On the Road with Dawn and Clea from the Congress

Hello Columbus Ohio!

Well here we are 2 a.m. We are back in Columbus AGAIN for the 2nd time on this cold Tuesday night  (now Wednesday morning).

So we are thinking is we will be able to park about where we were last year, as this is a great place for the dogs and it is a little quieter etc… Well as we roll into the fairgrounds and stop at the stall office–where the pleasant people are–we find out that they have made changes this year and we can be in tents 1-7 but not the barns… Being the law breakers we are–break in the law break in the law…(oK that was a Bevis and Butthead throw back phrase)–we figure well we will at least look in the barns and see if we have someplace to park! That is a negatory! So we walk about 35 minutes deciding where we want to have the horses and then yes WHERE TO PARK THE BIG RIG!

It’s about 2:45 a.m. There are some people getting their steeds out to get them in the arena for a bit before the break of day. We start the hunt for the dreaded Congress stalls. You know findingfour stalls that have a minimal amount of poop and a huge amount of sawdust.. that you paid $150.00 for to stay 3 days!  Just a Reason to LOVE CONGRESS.

So we find a spot to park and we start to back into the spot, but we have to watch the tree on the left and the cement sidewalk blockers on the right.  Well let’s just say although the Dear Baby Jesus Prayer worked as we didn’t ruin anything but we did have to readjust that parking spot. At one point Clea says, “Can you move those cement things…?” I grab it like it is a piece of paper and get ready to move it and it does not budge.  I looked right at her and said, “AHHHH NO.”  We laugh and we both know we are so tired but we get the rig in without killing each other or anyone else, and it is now 4:30 a.m. and we are ready to drop. The dogs get out and we all get back in the trailer and hit the hay.

So Wednesday morning would bring a little drizzle and us getting up and about only to get numbers, checked in and then a nap of course for the day… Oh my we were exhausted.  We decide we are going to walk up to the store just outside the fair grounds to get ice then Becky Johnson to the rescue.  She said, “Take the golf cart.” So we roll on up to get the ice, and last I remember we were at Becky’s trailer and she was giving me a Sneaky Pete!  Let this gal tell you if you ever get a Sneaky Pete from Becky you may loose a little time the night you drink it. I lost about 3 hours but I will tell you I must have had fun, everyone the next day said I had a blast. Thank you Becky for the drink and the golf cart.

Kelly Bowser, I don’t think that I was really going to jump from the golf cart and on top of you like a spider monkey. Jesse Meeks I still do love your hair. Joel Henning well Joel at least you didn’t have to pay for the dance. Brad and Ryan what can I say! Cody Powell and Mikalya Conklin I am glad I could be your source of entertainment! LOL  I think I had fun.  Oh and to our Woot Woot neighbors thanks for being so fun.

Clea and I ran each day and although we both walked away with medallions we both were a little disappointed with ground over all. We all know that Congress is what it is and we all keep going back so we can only hope that next year if the same people are doing the ground they will learn from the 2011 year at Congress.

Matt and Becky Payne, Helen Chambers (Giddy Up), Becky Johnson and Hubby, Josh and Crystal, Shuggie, The Bouchers, Sara, Mari, The Meeks, The Shirey’s, The Whitesels, The Hennings, Doc Guery and his family and all the rest of the great people at Congress always makes the week in Columbus, Ohio worth going.

Chelsea had some great interviews with some of the contestants and we had great fun with a lot of friends at Congress.

We did want to say Thank You to the medic and all the people who helped get me out of the arena after Golden Boy bit the dust. Mari Beth Guido you are the best. Not only for trying to jump a 6 foot fence when you are 5 foot tall but for just being you. (Editor’s note: Hahahahaha.) Clea and I love you and thank you!

So Chels we have another blog following this that is the norm.  We are back on the road and cant wait to get to the next show.

As Always – Remember those pets  Let’s not over populate.

“On the Road with Dawn and Clea”

Clea and Dawn


Meet the Best of the Best in Ohio: Regan Henning

Regan and Daisy receiving their Congress awards.

You’ve met this little dynamo a few times before on The Barrel Racing Blog, but here 9-year-old Regan Henning is again to talk all about her and her awesome mare, Story Tellen Flower. And of course, check out the video of this team below! 

