailer with the rest of the horses back to Texas. What a mess….
Ok since I last checked in….I won 3rd in the average at Puyallup. Princess really impressed me there. I was just out of the money in the 1st round, but came back and won 1st in the 2nd round!!! It was one of the best runs I have ever made on her , so awesome. I came back to the short go sitting 4th, we had a little ground trouble but ended up 6th in the round and 3rd in the average for over $3,600!!!! I sent Princess with Walt to Albuquerque because I was up at Pendleton Thursday afternoon and Albuquerque Friday morning. I made a really good run at Pendleton on Mona. I was more impressed with her than any of the other horses I have ever run there. It is such a tough course being 28 seconds long and across grass between the barrel that are on dirt. But, man is it ever fun. She set a little too hard going into the 2nd and 3rd barrels, which is common there but all in all it was a great performance by a relatively inexperienced horse. We were just a few out of making it back, but I was not disappointed at all. So, off I went to Albuquerque. I flew all afternoon and night, and got there and to the trailer at 4 AM and slack was at 8. I hit a barrel that morning. I was checking Princess when I should have been kicking, a good lesson learned for how to ride her in a building as apposed to outside. So, that night I came back and made a much better run. I ended up just out of the money, but realized that Princess and I still have some adjusting to do with new scenery and situations again. From there Walt and I drove all in to get back to Stephenville and Mom met us there and picked me and Princess up and brought us to Giddings. Princess is like a kid in a candy store turned out in the pasture. She is very funny she runs all the time like she is so happy to be free and have some room to let loose. I went to the ANHA finals in Waco last weekend and had a pretty good weekend. I placed 3rd in the Friday in the 1-D on Crystal Evans horse, one that I was helping her get tuned up and figured out. I hit on Princess, same story I didn’t ride hard enough and set down too soon and we were in a building…I am a slow learner. On Saturday, I won the 1-D on Princess!!! It was such a great run, they had over 250 entries. I qualified both horses back to the 1-D shoot out on Sunday. Mom got to ride over with me and I was so happy she got to get a way for a few hours. You would like I had never made a short go in my life by my performance. Crystal’s horse was 1st and smoked the 1st but I brushed it with my boot on the way out and it fell. Crap! Princess was 5 horses later and the last horse in the short go. There were some good times so I knew I had to go for it. I turned a winning 1st and 2nd but hit the 3rd. Most of the time I know what happens when I make a mistake in my runs, but honestly I just think I got too close trying to win. Oh well, it was good experience and Princess was very impressive!!! She makes me so excited about the future!!
I am taking this weekend off to make a trip to California to get my horses and trailer here. I can’t wait to get Mona and Jane here and back in the swing of things. I will be hauling around the house to jackpots and rodeos this fall, getting things all lined out and setting on go for 2007. I have let go of the NFR dream for 2006. I am very proud of my season, Princess did better and won more than I could have ever dreamed for her 1st rodeo season. There are just other obligations I have here to my family and to my horse, not to burn her up in just a few month. Princess and I are going to be a great team for a long time. She gives her whole heart and 110% of effort with every trip down the alley…I just didn’t want to run that out of her. I am so looking forward to relaxing and refocusing….some time at home with my family and a little TLC always does the body and the soul good.
“If you force the trail to emerge and turn with your every command, then most likely it will only become what you imagined. If you just enjoy the anticipation of each new curve and seize it as it comes, the road around the bend might lead to the unimaginable." -Bryan Hufalar

 9/6/2006 5:19:59 PM  
Well, not good news to report for last week.  Last week was the first week since I left home in June that I did not win a check…pretty disappointing at this point in my season.  Princess just did not like Ellensburg.  The first go I turned the 1st and 3rd good, but at the 2nd she went a whole stride by it and I had to really take a hold of her.  As a result, when she finally did come back we over turned it so bad I thought we might turn it twice.  The second go, was just a little wild all the way around.  No one barrel was really bad, they were just all sloppy.  I did make a good run at Walla Walla, but it got really tough and I ended up just out of the money.  I made one little bobble at the 1st barrel and it was so dang tough there was no room for any mistake.  So, I decided it was time to go back to the drawing board or I guess I should say the practice pen.  I think I got everything all lined out and we are headed over to Puyallup today, I am up there in the morning.  I really love that rodeo and it has been really good to me in the past so that always helps.  I am up at Spokane on Friday and Mona is going to get her turn over there.  She is working really good, so I am excited to give her a chance finally.  All in all things are kind of nice, since we are not rodeoing every day of the week anymore.  It is a good change to have some days off here and there.  In a week I will be headed back South and I am happy about that, the road has been a little longer this year for some reason….that is usually a sign that you should pack up and go home, so that is what I am going to do.
Dad is really feeling bad this week.  He is headed to the Oncologist today in hopes that they can give him some relief.  His stomach is really giving him fits and now he has started vomiting a lot on top of the pain.  Mom thinks that is a result of trying to manage it with pain medicine.  He is suppose to have his last round of chemo today, but as of last night he said there was just no way he could take it.  They were going to have a meeting with the Dr to try to decide what the best road to take would be.  I will keep you posted….
‘The sun will come out tomorrow….’  -Annie

 8/30/2006 9:13:49 PM  
Last week was a welcome change.  I went to only 2 rodeos early in the week and then I flew to Arkansas to host a clinic.  I hit a barrel at Kennewick.  I was really upset in hitting the 1st barrel again, so I went back and watched some video and got things lined out.  I just needed a different plan.  For some reason, I had become very conservative in my last few runs and I was over thinking my riding.  So, at Bremerton I just relaxed and rode hard and we won 10th for $358.27.  I made a really good run, but Princess hung a back leg going into the 2nd barrel and we broke stride coming out of the barrel.  I honestly was so impressed with my time despite a hung hiccup.  Princess continues to impress me from week to week and I love to ride her so much.  I look forward to every run and it is easy to stay motivated riding her.
My clinic was GREAT!!!  Thank you Gina, for all your hard work and dedication to making the clinic such a great success.  I had 12 wonderful students who were all a pleasure to work with and worked so hard to learn and get better throughout the weekend.  Man oh man was it a shock to my system though, I went from the Seattle where we wore sweat shirts all day to Arkansas were it was so hot and humid.  I almost died the first day I sweat so much.  Thank goodness we were at a wonderful indoor arena which was about 15 degrees cooler than outside in the sun.  We got some relief the 2nd day with an overcast sky.  But, it was a fantastic experience and I even got to go flying in a 2 seater plane to take the tour of Quitman….thanks Jimmy!!  I will try to get the pictures up on here this week.  Thank you to all who attended and I wish you the best of luck….use your toolbox it is your way to the top.
We have come to the week of truth.  This is my deciding week on weather I keep going strong and hard for the NFR or I pull up and head back towards Texas and finish out my year close to home.  This week is Ellensburg and Walla Walla.  Ellensburg is a tour rodeo and basically it all boils down to tour points and I need to be at the tour finale in Omaha to continue to have a legitimate shot.  I find this a strange place to be as it is very unfamiliar to me.  I really can’t think of many times throughout my career were I ‘had to win.’  But, I guess we will see what I am made of and what God has planned for me.  I have come to terms with it either way, but I am still very positive and motivated to win….maybe now more than ever. 
Dad has been having a lot of stomach pain so they went to see a gastric doctor Monday.  Basically, he said it was from the chemo.  The strong medication has eaten into the lining of his stomach.  So….he can either stop taking the chemo or take some pain medicine to help ease the pain.  Of course, he wouldn’t take pain meds because they slow him down and make him sleepy.  He only has one round of chemo left, so of course he is going to take that round too.  So….that doesn’t leave much for relief.  Stubborn german is all I can say.  Hopefully, after this last round of chemo this stomach will line out and go back to normal and he will be in good shape.  I can’t wait to get home and go ride with him.  He is keeping Diamonds (our futurity colt for next year) on the barrels and working lots of cows on him….I am itching to get him going full swing on the pattern.  I miss home very bad right now…..but have to stay focused right now!!  Keep my eye on the ball....
“Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will.”   -Norman Vincent Peale

