Confidence is Key
Boosting confidence in yourself and others is a big factor to doing your best in the arena.
By McKenzie Morgan, age 16, originally published in the November 2018 issue of Barrel Horse News
In my previous columns, I’ve written about hardheaded horses, the practice pen, dreams, self-confidence and being the “rodeo kid.”
This month, I want to talk a lot more about self-confidence and motivation. If you have a passion about something—maybe not even barrel racing—always stay true to that passion and work through the tough times. I’ve seen really good jockeys throw away a God-given talent because times got tough. Everyone at one point in time in the barrel racing world wants to quit and throw their sucker in the dirt, but it’s the good, the bad and the ugly that make the good times worth it all.
I want to use myself for an example. I decided a little more than a month into the Southern Rodeo Association season that I wanted to try and make the finals. I’ve never really rodeoed before or experienced what life is like following the rodeo trail. Neither one of my horses has much rodeo experience, and I just threw them to the wolves. We’ve had really good runs and really bad runs.
At one point during the season, we had a huge rodeo weekend coming up. I knew if I stayed on my winning streak it would probably be my ticket into the finals. I was excited, thinking hopefully we would do well and not have to stress so much about making the finals. However, things don’t always go our way—God normally has a different plan than we do. My weekend of rodeos was definitely not what I was hoping for. We went home, regrouped and came back the next week and had an awesome weekend. Now, I’m currently sitting a couple spots out of making it to the finals with two weeks left in the season.
This is proof that you can do anything you set your mind to, but you need the self-confidence and motivation to get out there and do it. I want to use one of my really good friends as another example. She recently got a new horse, and everyone knows with a new horse come many challenges. She’s hit costly barrels to win multiple rodeos and barrel races. This has taken a huge toll on her confidence.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times—confidence is key. I’ve seen my friend want to give up multiple times, but she keeps pushing forward and has now gone on to win a couple rodeos. This all goes back to having a passion about something and keeping the motivation to push through the good, the bad and the ugly.
The girl I’m talking about also happens to be my hauling partner. We always try and give each other a few words of encouragement before every run. I want to encourage everyone next time you’re at a barrel race, if you see someone struggling or that one person who never seems to get the run they hoped for, go up to them and give them a confidence boost with a few words of encouragement. I promise it’ll make their day and might even help them make a great run. Who knows—that could be you one day, and you would appreciate someone doing the same for you.