An Unperfect Life …

Lately I have been struggling – if this is going to be an honest post I have been struggling for a long time, not consistently but this week really put in prospective for me that the struggle is real. I have had a throw your sucker in the dirt kind of week – Two horses got hurt, one with a season ending injury the other well he is the unicorn that is last thread to my friend who passed away (but that is another story for another post). I struggled with one of my orders that I had to get done because I ordered the wrong vinyl (also a human over site on my part, but one I should of caught) I made it work and it still turned out great just wasn’t want I wanted it to be (again the expectation of perfection is ridiculous). I am on a roller coaster with a teenager who I think has the heart of gold but sometimes makes stupid decisions i.e. when I tell her to pack her homework and she forgets it or tells a lie when I already know the answer (this is causing me to want to pull my hair out).

The list could go on and on and on, but what really has me down is the fact that I have allowed that green meanie of jealous to shift my focus from what I should be grateful for to “wow look at what that person has” or “man that person seems to have it all together”. I know what we see on Social Media isn’t reality or is it? I have always wanted to ask someone that I admire (or is that secret jealousy) is your life as perfect as you make it appear to be at rodeo’s and on social media? Do you struggle with the same parenting issues as I do and how do you handle it? Sometimes I even think I have turned into that person who is trying to paint a picture of what I want people to see of my life and not what reality really is.

Cause the reality is I have days (well most days) where I think I am doing it all wrong, I sit back and reflect on some choices I have made and asked myself what in the hell where you thinking? Most of the time my response back to myself is – at the time I thought it was an okayish (see that okayish part) choice to make, but most of my choices were made in hast or in a fit of what my mother refers to a wild horse princess fit because I didn’t get my way or just to put it boldly no longer wanted to deal with the consequences of previous actions that had started to catch up to me.

The one that really has be down is parenting – I am a single parent; my daughter’s dad is non-existent. Last I heard he had married a girl who worked in a massage parlor that concluded your trip with a happy ending. I get reports about his activities via the chain of his family that I still talk too, but other than that we have zero contact with him. He made a brief appearance for a year and then left just like a hurricane leaving me with debt, destruction and a child who still doesn’t fully understand what fully happened.

Parenting as a single parent SUCKS I am the good cop and the bad cop, the coach and the cheerleader and to be honest I hate it! I hate that my mom made me the bad guy when she babysat my daughter for me because truthfully didn’t want to hire a sitter because I wanted money to rodeo or to spend on other things. I hate that when I blow my top I yell (and man I can yell)! I hate that I feel alone in this journey and that my daughter’s life isn’t perfect that she doesn’t have two parents, that I can’t afford to just go out and buy the very best of things, and that emotionally I struggle with the fact that I compare myself to everyone else.

SO yes, the struggle is real I live a very unperfect Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat life! Sometimes I wished I had someone to talk to about it that could give me solid advice without judgement, because let’s be honest we live in a time of judgement. Where people aren’t listening because they care but because as Lou Hotlz put it “90% don’t care and the other 10% are happy you are having problems”. Honestly how sad is that and it is the truth that we relish in seeing others suffer, especially those we feel have wronged us in some way.

So To those who live the “Perfect Life” I salute you, because I don’t live a perfect life and I am not a perfect parent shit I don’t even know if I could be classified as an okayish parent. What I do know is that I struggle daily, I beat myself up and I chew ass a lot because I want better for my daughter. I want her to have that “perfect” life I want her to graduate college, be a good citizen, not be a single parent find the love of her life and get married do what she wants never have to worry about money or paying bills or having enough. I want those things for her and so many others that I know to have a perfect life.


With a big sigh of relief, I am happy to have written this down even if now one ever reads it I will have read it to myself and spoken a truth not many will admit to!



Rodeo Gypsy turned Jr Rodeo Mom ~ The Unperfect Parent and one who lives an Unperfect Life


Dedication & Determination … Traits I Wished I Had

My daily alarm goes off at 5 AM I have become that annoying morning person, I love mornings the quiet before the day gets started how that wonderful first (and second) cup of coffee tastes un-interrupted by the demands of the day. I know I know none morning people hate people like me.

This alarm is even more important these days as The Ging took up Volley Ball this year and the practices are held daily at 6 AM, I am always impressed with my kid, but this commitment to daily Volley Ball practice has me in awe-struck. For so many reasons …

One my kid is not a “morning” person, if she could sleep till 11 she would. So, when she came home after the first two days of practice and announced 6 AM would be the 7th graders time for training not after school I reminded her that she is now part of a team and they count on her to be there daily so no excuses like “mom just five more minutes I am so tired” or my favorite of nonverbal response but a pulling the covers over her head and hiding.

We are now on week three of this great adventure, we have survived the early mornings with little push back to getting up so early. To the point where she has her lunch and back pack ready the night before, clothes picked out and hung on a hanger, and her work out clothes next to the bed. To say that I am not impressed by all this is an understatement. But last night really made me stop and be proud, she asked if I could get her up earlier to be there when her coach was setting up so she could work on the skills, because she isn’t playing her position like she thinks she should be. Two things you should be aware of – this is her first time playing Volley Ball and clearly I didn’t partake in the sport unless I was voluntold by PE teacher I was participating and second she was lucky enough to be chosen for the A Team, where she is the smallest player on the team.

It is important to her to do well in this sport, not because she thinks she is headed for a Division 1 scholarship, but because she likes to be good at the things she sets her mind to. Her continued drive and determination pushes me, I am sure she doesn’t know that, but it does.

She is transforming into everything I wished I could be and I admire her for that!


So happy Motivation Monday!


The Rodeo Gypsy turned Jr Rodeo Mom

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


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**


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