 8/23/2006 12:29:20 PM  
Lots to report, since I seem to never have time these days to sit down and actually type in my diary.  Ok, I left off before Sikeston.  I made a good run there, helped by muddy conditions after we left, and ended up splitting 4th and 5th for $1,748.30.  Off we went to Lawton for there.  Brittany and I both made good runs and ran the same exact time, the fastest 2 times of the entire slack and only ended up splitting 9th and 10th for $640.28, which was a little disappointing because we both made really good runs but the best we could do with slack ground conditions.  Bambi fly down to take Brittany’s rig up to Caldwell and we flew to Hermiston to run the horses we had sent up there, very hectic but thankfully I didn’t have to worry a minute about Princess….Bambi is so outstanding, that took a big load off of me.  Mona did good at Hermiston and I was very proud of her since I had not been getting to run her much at all in the past few weeks.  I was way too conservative on my first run, a little rusty I suppose, but she worked good and I still had a chance to qualify for the short go with a good run in the 2nd go that night.  So, I went for it and she worked great.  I hung my belt over the saddle horn coming out of the 2nd barrel, something I NEVER do, and had to unhang myself on the way to 3rd and I ended up hitting it.  Bad driver is the only thought that comes to my mind.  I just cruised her home and still would have been right in there to get a check.  So, off to Caldwell we went.  Thank you to my friend, Lucy Gomez, who let Travis and I come turn our horses out at her house and let them rest for a few days in comfort at Caldwell.  I hit a barrel in the 1st go, so stupid I was making a good run and hit the 3rd barrel like a dork.  I just got nervous because it was a tour rodeo and over thought the run.  I settled down and made a good run in the 2nd go and ended up 10th for $203.49.  I was 11th out of the ground and it was heavy the night we were up, but was very happy with her run.  Thank goodness I held on for 10th, as this would be our only check of the week Λ  I made a decent run at Moses Lake and ended up a few out of the money.  Princess got run on the brain and our turns were a little sloppy.  Nothing terrible, just part of having a horse that is not very seasoned.  I slammed into the 1st barrel at Canby, again rider error.  I sat there and watched several girls run way by the 1st barrel and slip, so I got it in my mind I really needed to take a hold of her….bad plan, she had it under control and I took her head off.  I took Mona jackpotting and that was fun.  It was nice to get to go run with no pressure.  I won something on her, not sure what I didn’t stay to get my money….you have to remember I am not a good jackpotter, all day and all night is not for me.  It is amazing how good I ride her when I actually get to run her a few times.  I am very excited about her she is going to be a superstar.  I am getting her in super shape for Pendleton’s 29 second course in a couple weeks. 
So, that leads up to now.  I have had 5 days off and man has that been nice.  I have got to ride Princess doing something other than barrel racing and I think that is going to make a huge difference for us.  I have put too much pressure on myself to win in the last few weeks and forgot the true reason I do this, because I love it and it is fun!!! 
Dad is doing great after his 5th round of chemo last week.  Mom says this was his easiest round thus far….if you can call it easy.  I guess a better wording for that is he felt bad less days.  He is riding colts and working cattle non stop.  Of course it is hot and dry at home so there is lots of cattle to be fed and water which is a full time job for him and Mom.  We don’t know yet if he will have his 6th round yet….I will keep you updated, but that will definitely be the last one if he has to have it.
I only have 2 rodeos this week and then I am off to Quitman, Arkansas this weekend for a 2 day clinic.  There are still spots available, contact info is on my clinic tab!!!!  I haven’t done a clinic in a few months, so I am looking forward to meet and helping new people.  I find that when I do a clinic and talk to people about breaking down barrel racing into very simple pieces, it helps me excel in my own riding, may be just what I need!!!
"The chunk of granite that is an obstacle for the weak is a stepping stone for the strong" –author unknown

 8/7/2006 3:12:57 PM  
Another good week in the books for ‘Team Dube.’  Things started a little ruff on Mona, Monday and Tuesday.  I haven’t been getting to ride her much in the last few weeks.  She tied up a couple times and I finally figured out she couldn’t tolerate the hay that we had bought.  Bad deal, but part of it when you first start hauling a new horse.  We were very rusty, but I think I got it figured out.  Mona took off yesterday to head for Hermiston, OR with Travis.  Princess worked great this week and things just keep getting better and better with every run, we are finally becoming a good team and she is trying her guts out for me on every trip down the alley.  I made a really good run at Dodge City in the 1st go, but was just a couple out of getting a check in the round.  I was last of the drag and we got a little bogged down at every barrel, but I was very proud of the way she worked.  I hit a barrel on my 2nd go and it was totally rider default!!!  I got a little nervous, wanting to make the short go so bad and over drove her, and of course she listened to exactly what I was telling her and we ended up right on top of the 1st barrel.  I made a great run at Phillipsburg and ran a 17.23 on a standard course.  A little stumble at the 3rd barrel ended us up in 6th instead of a little higher, but we still won $950.  I ended up 3rd at Abilene with a 17.38 on a standard course and we had a little ground trouble there too.  I got her shod yesterday, I let her get a little too long, but we have been somewhere every day and I have just let it get away from me.  I am almost sure we will not have anymore problems with the ground, and I have learned my lesson on how important her shoeing schedule is.  We are up at Sikeston, MO tonight and Lawton, OK on Thursday.  I am running Princess at both of those.  I fly to Hermiston, OR Thursday afternoon and Bambi is flying in to take the rig and Princess to the Northwest for Caldwell, ID next Monday.  I am running Mona at Hermiston on Friday, her big tour rodeo debut.  This is a big money week….keep your fingers crossed.
Dad is doing good.  He had a CT Scan today to check on progress.  It takes a couple days to get the results back, so we are waiting on those now.  He has been having a little bit of a sour stomach, but his appetite is very good so we are not too worried.  I think he has had too much medicine and it is effecting his stomach.  We will know in a couple days.  He is working hard and staying very busy.  Mom stays after him, because it is so hot right now and we don’t need him wearing himself out.  But, it would take a tank to slow him down…hard headed German….I guess that is where I get that from.  You know what they say ‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’
The quote for this week sums up my 2006 very well….I am so happy I am picking up speed now!!!
"To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first."
--William Shakespeare      

 8/1/2006 7:42:26 PM  
Things have been going good, we continue to win checks every week and keep climbing up the standings ladder one small step at a time.  I am very proud of Princess, she continue to get better and better with every run.  She is running so much harder now than just a few short months ago when I first got her.  We are really focused this week on Dodge City and getting some good tour points, for I think making it to the Tour Finale in Omaha may be vital to an NFR birth.  We still have Dodge City, Hermiston, Caldwell, Ellensburg, Puyallup, Pendleton and Albuquerque left and I have officially declared us on a point getting mission!!! 
Ok the update since I last reported in.  I got a check at every rodeo last week….Spanish Fork I won 11th, we split 11th/12th at Salt Lake, split 9th/10th at Ogden, Nampa was our biggest win so far winning 3rd in the short round and 4th in the average for a big check of $3,822!!!  Cheyenne’s 2nd round was not too good, the Princess decided to take off from the gate….not a good plan and we were going mach 3 when we got to the 1st barrel and went by it too far to make the short go.  We came back the next night at Deadwood and made a super run for 3rd place and $2,070!!!  We have snuck our way up to 21st in the standings….3rd week in a row we have moved up…29th, 26th, now 21st!!!!  Momentum is on our side and my horse is working good and running strong, which always helps.  I ran Mona last night at Hill City, KS and it was a disaster….we haven’t made a run in a while and I forgot which horse I was on….not good.  I am up tonight at Colby and Mona is getting the call again.  I practiced today and we are ready to go!!  Princess is resting up for Dodge City, Philipsburg and Abilene this week and I can’t wait!!
Dad had his 4th round of chemo last Monday and the Dr cut back on the chemo, so I am taking that as a good sign.  Of course he got to feeling bad, but not as bad this time!!!  He is having a CT Scan on the 2nd to determine where we are and how much more chemo he will need.  He is such a turkey though he wouldn’t slow down for one minute, even during the chemo.  He has been working lots of cattle and riding colts, same old Jack.  Mom got her new Jack Russell puppy from Brittany at Cheyenne and she is having fun with her.  Her name is Pokey and she is cute as a button. 
No videos until the 16th….my web master is on vacation… I will try to update more often!!!  Wish me luck!!!!!!!!!!
"If you want to be good at something, you have to work at it everyday. If you want to be great at something, you have to live it everyday."    -Dusty Lubbock

