Kaleb Driggers answersSpin To Win Rodeo’s Facebook fans’ questions about his first trip to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo and what it took to get there. If you’d like to have a pro answer your question next month, visitfacebook.com/spintowinrodeo and join in the discussion.
Rodrick Williams: What kind of horses does it take and what do you expect from them to get you where you are?
Most people ride horses that are really fast, but I just like a horse that really scores good, gives me a 110 percent and keeps going after I rope. I like them about 15 hands. I like a stocky horse, it seems like they can take it longer. If you’ve got one a little thicker, seems like they hold up longer.
Trisha Miller: Tell us about your foot injury at Pendleton. What was going through your head as your horse fell on you?
It happened so fast, I really didn’t even have time to think. When he started going down I started trying to get off but that didn’t happen. I thought that it was worse, but it ended up being OK. I can’t run because it isn’t strong enough yet, and I can rope and it only hurts a little bit. When I was laying there I thought it broke big bones, but it just broke my little bones. I honestly didn’t know how long it was going to be. All I could think was, “Dang I’m not going to get to go to the Finals.”
Chris Swinford: What was the turning point for your career that put you to the next level?
Probably when I bought my new horse, Champ. It was probably a year and a half ago. I had a good horse from before, and I liked him a lot. Champ has more speed and taught me how to rope on longer scores and made me a better partner. I still reach, but before I didn’t have the option of running close and catching and winning something. As far as jackpotting and stuff, I can use my horse and run them down now.
Raul Guzman: How did you feel when you found out you made it to the NFR this year?
It really hasn’t sunk in a lot yet. It’s starting to more and more now that it’s getting closer. (We talked to Kaleb a week before the NFR.) I will probably be a little nervous when I get there. I’m sure I don’t understand what it’s going to feel like. Honestly, I thought I had it made a long time before I actually did. It didn’t look like it was going to take near as much. Around Caldwell, Idaho, I had $60,000, and thought I was golden. It ended up taking $62,000. I was nervous after Puyallup. But after Omaha, I knew I’d had gotten in.
Christa Lane: What kind of advice can you give to others that are out there trying to follow their dreams?
I guess I didn’t really follow what I was supposed to do. I always wanted to rodeo. I didn’t graduate high school and go to college. I had the perfect opportunity to go rodeo, so I’d just say do what your heart tells you. You’re the only one in life that can make yourself happy. So do what you want. Always try to score good, and get a lot out of your horse. Don’t try to do it all yourself and use your rope to win. Get as much out of your horse as you can.
Bonnie Coleman Wolfe: How do you think qualifying for the NFR will change you or your career?
I think it will definitely earn me a little respect in terms of partners and sponsors. It will probably add something to my resume. It might give me a little more confidence that I didn’t have before.