Tell us about the horse you’ll be running in The Best of the Best in Ohio Barrel Race. (Name, bloodlines, style, age, owner, any other fun details.)
Name: Story Tellen Flower “Daisy”
Bloodlines: Sire: Juanito Flower Dam: Story Style
Style: Push Type
Age: 19
Owner: Joel Henning
Other fun details: When she is outside, the only person that can catch her is me!

What is the biggest race this horse has won?

The biggest thing that we have ever won on her is the Barrel Racing Sweepstakes at the Quarter Horse Congress in 2010

What is your biggest win as a barrel racer?

It was neat to win the 2nd go at the 2011 NBHA Youth World, but the Congress Sweepstakes is by far the best!

Have you ever run at the WB Ranch before? (If so, what did you think of the facility and the ground, and how did your horses work there?)

We have run there a few times, the ground has always been pretty good!

Tell us one little-known fact about you or your horse. 

I had a borrowed horse that was taken back and Daisy was just an old broodmare that was to get me through the winter until I could find a replacement.

This race is all about charity –– Tell us the cause you believe in the most.

The biggest cause I believe in is The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Light the Night Walk! My Paw died 3 year ago from AML Leukemia at the age of 59!

Part Three with BillieAnn Sexton – In the Arena

With more experience in the rodeo pen than women twice her age, BillieAnn Sexton has figured out how to win in some of the toughest setups the IPRA has to offer. She has run everywhere from Marietta, Ga., to St. Tite, Quebec, and she has done a lot more than just barrel race. The cowgirl knows her way around the roping pen and can catch a calf in breakaway as well. 

In the Rodeo Pen

What type of alleyway/entrance do you prefer?

I like a narrow alley way that is centered with the third barrel but any alley way were the third barrel is in sight for line up is fine.

What are you thinking running towards the first barrel?

I try to keep my mind clear and feel what I need to do at the moment, make a good run.

What are you thinking running home?

It kinda depends on the run I feel like I made. Good run I am thinking those good, sweet thoughts. Run with a few mistakes, I am anxious to hear my time. If I hit barrel I am thinking about what I should had done differently. 

How do you approach a barrel (e.g. big pocket, straight, etc.)?

I learned to make my “spot” about 4 feet over to the side of the barrel, enough room to where my horse can shape and snap back around the barrel quickly. 

What do you worry about most while rodeoing (e.g. the ground, the weather, the arena size, the competition, etc. etc.?)

I try not to worry about that to much. I do have a few barrel horses so some do better in different arena conditions then others. If I know the size of the pattern and whether its hard or deep ground I will pick and choose the horse to take.

What type of shoes do you have on your rodeo horses?

Sassy, Dora, and Barracuda I have rims on the front and regular on the back. I put the rims on them for traction. Brownie I have 2 degree wedges on his front because he does not grow much heel.

What type of ground do you prefer?

Depends on the horse, this year I have mainly taken Sassy and Barracuda, Sassy loves hard trashy ground and Barracuda works the best in deep ground.

What size of pen do you prefer?

The pen size doesn’t matter to me either it will just pick the horse I want to run at that rodeo. 

Do you like to run in slack or the performance, and why?

Performance, I like the crowd, the loud music, bright lights, just the whole excitement in the atmosphere. 

Why did you decide to run the IPRA?

Its a wonderful association and its a great place to season myself before I turn 18 and start Pro rodeoing.

Why do you run rodeos instead of barrel races?

I use to go to a lot of big super shows and also rodeos, but I now mainly go to rodeos because I like traveling from rodeo to rodeo instead of being at one place all week. The rodeo’s are a lot more exciting, but I do also enjoy going to barrel races.

What type of horse do you think makes the best rodeo horse?

A rodeo horse has to be very seasoned and can handle all types of ground. Rodeo ground is not always good. I like horses that are bred run and cow so they have the mind, but also have enough run to win.

What is your favorite IPRA rodeo?

St. Tite, Quebec, Canada.

What is your horse’s cue to turn a barrel (i.e. lift, leg pressure, check, etc.)?

When I get to my “spot” I sit down grab for the saddle horse with outside hand, lift my horse with inside rein and bump with inside leg witch picks there rib cage up and shapes them.

