Prior to Mustang Million, I could barely ride. I was completely terrified to do anything more than a slow walk with a horse and I didn’t even know how to put a saddle on. The only way I can describe my feeling when getting on a horse is to ask you to put yourself in the face of your biggest fear. How would you feel?
Drifter was the mustang my dad, Bobby Kerr, refused to work with. He is quite stubborn and their personalities clashed. I chose to work with him because I needed a challenge, a commitment, and something to keep me busy. At the time, I honestly did not think I would actually compete in MM. It was just something to work towards. I named him Drifter because he reminded me of the Saddle Tramp song by Marty Robbins, “They say I’m a Drifter. They say I’m no good. They say I will never amount to a thing. Well I may be a Drifter and I may be no good but there is joy in this song that I sing…”
I gave up my social life. Said goodbye to tanning, gym memberships, shooting pool at the bar... Said hello to early mornings and late evenings spent with a horse who would eventually become my best friend. My mother, Susan Kerr, and I started Drifter on our own. She would demonstrate how to do something and then I would get in there and do it myself. If we got into a serious pickle then we’d ask my dad for help. Our approach was a lot different and slower than my fathers. We spent a lot of time on ground work and just loving on him. I remember telling someone, “Heck, I’ll be lucky if I get a saddle on him before Mustang Million!” It took us a month to put a saddle on him and do what my dad did with two mustangs in less than 3 days. I put his first ride on him, terrified out of my mind. Needless to say it went well, I did not get bucked off, and was riding him bareback that evening.
The journey from there was not easy sailing. Not only did I have to train Drifter, I had to learn how to ride on a wild mustang. My world was foreign to him and his world was foreign to me. Drifter and I are both pretty stuck in our ways and spent a lot of time arguing with each other that next month. Every new obstacle was a new fear I had to overcome and one he usually didn’t want to do. The first time I loped Drifter was the first time I loped. Ever. If I had an issue, my dad would get on and show me what I needed to do and then I would get back on and it would take me days to do what my dad showed me in less than a few minutes. I can still hear my dad, “You’re on the wrong lead.”, “on the wrong lead.” “YOU ARE ON THE WRONG LEAD!!” Just as I’m breaking down in tears, ready to give up, I’d give it one more go and hear, “There ya go!! You’re on the RIGHT lead!!” That became the pattern. Struggle until I was ready to quit, overcome the challenge, and then rewarded with self-accomplishment. I can tell you without exaggerating, I really did experience blood, sweat, and tears in the arena. One of the hardest things to learn (and painful) was cracking that darn bullwhip. I took it everywhere with me and I’m sure I got a lot of crazy looks but hey, I got it down!
Drifter and I didn’t truly bond until about a month before Mustang Million. It happened when we had been working pretty hard and I thought we should just relax and have some fun. I rode him around bareback and decided to try laying him down without the saddle on. He went down unbelievably smooth! I went to pet him and was immediately overwhelmed with a spiritual feeling. The way he looked at me was nothing but pure love that reached down and gabbed ahold of my heart! Right then, my life changed! I realized that my mustang journey was all in The Lords plan. I’ve always been a believer but I’ve never had a close relationship with Christ. As crazy as it may sound, Drifter brought me closer to God. I realize that everything prior in my life has led up to this mustang experience. For the first time, I know I’m right where I need to be. Drifter was a gift from God given to me at the perfect time.
In 4 months, Drifter and I both went from knowing nothing about riding to walking over a swinging bridge, a Texas sized teeter-totter, jumping, and experiencing an amazing bond between Christ, human, and horse. We had already won in our hearts. Winning the Specialty Riding Freestyle class was just icing on the cake that we earned with dedication and hard work.
Mustang Million was the beginning of a whole new adventure for me. Since MM, I’ve been on the set of Dallas riding as a double, been on a cutter, gone to a mounted shooting clinic, got licensed in Equissage, and who knows what’s next! I am ready to learn and experience all that I can in the equine world. I’ve never known what I’m supposed to do or what I want to be when I “grow up” but I know now that I’m meant to work with horses. If you see me and come up to talk horse talk, I apologize if I look at you like a deer in headlights but to be honest, I probably don’t know what you’re talking about. I still call just about all horse tack “thingy’s and dealies”… but I promise, I’m on my way to learning! I’m dedicating the next year to gaining as much knowledge and riding experience as I can possibly fit into a year! 2014 is going to be a good one and I couldn’t be more excited!!!
Work hard, never give up, and always have faith in The Lord! He'll make your SOUL SHINE!