 7/21/2006 3:03:55 PM  
I am alive to all of you who might be wondering from the lack of update in a while. We were at Cheyenne at Bambi’s house resting up for another week of hard rodeoing.  Mom and Dad got to Cheyenne Monday and I am so happy that they got to come.  Of course the brakes on my trailer were acting up so Dad has been under my trailer since he got here trying to get me all fixed back up and ready to hit the trail again.  It never seems to fail that he either is under the trailer fixing something or has the hood up on my truck fixing it.  Well….I guess that is what Dad’s are for…..or at least mine HA HA.  Dad looks great was feeling pretty good when they got there, but of course he over does himself and has a little cold now.  He looks much better than when I was there 6 weeks ago…and that made me very happy.  They are staying until Saturday and then they have to head back because he starts his 4th round of treatment Monday.  They will do another CT Scan next week to check progress and determine how much more chemo he needs….we are praying for a very low number in that department.  Dad has never been to Cheyenne to see the rodeo, so I was very excited for him to see Princess and I go.  I got to spend a couple really good days with them and I treasure that deeply.  
Ok the rodeo update since the 4th.  I rode Mona at Arlee and Butte, Montana on the 8th.  The first run that morning was at Arlee.  It was a disaster…not her fault.  It was a very difficult arena and a very difficult set up, added to some bad piloting, equals not a good showing.  We regrouped great for the same night at Butte and won 1st!!!!  Yeah Mona.  She did very good and I rode her good.  We have a little adjusting to do and some getting used to each other but I feel like we are getting stronger as a team and I am very proud of how she is handling things.  We went to Casper and hung out for a couple days for some much needed R&R.  We floated down a very chilly North Platte river, but somehow managed to make it into a very enjoyable time.  Travis and the boys did some trout fishing and caught some nice ones so we cooked them and they were very proud of that.  I made a pretty good run at Casper only ending up about 1 tenth out of making it back to the top 12 finals.  She kind of wanted to step in at the second and I had to really push her by and that costs us bad.  I placed at Vernal and made my best run of the week there.  I ended up 10th but was proud of my run, I was last on the ground and I think that cost me a little….luck of the draw, that is part of it.  Princess and I did not fair too well at Colorado Springs.  She didn’t turn the 1st barrel good either time, not really sure why but oh well I guess that is part of seasoning a horse, sometimes they like pens and do good and some they don’t.  So, I went into the 1st round at Cheyenne a little tentative….but she worked good and I ran a 17.9 and a 17.8 got a check so I am in a good spot to come back, make a good run and get back into the finals.  Last night we were up at Salt Lake and boy was I nervous.  I have only run Princess in a building one time and Salt Lake is tiny (one a basketball court).  But, she handled it great and we were winning 6th and are going to get a good check there.  I have run her in a different bit the last two times that she really seems to like.  We are up at Spanish Fork tonight and Nampa tomorrow afternoon and Ogden Monday….all big ones, could be a big week and bump me way up in the standings if all goes as planned!!!
"Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well."
--Josh Billings      

 7/5/2006 1:49:54 PM  
Well I am in Oregon today at some friend’s house trying to recuperate from a really long 8 days.  Were do I start….I guess with Greeley where we started.  I worked both of my mare’s when I got there and Mona out worked Princess so I ran her in the 1st go.  Bad choice…the lights from the carnival freaked her out and needless to say it was not our best effort.  I came back the next night and ran Princess in the 2nd go and ended up splitting 3rd and 4th in the go round.  Princess really made a good run, made me want to kick myself in the butt for not running her the 1st go.  Unfortunately I didn’t get either run at Greeley on tape, but everything else from the 4th should be up later today.  I guess hind sight truly is 20/20.  Bambi Robb came to Greeley that night to help Brittany and I drive for the next couple weeks and off we went to Oakley.  I hit a barrel….my fault I went too slow and the ground was deep, bad combination.  We had the next day off and we went into Salt Lake City to get our air conditioner worked on, thank goodness we had a day off.  The next day we were at Cody and Livingston.  We got to Cody at 9 AM when the slack was suppose to start and they had two front end loaders and a dump truck in the arena scrapping mud out and hauling dry dirt in.  I guess someone left the sprinklers on for 7 hours….got a little carried away with watering the arena and it was a mud pit.  So, they worked on it for a couple hours and got it pretty good, but everyone was panicking because many people, like us were up at Cody and Livingston in the same day.  We finally ran and my run was ok, good 1st, kind of slipped and had ground trouble at the 2nd which pissed her off for the 3rd.  I ended up just a few out of placing, but was not dissatisfied with my run at all.  We loaded up and drove like maniacs to Livingston and made it only about 30 minutes before the barrels started.  Livingston was the only run over the 4th that I was unhappy with.  So, I called in back up and talked to Terri.  Princess was just feeling a little stiff and Terri helped me so much.  Red Lodge was our next run and our best!  I won 2nd and made a great run.  We headed off on our big drive from Montana to Oregon.  Thankfully we had Bambi and she did most of the driving so Brittany and I got to rest, St Paul was a big one and I wanted to be really focused when we got there.  Thankfully, we got to get in the arena and practice….St Paul is a big scary pen with all the barrel WAY WAY off the fences and even trees in the arena and an alley way the runs out from underneath the grand stands.  Princess handled it like a pro and made a good run, and we ended up 5th….biggest check on the 4th and man did we need it.  We spent the night with Dave and Sue McDonald, some friends who live close to both St Paul and Molalla and have great big pastures for the horses.  We finally had a little of a down day yesterday before heading to run at Molalla last night.  I hit a barrel, but Princess warmed up very tired….I can’t say that I blame her I was tired too.  But, all in all I think I won between 6 and 7 thousand, which should boost me up in the standings (at least in the top 30).  We are moving up, I have lots of confidence and momentum heading into the next 3 weeks, which are very big weeks.  We are going to be very busy, with lots of money our there to win….so look out!!!
Dad started his 3rd round of chemo Monday.  He was really dreading it this time, because he has been feeling good.  The chemo really wipes him out and is so tough on him and Mom.  But, hopefully it will last only for a few days this time.  They have planned a trip to come up and watch the slack at Cheyenne.  I am so excited to see them and can’t wait for them to see Princess go….they have only seen me run her once.  They coming with some friends and staying for a few days and making a little vacation out of it.  I am very exciting to see them and spend some time with them. 
We are about to load up to head off to Montana for a couple rodeos on Friday, then to Casper for a few days of rest before be start again every day on Tuesday.  I can’t wait, Casper has a river right beside the arena and it is very fun to float down….much needed fun.  I find this quote very fitting….
"The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep."
--Wilson Mizner

 6/22/2006 11:27:09 AM  
Lots of news….here we go.  Dad is doing much much better.  His second round of treatment was much easier.  Don’t get me wrong he was so miserable for about 4 or 5 days, but that was several days less than the first time.  He is back on his feet now and working his little heart out.  Fatigue is still a big issue, but he is learning to deal with it better and better all the time.  He takes naps and smaller breaks when he is working.  Of course he is usually 90 to nothing, so that is tough for him….but he is just so happy to be up and moving around it is easier for him to take.  They did another CT Scan to check how the treatment shrank the cancer.  His liver looked really good and all the spots had shrunk.  The spots on both lungs had also shrunk considerably.  But, the tumor in his left lower lung had grown.  The Dr says that was not surprising.  The CT was done before the second round of treatment and this was all the results from the first treatment.  There was so much cancer that just one treatment was not able to attack all the area affected.  He still has a nagging cough and that is from the tumor, but Mom says it has really eased up since the second treatment which means that the tumor is shrinking.  They say that this treatment should really go to work on shrinking that tumor and hopefully that will make the cough go away.  They are planning a trip to Cheyenne with some friends at the end of July to watch Tammy and I….that is very exciting, Dad has never been there and it is such a great rodeo.
My first go at Reno didn’t go very good.  Princess kind of argued with me at the first barrel.  I got mad at her and came home and worked her and took her to the jackpot the next day with a new game plan and a different bit….of course I killed them.  I won the 1-D on Princess with 15.59 and won second on Mona with 15.62.  WOW!!!  Check out the videos, two really good runs. 
I have decided to buy Mona.  Harlan, Kami and I all had a heart to heart and came to the conclusion that Mona and I are a perfect fit and she belongs in my barn.  I am very excited.  I have only run her 3 times and she just continues to get better and better.  She still is a little on the fat side, but tries so hard and is so easy for me to ride and get along with.  Princess is totally in love with her.  They are pasture buddies.  Princess is also excited about having some help these next few month are going to be very busy and LOTS of rodeo runs.  We have some catching up to do in the standings so I will be entering every big thing I can get to!!!   
Brittany has been here all week hanging out and I have been getting packed up to head off with her for about a month.  Of course, I am having to get Travis packed up too….he is a big baby!!!  We are headed back to Reno tomorrow, Princess is getting a chance to redeem herself.  Look out here we come!!!
"Do not take life too seriously; you will never get out of it alive."
--Elbert Hubbard      

