Author: CollegeAveStaffBy Jaime Pritchard
Q: Where did you grow up?
Kayla: I lived in Meadowlake, Washington.Â I barrel-raced a little bit but I wasnâ€™t heavily involved in rodeo.Â I did the FFA thing where I showed livestock and competed in public speaking competitions. I came here for the equine science program, became a member of the rodeo team my freshman year and have been a member ever since.
Q: Why did you choose Colorado State University?
Kayla: I really like Colorado. I like the fact that if I wanted to barrel race and rodeo, I can go somewhere three or four nights a week, on the weekends â€“all within a relatively close area.
Q: When did you start doing barrel racing?
Kayla: I started barrel racing when I was probably 10 years old. It was more of a weekend thing, nothing really serious. I didnâ€™t really start going to â€œthe rodeosâ€ until my freshman year here at CSU.
Q: Why did you decide to compete in rodeo in college?
Kayla: College rodeo is kind of a stepping-stone to the pro ranks.Â A lot of the top girls in our region we know can go to the pro rodeos and be competitive.Â It was everything people said [it would be] and more.
Q: Is one of your goals to go pro?
Kayla: Eventually, I would love to be able to have a pro-caliber horse to be able to do that. I have two horses right now that I think, when they are finished, will be cool. Iâ€™m just stepping back and getting my young ones ready to hopefully [compete in] college rodeo next year.
Q: When you are saying you are getting a horse ready, what does that mean?
Kayla: [For] barrel horses in particular, you are training them to run as fast as they can, then hit the brakes, turn around a barrel, and then run as fast as they can again. Itâ€™s a really time-consuming process to get one ready to go and be able to do that competitively. I guess just getting my young ones ready by hauling them different places so they get used to the sights.Â When you go to the rodeos, thereâ€™s music playing and people in the crowds; thereâ€™s cattle, thereâ€™s bulls and itâ€™s kind of hectic for horses.
Q: So when you graduate, what do you want to do next?
Kayla: I donâ€™t really know; like I said before I love to be able to do pro rodeo and have that be my living. I would like to do something within [the equine/animal science industry] regarding sales or something along those lines.Â I even thought about breeding barrel horses or show cattle or something like that but Iâ€™m not sure yet.
Q: How do you balance competition and school?
Kayla: Itâ€™s really hard to do. I didnâ€™t college rodeo this year because I didnâ€™t have a horse and you only have four years of eligibility, so I didnâ€™t what to waste one. You have to make sure that you really stay on top of your schoolwork during the week because even if you say youâ€™re going to go to the rodeo and study, it doesnâ€™t happen.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into rodeo?
Kayla: Just come try it out.Â It is intimidating because, if you know how to do it, itâ€™s easy to make it look simple, but itâ€™s not.Â Starting can be intimidating.Â Try roping a dummy, come to practices, learn how to ride and get a horse.Â If you work hard enough, you can go from never being on a horse to placing in the top ten at a college rodeo event. Just come, show your face, get to know people and try to figure it out.