Barrel Racers on Fire: Carley Richardson Part II
If you missed Part One with Carley, please check it out here.
How do you keep yourself and horses fresh for competition?
On days off I try to ride my horses away from the arena. I just try to find a pasture or a trail and let them relax. Like I said before, I think any horse out here having success has to love their job. They might not necessarily love running barrels, but maybe they love pleasing their jockey….either way they have to want to do it. I try to turn them out anytime I can and let them graze and roll and play. They love to be out. If I feel like Radio is getting tired I will run Boy a few runs… Usually a few days off is all they need. As for me, I just try to keep it fun. My friend Sterling Comer is out here helping me and we are always joking around and trying to keep the mood light hearted. I love rodeos and I love to run barrels. So I am usually excited to run and don’t have a problem not being fresh. When I do get down I usually just need to sleep and I feel a lot better when I wake up.
Do you use any alternative therapies (BOT, PHT, CHIRO)?
I use a Hidez compression suit every time they are in the trailer with soft ride boots. My chiropractor is Beth Evans. She works on me and my horses very often when I’m home. I also use back on track boots and a nebulizer. I have a equisport massager that I use when I feel like they are muscle sore.
What is your warm up routine?
I seem to take a long time to get ready. So I start saddling pretty much as soon as the rodeo starts. I put my nebulizer on with just saline to moisturize his lungs while I’m saddling and it makes them relax so much. I get on pretty early and do a lot of walking. About three events before I my event I long trot for about five minutes. I lope a few circles each way and just make sure my horse is feeling soft and paying attention to me. About 15 minutes before I run I get off and tighten my cinch and put my front splint boots on. (The back boots and bell boots get put on at the trailer when I saddle) I don’t know why I wait to put the front boots on, but it’s part of my routine and that’s just the way it is. I think it’s really important to have a routine and stick to it. You don’t want to get on too early or too late, so I try to time it just right.
I look up to a lot of people in rodeo. I really watch people and see how they ride and handle their horse. Horsemanship is very important to me, and I like teams that seem to have a mutual respect with each other. I think Sherri Cervi is a great horsewoman and has perfect timing on anything she steps on. Obviously Charmayne and Scamper are two of my idols. Lisa and Louie are probably the closest to a perfect team as I’ve ever seen. They work like a well oiled machine. Trevor is an idol of mine too. Anybody who can win as much as he has is someone who obviously has it figured out. I’m sure we could all learn something from him. My main idol is my Dad. He has trained all my horses and I would not be on the quality of horses I’m on without him.
Looking back on this year so far.. what is the most valuable lesson you have learned?
I have really learned that you have to appreciate each moment for what it is. I feel like if you win something really big you need to take a step back and really enjoy it. We work so hard for this and are so busy that sometimes we just rush through the motions and don’t appreciate when everything goes well. This game is such a roller coaster ride. I’ve learned that you just have to keep looking forward. No matter how it’s going, someone is always fighting a bigger battle than you. In the end I’m so blessed to be out here. I’ve learned that you can’t dwell on mistakes either. I’ve hit some barrels this year for a lot of money, but I try not to dwell on it and just keep looking at the next one. I think you have to have a short memory in rodeo. It all starts over at the next rodeo, so you can’t focus on the last rodeo. Weather you won it or did terrible…the next rodeo has nothing to do with that. It’s sometimes easier said than done, but I’ve learned that you just absolutely have to stay positive.
Read more of our “Barrel Racers on Fire” Series!
All photos provided by Carley Richardson.