Dedicated to one of the greatest horses.

I meant to do this after our last run, but I hadn't had the time. Now I'm just procrastinating from doing everything.

Magnolia Shania Moon aka Shania
has been my partner and teammate for the past six years. She was born and raised on our ranch, Mom trained her, and I started riding her in 2007. We went through a lot together. Shania had health problems all along the way, but we were always able to get her back in tune to run. We had highs and lows, great runs and not so great runs.

Shania made a name for herself on the high school rodeo circuit for being one of the smoothest running horses and most consistent. While she wasn't the fastest, I could always count on her to turn that barrel and rarely hit it. She also made herself known as one of the bitchiest mares on the circuit with an attitute of "don't touch, just look". She knew she was beautiful and one of the best and she didn't want anyone or any horse near her.

In the six years we were together, we made a lot of accomplishments. We qualified for State 4-H evey year from 2007-2012, placing in the ton ten every time and winning two championships in 2008 and 2012. We won AK-SAR-BEN in 2009. We qualified for the high school rodeo state finals all four years, but never made it to Nationals. The highest we ever placed was second. We won county fair our second to last year.

The last year we ran together, I noticed Shania didn't have the drive she used to. She simply was going through the motions; there wasn't any real try or need anymore. Plus, she would throw major bitch fits outside the gate, kicking out with her back legs, clearing people off bleachers, etc. I decided it was time to let her out to pasture for good and let her raise babies for the remainder of her life instead.

I shared four of my favorite runs we ever had, most of them in the past year. Here's a tune to get you in the mood, haha. This will always be our song.

Our last high school rodeo run was at state finals. We got jipped on our time. But I went balls to the wall and she seemed to know it was it for us on the high school circuit because she ran pretty damn good that day for hating that ground.

I love how she started, prancing about. That showed me she was ready. I'd just broken a couple of ribs two weeks before this run; I was scared to death because horses were falling because the ground was so slick. We were fifth to last out of 80 some barrel racers and my friend--who had been five before us--was leading it with an 18.8. Then, we came in to take the lead. I didn't even push her that hard. That moment made my life.

I love running in that arena. The energy was so much better and Shania liked that ground. It was a midstates rodeo and she really ran that night. Apparently, where those two guys were standing, a bull had kicked open the shoot and they were closing it when I was running home! Haha
I still get goosebumps watching this.

This was Shania's last run, period. It was the same arena where we ran our last run in high school rodeo. We were the last ones to run that night and Shania never liked that ground. She threw a major bitch fit outside the gate while everyone else was running; we had people lined up to help me in. But it was like...when she saw that gate, she knew. She kinda balked, but then she just ran in. I was in shock going to first. Then, at second, we hit it and I thought "God no, God no, God no!" and it stayed up. It felt like I had no control through that whole run and she just took over for me.

I didn't cry, but I teared up when Mom came over and hugged me. It just seemed like Shania knew that was it and ran as hard as she had the strength for. Seventeen years old and with as much crap as she had to go through, I didn't blame her for the way she acted at the end.

I'm going to miss riding her, but its time to start on T.J. and get him going as my next barrel horse. Shania's taught me a lot and I've grown up with her underneath me, supporting me, keeping me in line. She may have been a bitch, but she knew what she was doing and never let me down.

Love you, girl. You're always going to be the best horse I ever rode.
May 19th, 2013 at 12:03am