Determination drives barrel racer’s success
Wed, 06/28/2017 - 10:37am
Calm, confident, competitive.
These are three characteristics most athletes take into a game, match or competition.
Megan Moses not only takes these points into competition – they are a must when barrel racing (or pole bending) on the back of a horse.
Barrel racing is a rodeo event in which a horse and rider attempt to complete a cloverleaf pattern around pre-set barrels in the fastest time. It combines the horse's athletic ability and the horsemanship skills of a rider in order to safely and successfully maneuver in a pattern around three barrels (typically 55-gallon metal or plastic drums) placed in a triangle in the center of an arena.
Moses, who graduated from home schooling last year, was enamored with barrel racing after seeing a close friend take part in a competition.
“I watched a friend barrel race one time and I was hooked,” Moses said. “I’ve been racing for five years now and I still enjoy it.”
Moses has accomplished much in a short time. The young rider has competed and received awards at events in Marshall, Texarkana, Vivian and Jefferson. She has even taken part in ‘Play Days’ in Atlanta and is the queen of the Jefferson Rodeo Court.
Moses also spent time displaying goats with the local 4-H organization.
Success at barrel racing depends on the rider and the horse working together.
“I got comfortable at age 14 with the horse we purchased,” Moses remarked. “The horse was already broken in and we just bonded.”
Moses also taught herself how to ride. “I didn’t have a teacher so I taught myself how to race,” Moses stated. “I watched videos on YouTube, mainly.”
Moses even went to a camp with the top barrel racing instructors and they couldn’t help her.
“I went to the camp looking for advice and help on a few things, but the instructors said they couldn’t teach me because I was already performing at such a high level on my routine,” Moses said.
Of course, most barrel racers have a reason for getting into the sport -- from competition to straight adrenaline rush -- but Moses has a different reason that fuels her desire and passion for the sport.
“I love racing and love the competition, but I’m out to prove the people who told me I couldn’t barrel race successfully wrong,” Moses said. “At this point I feel like I’ve succeeded in doing so.”
Although she has surpassed the expectations she set for herself and succeeded in proving her naysayers wrong, Moses still saddles up with the determination to do what she simply loves doing.
Flag photo – Photo courtesy of LAUREN ALLEN PHOTOGRAPHY