Learning life lessons from horsesJanuary 23, 2020
With 20 acres of farmland, Krystin Gilbert’s five horses have miles to roam and play – when they’re not working, of course.
The horses – Red, Buck, Banjo, Suki and Pete – are Gilbert’s barrel racing horses.
Barrel racing is a rodeo event in which a horse and rider attempt to run a cloverleaf pattern around barrels in the fastest time.
Gilbert works full-time as an account manager in large customer services (LCS) at ComEd, but always makes time to train with her horses.
She began racing at 16 years old and she has been competing for 10 years.
“Pete is my main horse,” Gilbert said. “Red is the baby, Buck and Banjo are retired, and Suki is a roping horse.”
During race season, Gilbert trains five times a week.
“My favorite part is when you turn the last barrel and run home,” she said. “You do a lot of preparation beforehand for the 15 seconds in the arena.”
Barrel racing has taught Gilbert the importance of teamwork, discipline and time management. These skills have helped her succeed in her role at ComEd. As an account manager in LCS, she serves as the main contact for ComEd customers in her region.
“This sport can help in any walk of life,” Gilbert said. “It teaches you how to communicate with people, and that hard work pays off.”
Gilbert plans to continue barrel racing for years to come.
“It’s a humbling experience,” she said. “Horses don’t care who you are or what you’ve accomplished, they just care that you respect them.”