When The Barrel Racing Blog first interviewed Natalie Overholt, she was coming off a sizzling Fourth of July weekend, where she topped some of the toughest the IPRA had to offer on her mare, Casey. She’ll try to do the same this weekend at the International Finals Rodeo, where she sits number 15 in the world.
What was the low point of your IPRA season?
There was a week of rodeos very close to home that I did bad. It just happen to be she needed her stifles injected and ran horrible all week.
What horse(s) will you run at the finals this year?
Fols Fancy Jet “Casey” she is a 13 year old bay mare. I run her the most often at rodeos. She is the only horse I brought to the finals with me.
What about that horse makes it a good candidate to run there?
She is the most seasoned and in better shaper than any of the other horses I have.
What was it about your work ethic that has gotten you to the finals again this year?
Winning isn’t just what happens the day of the race, but the months, weeks before. If you are well prepared and having a bad day itis easier to overcome the obstactles. The horse is one of the biggest assest for a barrel racer. Making sure I excersice my horse and take care of her. Got to have a horse to win – a good solid barrel horse can take a while to make.
What was your game plan this year that got you to the IFR?
Other than to do the best I can I didn’t have much of a game plan. I kind of just got lucky at some rodeos.
Who else will you be sure to watch at the IFR?
I’ll try to watch most of the IFR to see all the other competitors I can.
How many days in advance do you go to Oklahoma to let your horses prepare?
I actually didn’t g0 to Oklahoma until the Wednesday before the finals.
What is your routine at the IFR?
My plan is to: Approximately an hour before I run: Brush my horse looking over her for any possible sore spots then I put linement on her (Listerine mouth was in a spray bottle). I saddle her up and put leg protection boots on. Then I start warming up by walking, trotting and loping cirlcle. I flex her both directions, do counter arcs. If she feels stiff I try to flex her more to loosen up. After loping some slow circles in each lead I make sure my saddle is tight then lope her both directions. If she feels “choppy” while loping circles I try to open her up some because it seems to help her run better and more freely.
Casey has a tendency to want to buck a little or else not pay attention so I will have her turn back along the fence to make sure the buck is out of her plus it gets her attention and thinking about turning quick. From the ground stretch her front legs straight out and stretch her back legs if she’ll let me ( Casey has a temper and sometimes it is hard to work with her back legs without her trying to cow kick). Then I walk her a little so she can be sure to catch her breath before I run. Before I start getting my horse ready I get something to eat to make sure my sugar level is okay. A lot of people can’t eat before they running, but for me it is a
Do you plan to do any vetting before finals?
Yes. I had my horse checked to see if she needed any injections. I got her Knees, coffin bone, and hocks injected. However she has had stifle problems in the past that needed injections. I am hoping her stifles are in good in shape.
What is your approach to the arena at the IFR?
To make sure my horse is paying attention and my head is clear and I am thinking.