No matter the discipline, these three words are key to riding and training horses. Next week’s episode will feature the talented 4X NFR Contract Trick Rider Madison MacDonald, and her perspective on the importance of these elements in her discipline, while Dena translates it into barrel racing.
Madison grew up in Canada and not only has a background in trick riding, but grew up competing in roping, goat tying, pole bending, and barrel racing as well. She qualified three times for the National High School Finals and needs no introduction of being an all-around hand. She opened the NFR four years ago at the age of 18, and has been back every year since. Being in the discipline she is, communication is at the forefront of everything she does. Madison’s horses each have their special talents, and she has had to learn to best communicate with each of them and adapt to their unique personalities. Host Dena Kirkpatrick relates this directly with the different strengths and weaknesses each barrel horse has, and how important it is to build your foundation around their individual talent.
“It is so important to find a horses particular strong suit because it can take them from being average to great.” -Dena Kirkpatrick
Madison has the unique platform of competing only with herself to fuel her passion of performing for a crowd. This is an interesting concept to think about in terms of today’s barrel racing culture where the primary focus is on ourselves, our horses, and the physical elements of the competition. This episode creates a unique connection between two sports rarely recognized, but from the same background with the synonymous mission of entertaining and pleasing the masses of rodeo fans. It’s because of our rodeo’s producers, specialty acts like Madison, and the athletes themselves all working together that rodeo spectators are able to enjoy the show. It takes everyone to keep the sport we love alive and thriving.