Barrel Racing and Pole Bending
by Snip and Stars
Snip soared around the first barrel with his nose tipped beautifully. His black mane danced in the wind he created and his tail flew out behind him. As he lunged forward, I steered him toward the second barrel which he went around as pretty as you please. I kicked him, urging him faster as we came to the third barrel.
The adrenaline raced through my veins. My heart thundered in my chest. Grabbing the saddle horn, I pulled the reins up and out causing him to go around the third barrel with his nose tipped. I let go of the saddle horn and kicked the 18 year old bay Quarter horse Thoroughbred mix again.
Snip leaped forward with long strides as I gave him my head. I didn’t understand how my older brother, Shane (who is in the army), could hang on when he was riding Snip. Yes, Snip’s stride was smooth but the way he lunged forward made it hard to hang on.
“Good job Bella!” The announcer’s voice boomed through the indoor arena. “You ran a 15.005!”
Snip stopped, breathing heavily. I patted his neck and walked him out of the arena once the gate was open. That was the fastest Snip had EVER run!! Even with Shane!
Once outside, I swung off Snip and lead him around, allowing him to catch his breath then took him back to the trailer. I glanced up when my mother came running over.
“Bella!” She shouted. “That was amazing!” She hugged me and I quickly shrugged her off.
I slid the headstall off Snip’s head and he gladly shook his head. I put the halter on him and waited for the next event I was in. Pole Bending.
A little while later, I sat on Snip. I was next in poles and I was a little nervous. I had done barrels a million times but I had never done poles in a real event. What would Shane say?
“Next we have Bella Cross on Snip!” The announcer shouted.
I clucked my tongue to Snip and he took off without any other urging. He loped down the right side of the poles then shot around the end pole. I easily made him go through the poles then we went around the pole at the end closest to the gate and went through the poles again.
“Go Bella!” A familiar voice shouted from the sidelines. A voice I hadn’t heard in nearly a year. Shane! He was here! He was cheering for me!
I kicked Snip, urging him faster. We came around the last pole and lunged down the left side of the poles. As soon as we went past the cameras, I pulled Snip to a stop. Snip gladly walked out of the gate and stood still while I swung off. I lead him around until he had his breath caught but yelped in surprise when a pair of strong arms wrapped around me.
“Shane!” I shouted and hugged him back.
Shane grinned. “Good job!” he praised and rubbed Snip’s muzzle. I grinned back, took Snip’s headstall off, then gave Snip two Oreo cookies.