 6/13/2006 6:31:40 PM  
Well, I had a very good weekend.  I ran Mona on Friday at Turlock.  I was winning 4th after my perf and the slack (41 girls).  They only had 10 left on Saturday night so playing the odds I thought surely I would pull through for a check.  Nope, the ground got smokin fast and they ran 3 tenths faster Saturday night and I got bumped out of the money, which was pretty disappointing we deserved a check with the run we had.  She worked really good, especially for only our 2nd run together.  A few places for improvement, but that is to be expected.  We need a few confidence building runs, so I am going to take her to a couple jackpots this weekend to get us lined up for the big rodeos out west over the 4th.  I ran Princess at Livermore Saturday afternoon and let’s just say we were a little rusty after our big lay off.  She didn’t work bad, she just wasn’t very snappy and honestly hated the bit I had put in her mouth.  I just ended a couple out of placing, but honestly didn’t expect a check with the run we had.  So, off we went to Sisters…got there are at 5 AM and the perf was at 1 PM.  Thankfully, my good friends Mike and Cindi Holland let us crash at their house so the horses got to be turned out and rest up before heading over to the rodeo.  Make sure you watch out run on video from Sisters it was GREAT!!!  I was really proud of Princess….the ground was a little unfavorable and several girls had trouble with it, but she pulled through like a champ and stood up great.  I was very pleased because we were 11th out on the ground and we have had ground trouble in the past.  I think the new shoeing did the trick and she handled it like a pro.  I won $2,057 which was a big push in the right direction….plus it is always nice to have a good run going into a big rodeo like Reno.  I am headed to the vet now with Princess and Mona just for a quick check to make sure we are firing on all cylinders….back to running with the big dogs and we need to be at the tip top of our game.
Several new reports on Dad.  He started his 2nd round of Chemo yesterday.   They took a blood test before the started and it came back really good, his liver enzyme levels are back to normal.  They were very elevated before this 1st round of chemo.  He got a headache during the 3 hour chemo yesterday, which kept him in the house yesterday afternoon but was gone by last night.  He got to go to LaGrange to take his treatment this morning and was home by 11.  I just talked to them and he was out checking cows this afternoon and was feeling pretty good.  He has one more treatment in the morning and he will be done again for 3 more weeks.  He is scheduled to have another CT Scan on Thursday to check on how things are progressing or shall I say shinking.  They are also going to give him another shot that helps to boost his white blood cell count to try to help prevent infection.  So far so good….I will report back when we get news on the CT Scan.
The quote for this week is for all of you who are facing troubles in way or the another….a positive attitude and outlook on life will take you a long way
"Prepare your mind to receive the best that life has to offer."
--Ernest Holmes      

 6/8/2006 5:26:24 PM  
Very good news this!!!  Dad went in at 8 AM on Monday for the MRI on his head, due to the jerking he had one day last week.  They were concerned that the cancer may have spread to his brain, which is common with the type of cancer he has.  The Dr called Monday afternoon and it was completely CLEAN!!!!  YES YES YES, finally some good news.  It has been a little bit of a tough few days, Dad ran over their little Jack Russell dog, Socks.  He got very emotional over it and told Mom that nothing could go right….I felt really sorry for him.  Socks loved Dad and even though he doesn’t want to admit it he loved him too.  He would ride on the tractor with Dad, on of the strangest sites you have ever seen.  Bad deal for them.  We have put an order in for them for a new puppy, so in 6 weeks are so they will have a new little baby running around.
Yesterday, Dad came inside and ran his hands through this hair and it started to come out in chunks.  So, he had Mom buzz it off.  He said he didn’t want it falling out in his hands.  Mom says he is a little self conscious of it, but he is just wearing a cap all the time so it is not too bad.  Other wise he is doing pretty good.  He had been taking care of his cows, spraying weeds and welding.  He gets tired fast, but is good about it and will take breaks to keep himself from getting worn out.  All in all I think he is doing great and I am really pleased with how things are going.  He starts his 2nd round of chemo on Monday, and he is dreading that.  He has to take his first treatment at Dr Tweedy’s office in Autin on Monday, but Tuesday and Wednesday he will get to go and take it in LaGrange.  Monday it will take about 3 hours and Tuesday and Wednesday only 2 hours.  He will get to go home after each treatment, which will help this round go much smoother than the first one when we were in the hospital.  I am praying hard that this treatment be easier on him….as the 1st on nearly killed him.  The Dr’s say each round gets easier, so we are keeping our fingers crossed. 
Check out my new girl, Mona.  The video is my first run on her ever!!!  I am really excited to get her in my program….she is only going to get better once we get together.  She belongs to Harlan and Kami who live in Cottonwood, CA and are going to let me take her along with me this summer to help Princess.  I am running her tomorrow night at Turlock to see how she handles the rodeo scene.  She has been to a few in the past so I think she will do good. 
Princess got different shoes today to help hold her better on the bad ground.  We are getting geared up now….the countdown has begun.  My goal is to win $4,000 this weekend and have lots of momentum going into Reno!!!
"A will finds a Mard way."
--Orison Swett en      

 5/31/2006 2:02:48 PM  
I am happy to get to say that Dad is getting back on his feet.  He spent most of the day outside yesterday working.  Luckily it has been pretty cool here that last few days and that is helping a lot.  He still gets fatigued pretty easy, but he is eating good now so his energy levels are getting better with each passing day.  He has gone right now with his horse to move a bull around.  He is getting back to his old grouchy self so I know he is feeling much better. 
He has had some jerking in this arms and legs and a little bit of numbness in this right foot.  This can all be a side effect of the chemo, but they are wanting to do an MRI on his brain just to make sure everything is ok.  Of course, he is resisting because he is feeling much better and thinks they have done enough tests.  He is back to being stubborn again and that is a good sign!!! 
I am headed back to California tomorrow afternoon.  I have to get back to the grind of getting ready for the big summer run.  I am picking up a new mare on Friday morning, her name is Treasure.  I am going to run her a few times before I leave for Reno to see if she will be able to fit in my program and help me and Princess in our quest for the NFR.  I am going to run her Saturday and Sunday at two jackpots and see what happens.  Hopefully, she will be a good addition!!!

The quote for this week relates to most things that are going on in my life right now, but also a good one for everyone....seize the day!!!
"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."

 5/27/2006 10:32:16 AM  
Just a little report in on Dad.  We have been able to keep some food down him the last two days….that is the challenge right now is getting some food in him to help get his energy levels up.  The chemo really was tough on him, but he was so sick prior to the treatment.  The Dr’s say that everyday now he should get better and in about a week he should be where he can get outside and do something.  Things are pretty tough right now, but we are hanging in there and praying hard for God to send some relief.
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. ~Marlon Brando

 5/25/2006 7:01:35 PM  
A little piece of good news, they let Dad come home from the hospital this afternoon.  That was very good, he was getting very down in the dumps and I could see his spirit breaking in there.  He is resting here at home in his own bed now, the first time in 6 days.  He is still very weak and is sleeping most of the time, but he is not nauseous and is resting good.  Now, we just have to get him to eat so we can get his strength up.  The Dr’s say that in 7-10 days after a chemo treatment the medicine starts to do it’s magic and the cancer starts to shrink….that is what we need so the swelling in his liver will go down and stop pressing on his stomach.  So, hopefully in a few more days he will be able to eat, then maybe have enough strength to get up and around.  
For he will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands.  Psalm 91: 11-12

 5/25/2006 9:51:37 AM  
I am in Austin at the hospital with Dad.  I got here last night and spent the night so that Mom could go home and get some much needed rest.  He was supposed to get to go home yesterday, which got pushed back to today.....not sure that is going to happen either.  The Dr says it is day to day.  The trouble is still his belly.  He has a mass on his liver that is causing a variety of complications.  The liver lacks elasticity, so the tumor is making it very mad.  As a result, he is reatining fluid, his stomach is hard and bloated,  his bowels are not working good, he has a tremendous amount of pain in his stomach, and he can't eat. 
But, we did have a good night. It is funny, he wanted me to sleep in the bed with him.  My Dad is a tough laced guy that has some trouble showing affection, so that was a big deal to me.  We were actually very comfortable and slept good...or as good they will let you with the nurses coming in and out taking vital signs, drawing blood (yes at 4 AM, I could of choked her!!).  Mom is back here now and we will stay all day here.  
I am staying in Texas for about 10 days, then off to do a clinic in Wisconsin before heading back to California.  Princess is getting the week off until Monday and then Darlene is going to exercise her for me.  I am sure she will be happy to have a couple weeks with no runs.  I am entered at Sisters, Livermore and Turlock....a warm up for Reno the next week and then I am off for my summer run.  I will be traveling with Brittany Pozzi which is exciting, we feed off each other feel and always win a lot when we are together.  
I am doing a Question and Answer on barrel horse world tomorrow (Friday) at 11 AM (CST), please stop by!!!!  I need something to occupy my time here at the hosiptal and take my mind off of things...
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."  -Helen Keller
I will keep you update on Dad, 

 5/18/2006 11:41:17 AM  
Dad spent the last two days in Austin for testing.  We should hear back about the biopsy today (hopefully) and they have a Dr's appointment tomorrow for the results of the PET scan.  Mom talked to the Dr yesterday, because he is having so much trouble with his stomach and keeping food down.  They think it is his liver, but will know more when the PET scan results come in.  They gave him some more meds to try to help, but man I can't wait to get a plan of action.  They are wearing my patience thin with all this waiting....let's get a plan of attack and get it started!!!!  Hopefully that is exactly what we are going to get tomorrow.
After being broke down for most of the day Tuesday in Needles, we finally got on the road around 3:30.  That put us back in Stockton at 1 AM, where I had to get all of Travis's rodeo gear out of the trailer (we are rodeoing in seperate rigs this weekend) and try to get everything repacked to leave again until Monday.  I got in bed around 2 and had to get up at 3 to leave by 3:30 for 8 AM slack at Redding.  I normally feel like I am a good planner for both myself and my horse.....but sometimes little mishaps can't be planned for.  I felt so guilty when I went out at to get Princess to load up to head for slack, she was laying down and I had to get her up and put her back on the trailer AGAIN.  Poor little girl.  Our run at Redding reflected about how she and I both felt....tired, grouchy, and not wanting to be running.  I can't really be mad at her for her performance, but am going to make a bit change for Klammeth Falls tonight.  Princess layed down quite a bit yesterday and is back to her normal silly self this morning.  I am about to take off for Klammeth soon.  I will let you know how it goes.....
We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope
Martin Luther King, Jr.

