Pay Attention. There’s a Reason Your Good One Stopped Working.

Jackie Crawford's T-Boy wasn't performing at his World-Championship best at the start of the Cowboy Christmas run. Here's how she pivoted quickly to get him back on the road.

Jackie Crawford T-Boy
Crawford and T-Boy celebrate Crawford's 2020 WPRA World Title. | RC Photography

One step. 

That’s what T-Boy took after I asked him to stop on my first calf at the Greeley Stampede, and that’s all it took for me to be dead sure he wasn’t feeling right. 

There’s not much that will make a girl’s heart sink like just knowing in your gut that your absolute No. 1 mount isn’t right at the very start of the Cowboy Christmas run. 

Someone who hadn’t been riding that horse for 11 years might not have been worried about it. But I know T-Boy, and I know that he doesn’t just “not work,” especially at a place like Greeley where I think he knows as well as I do how important the run would be. 

I could have gone and run some on him in a practice pen, or I could have beat myself up and thought I rode badly or screwed him up. But when you’ve got one that wants to win every time like T-Boy does, that’s when you have to take a step back and really think about what’s going on. There’s just no way he’d want to not work for no good reason.

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Luckily, T-Boy isn’t the only horse I’ve got on the road, and I was able to make a choice for him quickly to get him back in the trailer ASAP. Kevin and Roulette have his back.

I sent him home with a friend who lived nearby, and Dr. Joe Stricklin in Greeley got him in two days later. He flexed him and studied the video, and pretty soon it was clear that T-Boy was sore in the fetlocks. That makes sense, given that as he tried to brace to stop with his front end and slide on his back end, he jumped up out of his stop because his ankles couldn’t take the pressure to finish the run. 

Jackie Crawford T-Boy Rehab
T-Boy under the Solarium Lights at Vega Equine Rehabilitation and Conditioning. | Courtesy Jackie Crawford

Luckily, the prognosis for T-Boy is good. After a few days of stall rest, I talked to some locals and sent him to Vega Equine Rehabilitation & Conditioning, where he’s going to swim for a few days before Hali and Jennifer Williams pick him up and bring him back to me, where I hope he can jump right back into the mix for Cowboy Christmas. A couple rodeos will hopefully be worth it, because there’s a whole lot of summer run left and I don’t want to be without him.

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