Preparing for competition is tricky. It’s like dating. You can put your best foot forward, put in all the hard work, but you only have control over you. You can’t control how the other person feels, reacts, communicates or behaves. So, think of preparing for rodeo like your dating or married life. You control what you can – your mental game – your physical game – your rodeo entering schedule – and don’t let the rest that you can’t control – control you!
Here’s a few #TipsfromTod:
- Set Your Goals Based on What you Have Control Over
Always remember that you can only set your goals based on what you have control over. You never know how you or anyone else are going to draw up at the rodeo, you can’t control changes in the weather, you can’t control what calf or steer you or anyone else draws, and you have no control over what kind of run anyone else makes. So those are the things that are useless to worry about.
What you do have control over is what you should prepare to the best of your ability. Sometimes money plays into the preparation process. We don’t all have unlimited funds. What I mean by that is you may have a tire on your trailer that is borderline, but you would rather not spend the money at this time. In that case, try to leave a little early, to give yourself enough time to deal with tire trouble and not have to go into panic mode. Other than that, make sure that your saddle, tack, and ropes are all in good shape and ready to use before you leave the house. You don’t want to have to change anything at the rodeo. If you decide to change something, do it at home first, to make sure it does what you expect.
- Physically Prepare You & Your Horse
Then make sure that you and your horse are physically and mentally prepared. Some horses take unique management to perform at their best. If you horse gets fresh, either ride him the night before, or leave early enough to be able to put some time in on him at the rodeo. If he works better on butte, give him butte the night before and the morning of, just to make sure that he feels his best. You can make sure that he has all his shoes on and that they are tight. You should manage what he eats and drinks. You don’t want to change it, but make sure he has enough without having too much. Water is really important anytime of the year, but especially in the summer when it is hot. Be sure he has access to it regularly.
- Mentally Prepare Yourself
Now to prepare yourself. We all get a little anxious when we first pull into a rodeo. It is fear mixed with excitement and anticipation. This is when you start pumping yourself up or telling yourself to chill out and settle down. Everyone is different. Don’t compare yourself to others, just do what you know to do, what works for you, and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Convince yourself that you are going to make the best run you can every time on the animal and position that you drew. Know that you can do it and go through your warmup routine that makes you the best. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing or what they are thinking. Do what is right for you.
Here’s to fast runs and big money – I’ll be cheering your on from the saddle. – Tod