What is your most common mistake?

Wanting to sit down and go for saddle horn before my “spot.” Instead of drive, drive, drive all the way to my spot then sit down, lift, and shape.

Part One of TrackMyHorse.com – A Look Into the Future of Barrel Racing

Mike Mahan spent years developing a computer system to help his wife Tracy improve her times in the International Barrel Racing Association. In the end, what Mike created changed both Tracy’s barrel racing career and both of their lives.

The program Mike created is now known as TrackMyHorse.com, a website used by nearly 100 barrel racers across the country to monitor their horses’ performance.

Now based in Texas, TrackMyHorse.com began six years ago out of Mike’s desire to help Tracy improve in the arena. He created his own program to follow her times in each arena, monitor the winning times and to track outside factors like supplements, shoeing schedules and veterinary appointments.

“The real core of this was to see Tracy succeed,” Mike said. “This is for any
parent for their child or for any husband for their wife who wants them to

With the ability to track her progress and gain a better understanding of factors contributing to both good and bad runs, Tracy’s times began improving.

“It was through other people seeing it in the grandstands that this really took off,” Mike said. In the grandstands at IBRA Nationals in Murfreesboro, Tenn., one year, people saw Mike using his Tracks system and begged him to make it available for others to use.

Knowing how the system had helped Tracy, the couple set off to make TrackMyHorse available to barrel racers nationwide. Six years in the making, TrackMyHorse.com was released on the Internet in January 2009 and is now available for $12.95 per month.

The husband and wife team are not just Internet entrepreneurs, though; when they aren’t running barrel horses or working on TrackMyHorse.com, Mike and Tracy are a private flight crew that fly across the country. They use their down time to run TrackMyHorse.com, and even more, they have begun setting up booths at large barrel races in Texas and Oklahoma to advertise the website.

In route to Glen Rose, Texas, for a Win $ More barrel race, Mike and Tracy discussed TrackMyHorse and all of its features with TheBarrelRacingBlog. Stick around the next three days to see what TrackMyHorse might have to offer, plus gain some insight into the lives of Mike and Tracy Mahan.

Shoeing for the Ground We Run On – A Lesson Learned

Looking at upcoming barrel races on barrelhorses.com, I stumbled across an event I know all-too-well: The All-American Youth Barrel Race in Jackson, Miss.

After a great year on my horse in 2001, my parents agreed to drive me to Mississippi for this event. If I remember, some 800 other kids ran there that year, and Talmadge and Mike Green raised $25,000 in added money, with saddles given in every go in every division.

I was so excited – other than the Congress, this was the only “big” show I had ever run. It was the first time I had ever traveled further south than West Virginia for a barrel race, and unfortunately, the first time my horse had ever run in deep sand.

In the northern parts of the country, we find ourselves running in harder-packed dirt and clay mixes, sometimes with a bit of sand added. My horse had just slight rimmed shoes on, perfect for running in our northern dirt. BIG mistake.

In the first go, we wrapped one and two, but when we came around three, my horse’s back end slipped right out from underneath her. She caught herself, jerked her joints up off the ground and ran home. We ended up in the 4D after all of that, and I qualified for the finals.

In the second go, Onyx couldn’t turn at all. She wouldn’t even get close to a barrel – completely unlike her. We just couldn’t figure it out; I schooled all night in the practice pen but could not get a decent turn. The same thing happened in the finals the next day. At 14, I was devastated. I cried the whole 20-hour drive home.

When we got her home, she was nailing barrels where ever I took her. She won youth classes the whole month of July and never looked back.

Until August, when I noticed something just wasn’t right with her back end. I took her to the vet, and low and behold, she had fractured her hip during that run in Mississippi and had been running on it ever since. Luckily, our vets at Fox Run Equine Center got us into a study for shock wave therapy , which healed her in about six months. She is still running today, with much thanks to Fox Run.

Moral of this story – BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU TRAVEL. I try to switch shoes depending on the ground at a particular time of year (much to the dismay of my shoer who thinks I’m a pain). When I’m heading down south like last weekend, I have pegs in my sidewinder shoes. In the good indoor arenas, I have a lot less grab with just a rim shoe.
At right, the sidewinder.