Now that the dust has settled, I finally feel like I can take a deep breath and sit down and blog. Over the long weekend I hosted my annual barrel racing series, 6th one to be exact, and no matter how much preparing and organizing I do, I always end up feeling flustered and overwhelmed until the exact moment it starts. This year we had lower numbers (only 100 riders) compared to last year when we had about 200. The weeks leading up to it were exhausting. There are so many little things to take care of and no matter what I did, this year proved to be the most difficult. I’m a planner. So obviously I started getting things in order for it in January. I booked the rodeo grounds, got a rough idea of sponsorship money needed and sat down and figured out what prizes and payout should be. Fast forward to June when I think I have everything in place, and my brilliant “planning” started to crumble. The original photographer I had backed out, we were slightly over budget come time to order prizes, and I still was needing a concession to feed these 100 riders. Talk about stressful. It was almost as if I would get one thing handled and then another roadblock would pop up. There was even a moment 2 weeks before that I was sure this would be the last year hosting. Life was much too busy and complicated and I had every excuse in the book as to why I shouldn’t put myself through this again. Whoa.
People will tell you you’re crazy for hosting a series, but I say the beer helps
Thankfully, my trusty support system talked me out of it and reminded me to STAY POSITIVE. Things started to fall into place quite quickly once that happened. We got a photographer, we got a food truck, we got extra sponsorship money, and we got a great group of volunteers to help us pull it all off. I was breathing a huge sigh of relief when we were finally ready to go and everything was in place an hour before start time. As hard as it was to get the series under control and organized, it was probably one of the best years we have had. We had zero wrecks, were able to get almost 60 riders through in an hour, some very fast and deserving runs were made, and payout and prizes were done without a glitch. It was definitely a weekend full of lessons, like don’t sweat the small stuff, and patience will get you a lot farther than frustration will. I was still smiling at the end of it all, but I won’t lie, the few beers at the end of the day definitely didn’t hurt!
My biggest fans (and helpers)
I’ve come to realize that being involved in the things you are passionate about can create a love/hate relationship, especially when you are trying to balance motherhood in with it all. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress and hectic atmosphere, but in the end, it’s so worth it. I told myself from the very beginning that I was going to stick with barrel racing and hosting our event, even after having Casey, and I’m so glad I did. I hope that he grows up appreciating the hard work I put into hosting this series for other people and that I can lead by example and instill that same sort of passion into him. After seeing so many people have fun and bring their families out for the weekend, it left me with a very full heart. The memories made by the kids there will never be replaced and it’s one of the best atmospheres for them to grow up in. You can’t beat a weekend full of horses and laughter, so for now I’ll keep hosting them.