I trained Sailor in 2014 or 2015 in the breakaway and the heading. I got him when he was 7. He was always a great little athlete, but he was fragile minded. He’s a real serious little horse. If you get on to him, you better make sure that you’re holding on the next time that something happens because he really gets his feelings hurt and gets in a little bit of a panic. Once he got it and got through all that and was confident in his job, he doesn’t faulter.
I hauled him a little bit in the heading and breakaway, but he excelled well in the heading. At the time, Charly was needing something else to go in the heading, so he started taking him to the Pro Rodeos and doing good on him. Once he was that good in the heading, we didn’t feel like taking him back to the breakaway.
I thought it was always cool to train a horse and say that they made it to the NFR. At that time, we didn’t have a chance to go to the NFR. It was awesome to see my husband do so well on him. He actually made it to the finals with Joseph Harrison in 2018 and planned on riding Sailor the whole time at the NFR, and he got hurt right before the NFR, so he didn’t get to take him. It was a long rehab when he got hurt. We finally got him back and going again and he made the finals last year. He rode Sailor most of the time at the NFR and he was voted Reserve Head Horse of the Year.
He is sounder than he has been in a long time. After the NFR this past year we had a surgery done on him. They took a chip out of his knee. He is sound right now and that’s great for me. I think as long as we tend to him like we do anything. We take great care of our horses. They keep Soft-Rides on, they stay on Lubrisyn, they stay on Total Equine. We are adamant on where we keep them and how many times we get them out of the trailer. We keep liniment on their legs to keep them from swelling.
Since Charly has slowed down Kaydence has been getting to haul him to some team ropings and I’m hauling him to team ropings. When we were getting ready to come to Reno, I was trying to figure out how I was going to get him to Reno and back. I was talking to Charly, and he said, ‘You might ought to rope some calves on him again and just see. You might want him out there.’
Of course, our house had been flooded and we haven’t been able to run practice calves, I got practice the Sunday before leaving for Reno, and by day three it was like maybe he should be in the rig full-time. By day four it was 100% that he was going.
He’s getting the call and I’m going to try to keep everyone from mounting out on him in the heading. It will be fun to have him in the rig. He turned it on and got his pattern back. It didn’t take him any time to pick it all back up.
He was cut on before, so he’s one of those that when he stops, he doesn’t have a lot of slide. For me, a long time ago, I was so adamant on keeping him free. I wanted to drive him up and slide. Now, sometimes you don’t need that. Sometimes I’m getting beat because of that. If I just let him check off and start his stop a little bit sooner than what I’m used to, or comfortable with, then he gets stopped all over and the rope breaks fast. I can actually use a longer rope on him because I know it is going to break faster.
He fits me better now than he did before because I have tried to change my game a little bit in the breakaway and have a little bit of different timing on him. I let him have his timing that he’s good at, but I’m not quite comfortable with it. If I let him, do it, then it’s game on. It’s going to happen fast when it happens.