I thought about rodeoing for a few years, but I never had the courage really to do it. I never really stepped up. I’ve always had nice horses because Kenny is amazing at making them and finding them. But with this horse, Felina, and how we get along, I finally said yes, I’m doing it. And my husband accepted. I don’t know if he wanted to, but he did it. I wanted to get better as a team roper. I wanted to be more well-rounded, not just a jackpot roper. I put that on myself. For my own self-gratification, I wanted something hard to do.
Kenny and I put into it every day. This is what we do. Kenny sells a lot of team roping horses, so we’re in the arena all day every day. It sounds glorified when you accomplish a goal like making the circuit finals, but it’s hard work. Every day, we practice to keep our horses good. We put in the blood, sweat and tears.
With my roping, there’s only one game plan. A lot of guys have a few game plans. They can safety up, make up time and reach. I don’t have that luxury because I don’t reach. That’s where a horse is everything. They make my job easy. I use my horse all the time. I don’t have Plan B, just Plan A: be as fast as I can be on every steer. We won Cumberland and Fairhill, Md., and we were 6.1 and 6.2. No matter where we are, I just try to make the fastest run I can on each steer by scoring sharp and using my horse.
Managing the pressure
Of course, being the only woman—it’s kind of a little bit of pressure. Everyone is watching you. Kenny is just so good about helping me. I learned everything from him. Luckily, I know so many people in team roping across the country and in our circuit. I was accepted. They all helped me, they were very supportive. But by mid-summer, I wasn’t scoring very well. I broke out at a couple rodeos. I rely on my horse and she scores so well, I knew the problem I was having was mental. I had to come back and work on that. I had to have confidence in myself and my horse. I needed to score well, get out and just do my job.
I accomplished my goal, but every day it’s just as challenging and I have to keep working at it. I plan to go to the circuit rodeos again this year. I’ve already qualified for the World Series Finale, and I’ll rope in the #11 with Kenny and the #12 with Derrick Davis. I want to keep doing well at the rodeos, keep working at it and see where it takes me. SWR