Befuddled …

After 7 years of not entering rodeos today marks my “comeback” but I wouldn’t have been able to make “The Texas Felon” with out the horse that defined my training style and my complete failure all-in-one. Befuddled! He was a high bred Thoroughbred that on paper showed a great talent.  He was purchased out of the Washington Bred Sale for $16K as a yearling and was paid into the Breeders Cup Races. His original owners told my Step-Dad that he was so smart that in the morning he would bring you his grain pan to be fed, he showed early promise, but he just didn’t do it for his owners.  A few transactions later he ended up in our Race Barn where once again he showed great promise, but like Papa said, “small head small brain.” Instead of sending him down the road, Papa sent him to Nevada where he worked the wild horse corrals until another cowboy had an opening- which is where he got his fancy handle. By the time we got him back, he was bridle-horse-spin-a-hole-in-the-ground-broke, and I was fresh faced High School Graduate who knew it all!

I have asked myself many times over the past 15 years why my parents would turn me loose with such a nice horse? He was easy to pattern on the barrels and I used him to try out for my first queen contest.  Now looking back, this is where it started to fall apart.

Rookie move #1 – Not listening to my horse! He had started refusing the gate. At first, I chalked it up to me being nervous, but steadily it was getting worse.  It also didn’t help that all I was wanting to do was run barrels. Zero slow work! Zero taking him to do other things! Zero common sense!

Rookie move #2 – Not taking pride in my feed program.  I was definitely more interested in my own social life then making sure my horse had the best feed program (i.e. feed at the same time daily, making sure he got grained and buted daily) but honestly, I was an 18-year-old kid at college having the time of my life. Again, who thought this was a good idea?

Rookie move #3 – Not listening to advice! I can’t tell you how many people tried to tell me I was going to blow him up and I needed to slow down and give him time. Unfortunately, I was hell bent on being “Betty Barrel Racer” regardless of the consequences.

This all finally blew up that March 2003, after trying out for the DNCFR Queen contest I took Befuddled home and turned him out. I was frustrated and so was he.  After a week off, I went to check on him and found him pushed up in the corner of the corral with Strangles. I was frantic and called my stepdad. Had I caused this? Was he going to die?  If you have never experienced Strangles, it’s the horse equivalent of Strep Throat except worse. The glands underneath the jaw become puss-filled pockets and is extremely contagious.

Papa explained that time off was what it was going to take and BAM! just like that I was horseless again.  I waited two months for him to get better and we started slow work again. Just like a kid in a candy store, I was hell bent on going rodeo’n.  I entered up in Mackey, Idaho – toted as “Idaho’s Wildest Rodeo” and off we went. Of course, like an idiot, I changed bits the day of (we actually didn’t have the worst run of our lives) had we not gone up the fence at the first barrel. However, it was the trip home that was the career ender for us. I had put a hay bag in with him and I am not sure if he got hung up or if he was messing around with it, long story short, he cut his head open. Needless to say my stepdad wasn’t impressed and I was once again without a horse.

This was one of the first hard-life lessons I learned that eventually became a blessing in disguise.  Without Befuddled, I wouldn’t have learned and accepted what I did wrong and I would’ve of never purchased that horse that changed my life.

So cheer’s to the “lesson” horse- we all have one (even if we don’t want to admit it)!

The Rodeo Gypsy turned Jr Rodeo Mom

How to Survive a Jr Rodeo Weekend …Coffee & Cocktails …

Another weekend gone and another Jr rodeo  under our belt … Its Monday and I am exhausted and happy for my 8-5 desk job it gives me a moment to relax unwind and breath. I would like to say that this weekend provided us with a bunch of wins, but just as rodeo likes to show you that not every time you enter up you will leave a champion.

The key to success as a mom is to stay hydrated ie make sure I have my coffee, plenty of water during the day, and an evening cocktail to unwind. If you have never seen a jr rodeo mom in her natural habitat you definitely are missing out (or maybe your not). I can get slightly wound up – okay a lot wound up – Taylor on the other hand is a care free spirit she tells everyone good luck and asks how there run goes she is a goof ball and is I swear only entered for the social aspect of the adventure. Which in all truth drives me absolutely nuts!