 5/16/2006 5:17:43 PM  
Well, all in all it was a good weekend.  I ended up 4th at Crockett and won $632, so Princess and I have continued our streak of winning something every week.  I missed up bad at Mineral Wells, flipping the reins over her head at the 1st barrel.  Princess has decided she caught onto the game and is really firing.  She was running so hard to the 1st barrel at Mineral Wells, I thought there was no way we were going to turn it....even crossed my mind that we might not turn at all.  WOW she is a fast girl.  Of course she turned, but I was so unfocused it was not our best 1st and I let the reins get over her nose.  So we were running across with my right rein right down the middle of her head....not the best feeling in the world.  I ended up hitting the 2nd from being so out of wack.  I am having to make some adjustments with Princess.  When I first got her Terri told me to 'wake her up' before I went in there.  That is not necessary any more!!!  She is firing a lot harder with every run and I am so pleased with her.....I can't wait for the next run, even as soon as I come out of the arena!!!!
We broke down last night in Needles, CA (basically the middle of no where in the Mohave desert).  We had to have the truck and the trailer with all 5 horses towed about 15 miles back to Needles.  Luckily there was a fairgrounds here for the horses and we have our living quarters so we had somewhere to stay.  They took the truck on to the Ford dealership, who has been so great and got it fixed today and we are about to get back on the road (3:30 PM).  What else?
Dad's biopsy was today and went good.  They are still in recovery right now, but will get to go home this evening.  They have to be back in Austin tomorrow at 10 AM for the PET Scan.  We should get some word from the Dr's on Thursday or Friday, I can't wait....guess I am showing my lack of patience.  Dad has been working outside as much as his energy levels will permit.  The coughing spells have eased up now, but his stomach is more of the problem now.  He has been a healthy guy for 64 years and now all of a sudden he is on quite a few medications and they are tearing his stomach up, so he is not eating very good.  But, all in all his spirits are better when we is out doing something.  Tammy is with them for the tests this week.  We are hoping to start the treatments next week and I am going to fly home to help with that.

 5/13/2006 2:56:42 PM  
I made a good run at Crockett last night.  I was winning 2nd when I left, not sure what happened in the slack, but felt like I was going to win a good check from the run I made.  Still need a little work tightening things up here and there, but Princess is handling all this new stuff so good and making up for my mistakes as I learn to ride her. 

Mom and Dad made the trip over to Crockett to watch Travis and I last night.  Dad seemed better last night and happy to be out and about.  I was really excited that they got to come.  I am headed back to California on Sunday morning and will not be back in this area to run for several month, so I was happy to show off Princess!!!  It is funny, how I still get nervous when they are there to watch me....I guess we never grow out of wanting to do well in front of our supportors.  We all went to eat after the rodeo and had a really nice time.  It made for a long night, but it was all well worth it!!
I am up at Mineral Wells tonight, I will let you know how it goes.  The videos from this week should be up soon.
"Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."
-Joshua J. Marine

 5/10/2006 10:02:03 PM  
Well, we had a long day at the Dr’s today.  We had an appointment with a pulmonary (lung) specialist.  Basically all we learned is that we need more tests before a treatment plan of attack can be decided on.  Hurry up and wait, I hate that.  We are scheduled to have a biopsy of the mass on his left lung, next Tuesday.  On Wednesday they are going to do a PET Scan which will determine exactly were the cancer is and where it is not.  The only news that was a bit disappointing to me was that the Dr said it is inoperable.  But, I am not sure that is not a positive thing.  I have heard lots of bad stories about surgery going wrong, making it spread and things being worse than when you started….maybe it is just me trying to find a positive way to look at things right now, I am not sure.  So we know that we are looking at chemo or radiation…..and we all know how long, hard and tiring that can be.  I feel so blessed that this all happened when I was here and got to come and go to the Dr and be with my family.  I was very overwhelmed with emotion before I got here, but since I have gotten here it has calmed me and grounded me a little.  I think we are in shock, since my Dad is a healthy guy (no existing medical conditions) and is so active…..just goes to show you it can happen to anyone.  A really positive thing did come from our Dr visit.  Dad had been coughing, gagging, and vomiting up a lot of mucus due to the breathing treatments they had added Monday.  The Dr. prescribed him some medicine that has almost stopped that so hopefully we will all get some much needed rest.
I am hoping Dad will be feeling good enough to come watch Princess and I on Friday at Crockett.  My parents haven’t seen me run her and after this week I am headed back out West to rodeo.  Of course, I wanted to stay home and help my Mom and spend time with my Dad, but the only thing in the world he wants is to be in Vegas come December so he has instructed me to get my butt back out on the road and win!!!  I am going to try at Redding and Klammeth Falls next week and go do my clinic in Bend, OR.  The following week I am going to fly back, as I think that is when the treatments might be starting.  I am going to be here as much as I can before the big summer push comes starting at Reno (mid-June).  Thanks for all of you that have called, emailed or prayed for Dad….I have read him most of the emails and it seems to perk him up to know he is such an important guy….guess that cancer didn’t effect his ego!!! 
If you believe you will get anything you ask for in prayer.
Matt 21:22 

 5/8/2006 10:01:35 PM  
This is going to be short and sweet....My Dad was diagnosed with lung and liver cancer today and I have a lot on my plate right now.  He has had a really bad cold for about 3 1/2 weeks now and after nothing was helping him get better they sent him to the hospital for chest x-rays and a cat scan.  We don't know much as that was today.  I am going to run at Stephenville in the morning and then I am headed home to be with my family and go to the specialist with Dad on Wedneday.  Please keep him in your prayers, he is such a vital part of my team and my best expert coach.  Dad is a very strong, stubborn man and I know he will pull through this.  I am pretty devasted and kind of in shock, but will be better when I get there with my family.
Sorry for the long delay in updating.....Guymon, OK is like the black hole.  Barely any cell phone reception and defintaely no wireless internet.  Guymon was good, I placed in the first round making a really good run in really deep ground.  I traded to a performance for my second go and ran in the sloppy mud.  The ground really was good, but it was Princess's first mud experience and when the mud hit her under the belly she took off.  After a bad first barrel we recovered and had a good second and thrid and salvaged the run enough to make the short go.  Nerves got to me in the short go and I hit two barrels and made my worst run ever on Princess, but then again it was only my 7th run ever....our 2nd short go appearance and $2,600 later we are doing good.  The videos should be up tomorrow....well all except my short go run, the video man had a few choice words so we are leaving that one off.
I will let you know more after I go to the Dr. with my Dad on Wednesday.

 4/28/2006 12:12:11 PM  
Take a look at who's on the front page of !!!!!  There is a story on Princess and I and an audio interview on our run.....go check it out.  Isn't nice to be in the news for a win, instead of for something bad???? 
I am at home today and Princess is out in the pasture enjoying tall grass and the California sunshine.  We will be headed back to Clovis for our second run tomorrow afternoon at 2 PM.  I am trying to get everything packed up to head to Guymon.  Travis is in Colorado Springs, CO putting on a team roping clinic, so I am left here to pack all our stuff up and get the trailer ready for our trip.  I better get to it!!!

 4/27/2006 10:03:04 PM  
I win, I win, I win!!!!  Today was the first go of Clovis and I won the first go round with a 17.24!!!!  It was so great, Princess was so great today and it was so smooth and easy.  I am so super impressed with her and like her so much.  I go to spend a lot of time with her this week.  I rode her a lot just slow getting to know her better and figuring out what her 'buttons' are and WOW what a difference it made today.  Princess is so easy going and sweet....she is very lovable and boy is she stealing my heart!!! 
I come back and run my second go on Saturday afternoon and I can't wait!!!!  I am going to spend the next couple days packing up....we have to be in Guymon, OK on Tuesday morning for the slack.  We are going to spend a couple weeks in Texas before heading back to California for the rest of the spring.  I have a breathe of fresh air and I am ready to hit the trail.....we are playing catch up now, but we still have them in our sites and gaining ground!!!!!
“You can do anything if you have enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars.  With it, there is accomplishment.  Without it there are only alibis.” 
-Henry Ford

 4/24/2006 4:14:10 PM  
Well Princess and I made the short go at Red Bluff.  I would love to say it was a good experience....but.  Lita Scott drew #1 in the short go.  She runs in there and goes down at the 1st barrel and falls off.  I didn't see it, they are yelling at me to 'come on now!!!'  Travis is standing in the roping box we have to walk through to go in so I ask him what to do and he says he doesn't know, just go for it.  So I fly in there and stumple really bad at the 1st, Princess recovers good so I cruise over to the 2nd and turn it good, so I go on a little faster to the 3rd and we went down bad.  I get whipped down into the barrel with my body, but as I am falling off the left side of my are my right foot turns sideways in the my stirrup and I get hung up.  I got drug from the 3rd barrel back up to the 1st barrel.  It was the scariest 10 seconds of my life.  Finally, my foot came out of my boot.  Thank God Princess was a good girl and she slowed down as I was dragging and didn't kick at me (which is a miricle).  We are both ok.  I am pretty banged up, have a little road rash down the left side of my body quite a few bruises and some pretty sore spots but all in all I am so thankful that I didn't get killed.  Princess is good, proof she is such a tropper already. 
They stopped the barrel race after I fell.  They worked the ground up.  Lita slipped bad again.  I had tears in my eyes watching and looked at Travis again for guidance and he said just lope through and let's go home.  So, that is exactly what I did.  I can never remember being scared ever before going in for a run....yesterday I was.  Anyways, we went really slow...still slipped at the 2nd and was happy to be finished with Red Bluff.  As Travis as 'we will live to see another day and fight another fight.'

