In barrel racing we often try and coordinate or match our outfits to the horses gear, but when it comes to personalities, too much of the same can be a bad thing.
The idea is to compliment your horses personality with your own. Too much of one thing can be a trouble. If you are nervous and your horse has a tendency to be nervous it can be a recipe for disaster. If you are relaxed and laid back, teaming up with a lazy horse will likely result in a slow time.
We could put that lazy horse with the nervous rider and the nervous horse and the relaxed rider and have a dynamite team. Selecting your horse to compliment (rather than match) your personality and riding style is the ticket to success in barrel racing.
If you aren’t able to pick, it is really important that you aware of how you affect your horse and how your horse affects you. You may need to adjust your energy level accordingly. For example, if you are laid back and your horse is standing there sleeping before you run, you may need to raise your energy level to get some spark in him. If you are nervous and you can tell you are making your horse nervous you need to find a way to calm yourself down, even if it means getting off and walking your horse so that you don’t channel that energy to your horse. Horses are so sensitive – they can feel how you feel.
Are you an aggressive rider? Some horses run better with an aggressive rider, some worse. Some run best with a quiet rider, some will just lope through with a quiet rider. If you are aggressive, its important you ride a horse than can handle the pressure you put on them. Not all of them can handle it.
Give this some thought – do you match or compliment your horse? Do you need to adjust your energy level up or down?