I would like to say I am one of those jr rodeo moms who keeps times knows exactly where her kid falls at the end of her division, but I have absolutely no clue. I do however know that the horse is saddle correctly, splint boots and bell boots are on and that I have the correct day sheet (sometimes). I am starting to learn that I have to let go and make Taylor more accountable at rodeos, or she will never be able to haul and travel on her own. This is going to be hard for me, because I know that she will struggle a bit not because she isn’t smart but because she is a social butterfly and some times she isn’t paying attention (I see us missing a few runs in our future).

So happy Monday – Cheers to Coffee & Cocktails to get us by!

The Rodeo Gypsy turned Jr Rodeo Mom

selfie

Dash Board Dreaming ….

It’s Friday the kick off of Cowboy Christmas and 8 years ago I would be patiently waiting to get off work to load up and head off on a rodeo run … fast forward 8 years later I am still finishing a horse who has yet to enter anything but an Idaho Girls Rodeo and local barrel races. He has yet to experience a “real” rodeo, never ran under the lights or into a set of bucking chute loaded with bulls, but slowly I am keeping the dream alive and will eventually have to bite the bullet and just enter up to see what happens.

I of course have high hopes that he will be the next “Princess” that will help me chase my next round of rodeo dreams you know win Caldwell & Pendleton make the circuit finals and just have a shot at an American Qualifier. WE all have to have dreams … my luck it won’t be me jockeying him at any of these events but the tiny human who hands down rides better than I ever dreamed.

But tonight I won’t be loading up to go to a rodeo or even the Stampede Qualifier, my tiny human will be jumping in with someone else at her shot to run at the big show. Me I will be side hustling to pay for the dream, because at the end of the day I have made it my priority to make sure that the tiny human gets to keep going down the road.

I am hopeful that the side hustle will eventually pay for the added extra to afford that both of us get to go down the road more – because at the end of the day we are all chasing those gold buckle dreams!

Happy Friday!

The Rodeo Gypsy turned Jr. Rodeo Mom

 

 

Mom Entrepreneur’s

We have things that drive us in our everyday life – mine is to be able to afford the lifestyle i.e supporting my child’s Jr. Rodeo Dreams that includes 6 head of horses, 4 goats, and multiple other accessories that comes with the dream. You know pickup payments, shoe bills, diesel to get to the rodeos, new break away ropes, goat strings, cowboy boots (she literally wears a pair out in 6 months) and so many other small details that no one really knows unless you live that life! So to help fund such activities I created my 101 business which has done great to help combat the ever growing demands on my wallet.

But today’s blog isn’t about my business its to all of my fellow Mom Entrepreneur’s out there doing there own hustle! I admire so many of them and there own drive to make it work for them. So in honor of the motivation they have given me I want to pay forward each week by sharing there own unique businesses with the world!

Freshie was created by a fellow Idaho Girl and former Miss Rodeo Idaho & Rodeo girl Hali Stutzman, she is a mom to two of the cutest kids going down the rodeo trail! Not only does these awesome little smell goods for you cars she does custom purses, jewelry and so many other items!

Check her out on Facebook & Instagram @Halistutzmanoriginals – you won’t be disappointed!

The Jr Rodeo Mom

Happy Birthday Papa

Today is a very special day in my family its Papa Brent’s birthday and for Taylor (AKA The Ging) this is where her name came from. She has always been very possessive of her papa from the time she was a tiny little girl when his other grandchildren would come over she would make sure they knew that was “HER PAPA”!

I was blessed to have the support of Brent from the time I was younger, he and my mom have dated since I was 8 years old and was the reason I had some of the nicest horse a kid could ask for. Not only did he help us with our horses but with picking out track spikes and advice in sports.

When the tiny human was born no other name seemed fitting but to call her Taylor and she has lived up to her name. Most people around the race track (papa was a race horse trainer) just call them Big Taylor & Little Taylor he couldn’t go far with out her tagging a long behind him.

These days the two Taylor’s spend as much of there time as time will allow together, sometimes weeks on end during summer breaks. Where they can be found at the community library, going to the many Oregon Trail historical sites, visiting with papa’s friends, learning to shoot her 22 with accuracy or just sitting in the chair enjoying a basketball game or horse race. Papa is her ideal, her hero, her safe place.

So with much love Happy Birthday Papa Brent – Thank you for being the best papa & name sake a little (and older) girl could ask for!

The Rodeo Gypsy turned Jr Rodeo Mom

(the little christmas elf & Papa 2012 – – Little Taylor, Big Taylor, and Nana)

Inside Jokes that led to Big Ideas

I always have been known for saying what ever came to my mind, this at times doesn’t always play out well for me, but usually ends in a great story! That is were most of my shirt and hat ideas have come from and this months shirt is no exception to that!