 4/22/2006 12:11:46 PM  

YES YES YES!!!!   I wan 4 tenths faster on my 2nd go at Red Bluff last night in the perf!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I got out my stingy bat and with confidence from my 1st run I actually rode like I wanted to win something.  I was so proud of Princess she handled the crowd, lights, explosions, and all that goes with a rodeo performance so good.  It was so much fun, I just pulled my cowboy hat down low and went for it!!  Our time would have won 2nd in the first round....of course we are winning 6th in the 2nd go, but right there biting at their heels.  I am sitting 4th right now in the average with 12 girls left to run.  So, hopefully I will make my first short go of the year.  I really hope so, our run was much better but we can still make some little improvements and get better.  Isn't that wild, of all the rodeos I have been to all year I might be in my first short Princess and I's first rodeo.  WOW is all I can say to that.  Princess is an amazing girl and I was so blessed to find her in such a short amount of time.  Just image what it will be like when we get a few runs under our belt and get some confidence in each other!!! 
Things are looking up!!
"True hope dwells on the possible, even when life seems to be a plot written by someone who wants to see how much adversity we can overcome."
- Walter Anderson

 4/21/2006 8:34:03 PM  
Just a quick drop in....I ran my first go at Red Bluff this morning and the video is up.  I make my second run tonight.  I ended up somewhere around 15th in the round tonday.  Weird to say, but I was a little chicken and rode very conservative.  We made a nice smooth little 'exhibition' type run.  This being only the third day I have ever taken Princess through the barrels I wasn't feeling very confident in my ability to help her in this big pen if something went wrong so we went for the more cautious approach.  She handled it good and wasn't even breathing hard when I came out....that is when I realized how slow I had went, she thought we were just practicing!!!  But, I am much more confident now and we are going to let our blonde hair down tonight and go for it!!!  I have a good chance to make the short go with another good run.....I better go get ready!!
A little motivation quote for myself and my next run...gotta take one step at a time to reach your goals, I am one step closer now than I was this morning
“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.” 
Thomas Alva Edison

 4/20/2006 12:19:17 AM  
Wow what a difference a week can make!!!  I have Princess here in California and we are frantically trying to get ready to run at Red Bluff at the rodeo on Friday.  I worked her on the barrels today, I am trying to get my feet wet on her so I can try to give her some guidance on Friday as apposed to looking like 'Whiplash.'  She is handling the changes great and seems to be settling in good here.  Thank God it has finally stopped raining here and she is not having to squash around in the mud and it has been reported that the arena conditions in Red Bluff are very good.  I am nervously awaiting our debute....check back Friday afternoon for an update on our run and the video.
I had a very successful clinic last weekend in Liberty, MO.  It was wonderful!!!  I had 13 great students that were lots of fun and very willing and eager to learn and that always makes things so much better.  Thank you to all of you who came and supported me, I can only hope ya'll had as much fun as I did and learned as much from me as I did from all of you.  Good luck and keep using you 'tool box' and you will go a long way!!!  I hope that each and every one of you will keep in touch and let me know how things are going!!!!  Thank you for such a pleasant experience, I love you all.  The quote for this week is for my students...
"But it's not just learning things that's important. It's learning what to do with what you learn and learning why you learn things at all that matters."



-Norton Juster

 4/13/2006 11:43:14 PM  
Mission accomplished, I am back in business!!!  Today I purchased a new mount from Terri George....her name is Imanonstop Princess.  She is a 9 yr old palomino mare by Terri's good stud Letta Hank Do It (last son of the great mare Slash J Harletta) and out of a Nonstop Jet/Jet's Payday mare.  She had quite a futurity and derby record, but stuffered a near career ending cut about 2 years ago.  With care, patience, love and determination Terri nursed her back to health and soundess.  I thought of not going to try her because of it and then I thought to I have some terrible scars myself from my pelvis injury and I am still good, I wouldn't want anyone to think less of me just over some stupid scars or injuries!!  I think Princess and I are meant to be together....similar histories, but our scars are both external and it is what is inside that counts!!!!  When I tried her we fit like a glove the first time I ran her and I know that is what you need, it should be easy and fun....and it was =>  => =>
I have to thank Terri for selling me her baby, I know it was hard to let her go but she is going to be my salvation I just know it!  It is funny to me, I almost came down to try Princess before I bought Blue and a set back kept me from 6 months later God lead me to her again....I guess some things are just meant to be and we can't question how we get there.
This quote is from US Smokeless ads from the NFR:
"No scars, No stories"  Fits me and Princess!! 

 4/12/2006 7:14:04 PM  
Home sweet home!!!  I am in Giddings with Mom and Dad and I am feeling much better.  I have been trying horses and I think I am onto somthing.....I don't want to get to excited until after the vet check on Friday, but things are looking up.  Thankfully Blue was insured so her last gift to me is that I can buy something else to help ease the pain and move forward with.  Of course she owns a piece of my heart that will never be replaced, but I do this for a living and I have to have a horse or I can't pay the bills.  I will keep ya'll informed as soon the deal goes through.  Thanks again for all the support and prayers....keep them coming that he will bless me with my next Champion!!! 
The quote for this week hits home for me....after some soul searching, lots of tears I have found that the ultimate goal in life is to be healthy, happy and live a good life.  I get to do what I love everyday, I am healthy, I have two great families (my own parents and Travis's), I am young and I have a whole life time ahead of me full of ups and downs.  They can't keep me down too long, I am was to stubborn for that!!
With determination and hope,
"We climb to heaven most often on the ruins of our cherished plans, finding our failures were successes."
-- Amos Bronson Alcott

 4/9/2006 2:36:09 AM  
I would like to thank everyone who has called or e-mail me in the last few days, your kind words and good thoughts are very much appreciated.  I truely love Baby Blue and she was one of the most talented horses I have ever rode and I am so saddened at the fact that she was never able to reach her full potential, she was going to be a super star.  A good friend said something that really hit home, 'I think the good ones would much rather die in battle, than in the pasture.'  I am sitting 2nd at Oakdale right now.  When you watch the video you can not even see when the injury happened, she was one tough cookie with such a big heart she never stopped trying.  That was her best quality she had so much try and heart and I know from experience you just can't train that into a horse.  I want to thank Holly Smith for selling me Blue and giving me the wonderful opportunity to have such a great horse in my life, even for such a short time. 
Everyone keeps asking me what my plans is now and honestly I don't have one.  All I have is a barn full of babies.  I don't know where to even begin to look for another horse, but I am going to have to as I have no other way to make a living and feed myself.  Back to the trenches for me....
Thank you so much for all your support and friendship,
When life is good, enjoy it.  But when life is hard
remember: God gives good times and hard times, and no one knows what tomorrow will bring.
Ecclesiastes 7:14

 4/7/2006 11:53:15 AM  
The news is very bad.  Blue has ruptured her suspensory completely in half and seperated it causing the severe drop of her ankle.  After talking to the vets there are not many options....and with her being in a tremendous amount of pain with zero chance of recovery the only option is to put her down.  I am very shaken and unstable right horse owners we never expect to have to make these kind of decisions.  I am going over now to see my Baby Blue right now....tell her I am so sorry and to kiss her goodbye. 

 4/6/2006 11:35:12 PM  
Blue suffered very bad injury to her back left leg today at Oakdale.  After my run she was really lame and there was a vet there.  She was splinted and rushed to the clinic.  They x-rayed her leg and nothing is broken so that was a big plus.  She is at Pioneer Equine Hospital tonight where she will be ultrasounded in the morning when the vet I normally use is on call.  Right now things are looking pretty grimp.  They suspect that she has ruptured a tendon or ligament that has caused her ankle to drop down and her fetlock to swell.  As of now that is all I know, I will report back as soon as I hear in the morning.  Please pray for Blue.

