Never Stop Learning

Posted in: Horse Care, Horse Training

“Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Unknown

That’s my ruggedly handsome hubby in the branding pen 🙂


In order to grow as horsemen, we should never forget that we are always learning. We should foster that attitude that we can learn something, whether it be good or bad, from every horse we swing a leg over. When we as trainers get complacent and try to train every horse or ride every horse like the last one that we just rode, or the one that we had the most success on, our tactics become ineffective.

We can submerge ourselves in books or training DVD’s to better ourselves, but I want to encourage you to seek out inspiration from other disciplines. Don’t get hung up on one type of training method. Learn to embrace various techniques taught in different events. As barrel racers, we read articles and attend clinics taught by successful barrel racers, striving to better ourselves and our horses. Yet, sometimes we are so focused on running the fastest time that we often forget about basic horsemanship skills. Never get to the point in your career where you think you have learned everything there is to learn about horsemanship. Don’t be too proud to attend a horsemanship clinic. If you have an opportunity to spend time with a cutting horse trainer, do it! If you live on or have access to a ranch where you can work cows horseback, leave the arena for a couple days and spend some time riding your horse behind cattle. Moving, turning and sorting cattle correlates with rating and turning a barrel. Just because we train barrel horses doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from different disciplines.

Growing as a horsemen is dependent on YOUR attitude. Complacency breeds mediocrity. Never allow yourself to grown complacent with your training. Have a willing attitude and accept constructive criticism from other respected trainers. Be humble enough to admit your weaknesses, yet don’t dwell on them. Seek advice and have an open mind when it comes to people critiquing you.

Knowledge is power. In order to grow as horsemen we must be passionate about learning and succeeding. Passion is powerful, nothing was ever achieved without it. Nothing can take the place of it. Without passion, life has no meaning, so put your heart, soul and mind into even your smallest act. No matter what you face in life, if your passion is great, you will find the strength to succeed.

This is me and “Shadey” in the short go at the 2010 College National Finals. Before I started Shadey as a barrel horse, we used her as a heading horse and did not begin her barrel racing career until the age of 6.


Posted in: Horse Care, Horse Training

About Bailee Murnion

I was raised on the back of a horse on my families ranch in rural northwestern South Dakota. I grew up roping, tying goats and traning barrel horses, which I still enjoy doing today. I have a deep appreciation for a good horse, a cup...

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