During what I like to call my “Fitch” years I was known to have maybe to good of a good time, and “Fitch” (my alter ego as she became known to people) had her own way of telling people or cowboys just how it was going to be.

So in honor of the Summer Run starting my June t-shirt is dedicated to the Cowboys who might have gotten one of those Fitch “Un-Notified Turn Outs”.

You might ask yourself how does one become an “Un-Notified Turn Out”, well if you rodeo that is defined as a contestant who fails to notify the Rodeo Secretary before hand. In a rodeo relationship it simple means that one day you just stop calling or answering the phone. Not always are these relationships bad endings usually its mutual its just one of the many ways these things end.

So cheers to Your Next Un-Notified Turn Out ~

The Rodeo Gypsy turned Jr. Rodeo Mom

24 for the Tenth Time

For some reason at 24 I just stopped counting how old I was and it defiantly wasn’t because my 24th year was a banner one, because it was far from banner,  but the number sure stuck with me. The best part about birthdays (for me anyway) is how many people actually acknowledge them and send Facebook messages and posts it actually makes my day more than presents, even though I did receive some very wonderful gifts 60 boxes of my favorite valentines candy, a new kitchen chicken to water my plants, and new sun glasses to replace the ones I swear I left in my moms car.

So cheers to 24 for the tenth time – I fear that I am going to have to move up a few numbers next year so people don’t get suspicious!

Love ~

The Jr Rodeo Mom

 

 

 

Third Generation Rodeo Mom

I spent another Mother’s Day with my mom and my daughter.  Not in the traditional “Hallmark” sense that the majority of mothers spend their day.  There was no breakfast in bed, lavish flowers, and/or gifts. We spent our Mother’s Day together, and like so many years before, at a rodeo. We are lucky to be a part of a community that is home to one of the country’s oldest women’s only rodeo associations, The Idaho Girls Rodeo Association.  For as many years as myself and the others who find ourselves as directors can continue the tradition of annually hosting a Mother’s Day Rodeo. A day were generations come together to compete and have fun.

In our family, the big winner is usually the youngest of us, my daughter, Taylor.  She is mounted on the best horses we have, and she shares her good horse with her Nana (sometimes) so that she can compete as well. Me, I ride the young up-and-coming mounts that in a few short years will belong to Taylor or Nana, who ever needs them first.

For once Taylor wasn’t the only “big” winner of the weekend! If you can count placing in the Novice Barrels a big win, in my defense the Novice is just as tough as the open, so a win is a win right? Really Taylor would have been the big winner but struggled in the Barrels & Poles tipping one in each to place, but as my grandpa would have said to me “that’s just rodeo sis”. She however redeemed herself in the goat tying, that is “her” event it’s the one event she full heartily wants to win. The last girl rodeo her goat got up causing her to get a no time, and since then we have been in full redemption mode and it showed! On the nana front well she learned that the old sorrel mare fires hard in the pole bending (I tried to tell her) and that made her decide that even though spanky isn’t going to win her any money she will just stick with Mr. Tried & True!

So Happy Late Mothers Days to all those rodeo mom’s I hope it was spent doing what you love!

**Photo Credit to Jonni Smith of Homedale, Idaho**

 

The 101 … Home of the Rodeo Gypsy

The Creation of the 101 goes hand in hand with my western lifestyle! I fondly have joked for the last seven years all I am is:

The Driver – The Groom – The Checkbook – #LifeofaJrRodeoMom!

Taking that concept I put my creative skills to work to create my own line of hats, shirts and sweatshirts to fund the ever growing expense of  being a mom to a up and coming rodeo star!

So welcome!

The Rodeo Gypsy

What is the 101?

What is the 101? I answer that question at least once a day, more when I am wearing my ear tag hat! The 101 is a forth generation cattle brand that my dad’s dad’s dad started using on his own cattle in Eastern Oregon around 1920, it has since been passed onto my Uncle Rick and adopted by myself for my clothing company!

My first creations that rocked the 101 tag were those custom designed for Rodeo Queens, today it is the face of my growing clothing brand and custom hat business!

The 101 is more than just a brand it symbolizes heritage, history, and my western way of life!

With Love,

The Rodeo Gypsy

Home of the Rodeo Gypsy