 3/30/2006 3:32:27 PM  
Since I have report in I have hit the first barrel (my 2nd go at Austin, to make it back to the short go), the second barrel (at Nacogdoches) and the third barrel (the 1st go at Laughlin to place in the round).  I told Travis yesterday, well I have now hit all three barrels so hopefully I have gotten it out of my system.  I was right, today I made a really good run in the 2nd round at Laughlin.  My time of 17.19 would have won first in the first go, but of course it is winning 7th in the 2nd go.  But, I was very happy.  Take a look at the video Blue slipped very very bad at the 3rd barrel.  I was so super impressed with her time with how bad she stumbled.  The good news is Blue is working her butt off and is much more comfortable outdoors and that is such a positive thing.  A large majority of the big rodeos from now until the end of the year are in big outdoor pens.  The bad news is if I would have left the barrels standing I would be coming back to the short go in really good shape to be in the top few at Laughlin. 
I am headed to Parker, AZ Saturday and Sunday to run Jane at the futurity.  I am excited she is doing really good.  Jane needs lots of experience and she is going to get a dose of that this weekend.  I am really looking forward to Logandale next week.  The ground is pretty deep there and very similar to the ground from where Blue came from.  She really excells in deeper ground, she is getting better on hard, slick stuff....but going to our strength should only give us more of an advantage.  I am working on my mind set and keep telling myself over and need to ride Blue like an indian.  I need to be more confident in Baby Blue, stay positive and just go relax, have fun and ride like I know how.....have to figure out how to release 'The Wild Child!'
The quote for this week, hits so close to home for me right now......confidence is such a big factor in barrel racing.  Something I have never had trouble with, now as I find myself struggling with my confidence.  More in my riding than in my horse.  I am focusing this week to pull it together and give my horse the confident rider she deserves.


While it is wise to accept what we cannot change about ourselves, it is also good to remember that we are never too old to replace discouragement with bit and pieces of confidence and hope
Elaine N. Aron

 3/20/2006 8:46:11 PM  
Just a quick report in with good news.  I went to a big jackpot in Stephenville this past weekend and did great.  They got 580 total at the race and I won 2nd in the 1-D on Blue!!!!  The girl who won the jackpot broke the arena record that was over 4 years old, so I was pretty proud to win second.  Jane also made two really good runs.  This was her second and third runs for money EVER.  She is just 4 and I have only had her for a month so I am very proud of her and am looking forward to taking her along.  Things are looking up!!!  Make sure you check out the videos, they are up.
I have very high hopes for making the short go at second run on Wednesday.  Blue is running strong and ready to go and I am feeling very confident in her and my riding.  Here is a great quote....something we all need to think about.
Faith is the very first thing you should pack in a hope chest.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

 3/19/2006 11:01:25 AM  
A few years ago there was a commercial on TV for Meryvn's.  It was a lady standing outside the store in her bathrobe and it is night time.  The store is closed and she has her nose pushed up to the glass and she is saying 'open, open, open, open.'  That is what I feel like right now with my barrel racing.  Blue and I have been making really good runs and we are just right on the verge of doing so good....but we seem to be on the outside looking in and just can't quite get inside to join the party. 
I ended up 13th after 3 runs at Houston and of course they took 12 back to the short go....only missing it by 3 hundreths of a second!!  A little bobble on the second barrel hurt us bad and cost us dearly.  But, I will say I am very proud of Baby Blue, Houston is a tough pen (the arena is 3 acres and has a 16 second pattern set up in it), not to mention the 70,000 screaming fans when you run.  She handled it like a pro.  She continues to amaze me with her ability and pure determination dispite her lack of experience.  Even though I would have loved to get a chance to run in the short go, Blue and I had a good Rodeo Houston experience and it gives me lots of hope as the rodeos start to move to the wide open spaces and standard patterns.
I made a really good run my first go at Austin.  I ran the fastest time of my performance and felt like that was a big accomplishment in itself.  Of course once again I was winning 10th in the go round and got knocked out of the money in remaining 20 girls of the first go.  But, I am sitting in a good place I ran a 15.22...14.87 won the round, but a 15.0 won second and a 15.1 got money.  I am again right on their heals.....but not quite there yet. 
When people ask me where I got Blue from I laugh and say I found her in my backyard.  I not only say that because Holly lived 30 minutes from me in California, but because when I went and tried Blue she actually lived in a small trap in Holly's backyard!!  So when I saw this quote I would it totally fitting....what do you have in your backyard?  I have a diamond!!!!
Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.
Russell H. Conwell

 3/9/2006 6:55:07 PM  
I think I can say Baby Blue and I are offically on a roll!!!  We have had a spectacular week and I couldn't be more pleased with her performance.  We won 3rd at Bay City, TX for $1,352 (with 114 entries) and split 4th/5th at Glen Rose for $789 (with 104 entires)!!!!  We also have made two very solid, consistant runs at Rodeo Houston.  I was one tenth out of placing in the first round and am sitting 7th in the second round with 30 girls yet to go....not sure if we will hang in there for a check but she made a very very good run.  But, most importantly I am sitting 5th in the average after two runs and the average at Houston is where the big money is.
I sent Blue back home with Mom so that she can swim everyday.  I just have started her on a consistant swim/aqua tred program in the last few weeks and it really seems to be making a huge difference with her.  She really loves it and it seems to mellow her out.  She feels very strong running and we are gaining confidence and momentum with each run and it feels so great!!!! 
I am getting all the runs I can up on the video clip page.....check back tomorrow for the second round from Houston it should be up then.  I also would like for you guys to get to see Skimper and Jane too, so as soon as I run them at a jackpot they will be on there too.  I am at the George Strait Team Roping with Travis this weekend, hopefully we will be leaving San Antonio with our pockets full!!! 
The quote this week comes as I reflect on recent success with Blue.  I don't find myself doing anything different or changing anything up, but I do find myself riding with a different attitude.  I feel like I am just now giving her a fair shot, the opportunity to be a super star.....I am letting go of the 'Rooster' dream and making 'Blue' my reality.  She is my number one priority now, she is a great horse and deserves the right to shine soley at the top with me on her back.  It is amazing how something so simple as attitude can make all the difference in the world.....
Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?
-Mary Manin Morrissey

 2/24/2006 7:03:04 PM  
I am so excited, I now have videos up for you guys too see.  It is under the 'About Jackie' tab....then click on Video Clips.  Both of my runs from Tucson are up....many of you have not seen Blue yet so here is the first look.
My trip to Tuscon was a disaster.  It stared off before I even left Stephenville!!  An ice storm blew in and everything was a frozen mess.  I skid on the ice with my truck and trailer and it scared me to death.  After a bad start my trip to Tucson was pretty uneventful.  My first run was good.  I was a little conservative....after being in so many little buldings I got a little scared of Tucson's huge pen.  I sat there watching so many horses running by the barrels and not handling the ground good....and I know Baby Blue is very inexperienced.  I was very pleased with my run.  I ended up a few out of placing, but sitting very good for making the short go.  I rode like a goober on my second run.  I knew I needed a strong run to have a shot to win something.  Blue worked so nice on the first one I decided to go for it.  She took of really fast, and I paniced and checked her at the last second and she hit it with her nose.  Yes, I said her nose!!  It was as if she was saying 'Ok Mom whatever you want me to do.'  I was really disappointed in my riding....I have to get over my fear and ride her better.  She is a great horse and is so close to winning, I just have to relax and trust her.  The biggest bummer was my time would have for sure secured us a spot in the Tour Round. 
Travis got a stomach bug and we had to take him to Urgent Care the next day and he had to skip the Mike Cervi Memorial Roping.  So we spend most of the day cleaning up puck and getting him some fluids and medicine to keep him alive.  We stayed over for him to recooperate for the long trip home.  We left Thursday morning with the intentions to drive all the way home (about 14 hrs).  But, there were four of us and taking turns it wasn't going to be too bad.  Four hours from home in Monahans, TX my NEW truck broke down.  I will say that it was a very good experience though.  We meet so many people that went so far out of there way to help us.  Even had a total stranger bring us all the way home this morning!!!  The power of good Christians always amazes me and I am so thankful for good people.  So I am safe and sound back in Stephenville.  It is raining here which is a blessing too.  I have a few days off to prepare for next week.  I am really excited about running Blue at Houston now.  That pens is so huge, but after her performance at Tuscon it is looking good!! 
I am going home to Giddings for most of this week.  When I need help with my riding I always go home to Mom and has taken me a long time to admit it, but they always have the answers.  Mom is my biggest cheerleader and Dad is my biggest critic, together they even each other out to be just what I need!!!  I know that Blue and I are better than we are showing....I just have to relax and have fun. 
This is a great quote, send to me by a great friend (thanks Whitney!!) who has lots of faith in me and Blue.  I think this can touch us all in one way or the other. 
"Its not enough to be good if you have the ability to be better"
Alberta Lee Cox

