Miranda Mitchell bought her barrel racing horse, Perky, in October 2014. At that time, the mare’s previous owner warned her to never stand Perky near the arena during a competition, because her nervous energy would get the best of her.
Miranda, a sophomore majoring in pre-med at Texas A&M, wanted to know how much of a problem she had on her hands with her new horse, so she and Perky parked by the arena at their very first race. Sure enough, when the first horse came flying out of the alleyway toward the first barrel, Perky spun around and headed for the parking lot at a hard gallop. Luckily, Miranda got control back quickly, averting disaster.
“I don’t want to say she was a ‘problem horse’ — but she had her problems!,” Miranda says with a laugh. “She was super-emotional and a nervous wreck. She was also underweight — not severely, but she wasn’t where I wanted her to be. She needed more muscle mass to stand up to the rigors of a competitive season.”
However, the then-6-year-old Perky had talent, and Miranda knew it. So she tried “everything short of prescription drugs” to help her mare gain weight. Nothing helped, and Perky was still a nervous and fought the bit at every barrel in the arena. Miranda could tell that she wasn’t happy in the arena yet. Meanwhile, Miranda was continuing to compete for the Texas A&M rodeo team, and working toward earning her permit to compete at the professional level. Perky, while a great prospect, wasn’t where she needed to be.
Feeding SUCCEED to Address Barrel Racer’s Attitude and Weight Challenges
So Miranda called up her old riding mentor from growing up in Needville, Texas, a fellow barrel racer who recommended Miranda try Perky on SUCCEED. And, as Miranda notes, when you know you have a talented horse and can’t figure out how to help her, you’re likely to try anything you think might help.
Miranda signed up for the SUCCEED Challenge in July, which promises results in 60 days or your money back. Before the end of the trial, Miranda started seeing results. Big ones. The lanky mare gained 150 pounds in a few months — much of it muscle — and her coat perked up almost immediately. And then her attitude started to change for the better.
“She went from freaking out at every noise in the alleyway before we’d race to being the horse that was so calm and quiet in the alley that people would ask me what I was giving her,” Miranda says. “I got so many compliments, and some of the girls at college rodeos couldn’t even believe it was the same horse.”
Moving Up the Ranks in College Rodeo
And then, Miranda and Perky — her registered name is “LD Dash to Val” — started climbing up the leader boards. They finished in the top five in seven of the big Division 1 (top-rated) races, placed at every college rodeo entered, and came in third, fourth and fifth place out of 800 horses. And most excitingly, four months after starting the SUCCEED Challenge, Perky won second in the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association finals permit race in Waco, making Miranda eligible to fill her permit for her pro card.
Watch Miranda and Perky’s run at the Elite Youth Barrel Race in July 2015:
Just a few short months after trying SUCCEED, Miranda — and Perky — are hooked. Perky prefers the paste over the granules, and Miranda likes the fact that she can easily feed SUCCEED when she knows Perky will be in a high-pressure situation, such as at a competition or when traveling. As a result, some of her fellow competitors haven’t even recognized Perky as the same horse that was dancing around the alleyway.
“It’s sad that barrel horses get this reputation for being crazy, but they’re so nervous they don’t know what to do,” she says. “There’s a huge difference between the horse that spun a hole in the ground at that first race to now, when we can stand outside the arena and watch, no problem. Also, she looks so great now that she has so much more muscle on her.”
Long-Term Plans for Perky and SUCCEED
Perky made such improvements during her 60-day Challenge Miranda knows that her future with Perky involves SUCCEED.
“If Perky hated her job, she won’t last in it. But so long as she’s happy and healthy — she’s only 7 years old! That’s young! I’ll have her for a long time yet.”
Right now, Miranda and Perky are sitting third in college rodeo rankings, and so long as they keep that spot, they’ll go to nationals for college rodeo, while keeping a full schedule of amateur rodeos on the schedule. Then, in a year, it’s time for the pros.
“The long-term goal is keeping her happy and calm and healthy,” Miranda says. “We won second overall at our last WPRA finals last weekend. She’s just leveled out so much since we started on SUCCEED. I’ve only owned her for a year, but she has made such huge improvements from her 3D performance in a local jackpot race— so, yeah! I’m loving the SUCCEED and I’m also loving how well she’s doing on it.”
Inspired? Take the SUCCEED Challenge to try SUCCEED risk-free for 60 days.