 2/13/2006 1:48:57 PM  
I want to start my saying thank you to all of you that have e-mailed or called with kind words about Rooster's retirement.  It was been a rough couple days, but I am coming to terms with it.  As I watched the Olympics last night they had a story about Michelle Kwan giving up her spot, her Olympic dreams of Gold that have alluded her for so many years, all she has accomplished dispite not winning the Gold metal and it brought tears to my eyes.  They went on to say that she is the best skater of all times dispite not winning the Gold.  That is how I feel about Rooster.  It made me realize that even though the conveted Gold Buckle was never ours, that does not over shadow all the great runs, big wins, and all accomplishments we had together.  It all depends of what you measure it by.  No he is not a World Champion horse, but he is to me and that is all the matters in the end. 
Blue was come down with a little cold.  After 4 runs at the beginning of last week in San Antonio, I guess the stress, fatigue and being in a strange barn all caught up with her.  She made a beautiful run at San Angelo, but was fighting a cough and wheezy breathing and just didn't clock like she can.  I was very very pleased with her though, she handled the bigger pens and ground conditions like a pro.  I put her on medication as soon as I saw symptoms and I am happy to report she is doing much much better.  We have until Friday to recover before our second run at San Angelo.  I still have a very slim chance to make the short go at San Angelo, but we are going to really need a fast run.  From Angelo I am off to Tucson for my first go Sunday.  I think Tucson is going to be a really good rodeo for us.  The arena is very very big and it is a standard pattern with the barrels really far off the fence.....right up Baby Blue's alley.  So keep your fingers crossed and I will keep you all posted.
Please check the new Clinic schedule we have just added another date in May.....with more to come!!!!  Stop by
this afternoon, I am doing a live question and answer at 3 PM central time!!!
The quote for the day comes from the bible.....thank you Cressant for always finding the right message for me when I need some guidance!!  When in the dark, who better to look for the light than God. 
You can get the horses ready for battle, but it is the Lord who gives the victory.
Proverbs 21:31
Until Next Time,

 2/9/2006 5:44:35 PM  
I write today with a heavy heart and fighting back tears.  I offically retired Rooster today from barrel racing.  After two good showings at Ft Worth, I was really excited that lameness and mentally issues had been erased by at Belton all the bad runs of the past came back in a very haunting way.  He turned a beautiful first barrel, ran right across the pen...never seeing the second barrel and went right on the wrong side of it.  I have never ever been a quitter, so I want you all to know I would never quit on him if I thought there was any hope at all.  Today I realized by beloved friend and partner is overcome with lack of eye sight in one eye, feeling on the right side of his mouth and a stifle injury that has caused a permentant calified knot....and it has all to much that even his huge heart and love for the game can not overcome.  I can not ask anymore of him than all he has given me over the past 5 years and I will not ask anymore of him in the future.  He will be turned out in green pastures with his buddy, Dumplin, and live the rest of his life here at home where he belongs.  I find it bitter sweet to see our great journey end with the ultimate Gold Buckle aluding us, but he has been such a super campanion and for that he will always be a World Champion in my heart and the heart of many who watched him run. 
On a happier note, Blue made a strong showing at San Antonio this week.  I was winning 5th in the first round, despite a miscue on the 3rd barrel, so I am praying we hold on for a little check there.  We had ground trouble on our second run at the 1st and 2nd barrel, but still ran a very respectable time.  I hit the 3rd barrel my 3rd go, which was very costly for us in the average.  This was the first time I had to run her three days in a round and she handled the large crowd, live band and small arena very good.  We are learning as we go, but she is showing so much promise.  I talked with her today as I rode her and we had our first true heart to heart (ok don't laugh I am serious).....I told her she has some big shoes to fill and she is my one and only now so she is going to have to step it up and pull through for the team.  I always believe in signs and as I leaned down on her neck in tears she shook her head up and to say 'ok Mom I got it.'  Tomorrow is the first go at San Angelo, I am excited becuase it is a bigger run which is better for Blue.  We are both tired of being cooped up in these tiny colisuems.  I will be reporting back tomorrow afternoon with good news!!! 
When God closes a door, he always opens a window.....I refuse to stay down....Blue and I are on the way to the top I am confident in that.
 "It is the Law that any difficulties that can come to you at any time, no matter what they are, must be exactly what you need most at the moment, to enable you to take the next step forward by overcoming them. The only real misfortune, the only real tragedy, comes when we suffer without learning the lesson."




-Emmet Fox
Keep looking up.....

 1/28/2006 2:47:53 PM  
I am happy to start this by saying ROOSTER IS BACK!!!!  I was up last night at Ft Worth and he did so great.  I hit the second barrel but he worked so nice and didn't even waver or think about ducking or doing anything stupid.  YES YES YES.  I will say rider error cost use big time last night.  I really sent him in there hard, he smoked the first and then I froze.  I million things ran through my mind....I knew this was the ultimate test, I have done everything I can do to help was all in his hands and he ran right over there and smoked it!!!  I lifted up leg and missed it, but we didn't have enough momentum and he brushed it over with his hip.  I looked back think NO Please No and it feel right as I got to the third.  Bummer, but it really didn't matter....Rooster is back in the game and that is all that matters.  We will have many many more chances, the main thing is he is physically and mentally sound and ready to roll.  My second run in Tuesday and I can't wait....I am itching to try again.
I am headed to Ft Worth tongiht to Cowtown to run Blue.  It is a lot like the set up at San Antonio, so I am excited to see how it goes. 
Things are definately looking up!!!!  Just proof that if you keep moving forward, even when you are down, things do come back around.  You can't stand at the bottom of the mountain and feel sorry for yourself, you have to take step after step and climb the mountain back to the top.  I think the quote speaks for itself.
I know for sure that what we dwell on is who we become.

Oprah Winfrey (1954 - ), O Magazine
Until next time, stay positive and keep taking one step at a time, eventually to will bask in the sun that shines on top of the mountain,

 1/19/2006 11:41:29 PM  
Sorry I have neglected to keep you guys updated on the start of the 2006 season.  Blue has been my main mount and she is showing lots of promise in making a top notch rodeo horse.  She has shown her inexperience in lots of ways, but in many more she has shown her true talent, raw ability and true grit and willingness to win.  So here is the blow by blow.....
My first offical rodeo run on Blue was the first go of Odessa.  Well, I became a chicken when they called my name and we loped a beautiful pattern.  I have heard people say that before and laughed, but honestly WE LOPED!!!  A 14.2 won the round and we were a 14.9.  Even though we were not even close I was still very proud of her, she is listening to me very good (maybe too well) and she handled all the banners and 'rodeo' stuff good. 
As soon as we ran at Odessa that morning, Erika and I loaded up and drove all day to Monroe, LA to the slack after the perf that night.  I decided to find some trust in Blue, relax and let her go in there and do her thing.  Well....I did better but still was very conservative.  We placed 9th and won $130 so we broke our professional madden and we are on the board for 2006!!!  She handled the real hard ground very good and handled the very small scary bulding with ease.  Erika won second so the long trip was well worth it in the end.
Back to Odessa for the 2nd go was our next stop.  We did SO much better.  We ran a 14.3, a time that would have placed us in the 1st round, but not the 2nd go.  We ended up about 5 spot out of qualifying for the short round even with such a slow run in the 1st go.  I was very relaxed and went for it.  I put an O ring snaffle bit on her for the first time and was really happy with how she ran in it.
The first round at Denver was a little disappointing.  This was Blue's first perf EVER in her life.  I was a nervous wreck....knowing how many things can go wrong when you are on a green horse.  Blue handled it like a pro, she was working awesome when we had a bad slip at the third barrel.  It caused her to really bow off of it and we lost all our momentum.  I was very happy with her performance though and I know that I just have to chalk it all up to getting her more experience.  Erika made a very nice run and was placing 6th in the round.
The second go of Denver was so exciting!!  Erika ran the fastest time (15.4)of a super tough perf which was packed with former NFR qualifiers:  Sherry Cervi, Shali Lord, June Holman, Melanie Southard.  Erika is winning 1st in the average right now!!!  I came back and ran 3 tenths faster than my first run (15.6).  I am sitting 10th in the average with 36 so we most likely will not make it back.  But, I was very proud of her today.  She turned the best 1st and 2nd barrel we have ever had and still had a little trouble with the ground at the 3rd.  All in all I was very pleased with her performance and her ability to handle the large, load crowd, a really tough set pattern and tons and tons of pressure.  I know that we have yet to pick up a check at a big rodeo, but I am right there on their coat tails and getting better and better with every new experience we conquer.  I absolutely love Blue and I am very excited about running her everytime and getting my timing down with her and figuring out every little hitch. 
I will be in Denver through the short go....I am sure I will be the camera girl and cheer leader for Erika.  I am extremely excited for her.....just proof that good things do happen to good people who work hard for it and love their sport.  I would like to think I have taught her something down the line somewhere.  The quote for this week is to remember how much you influence people even when you are not trying....
"Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can't be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people. "
-Lee Iacocca
Happy Trails,