Jul 102012

Author: CollegeAveStaff

By Jaime Pritchard

Q: Where did you grow up?

Kayla: I lived in Meadowlake, Washington.  I barrel-raced a little bit but I wasn’t heavily involved in rodeo.  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 –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 didn’t really start going to “the rodeos” 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.  A lot of the top girls in our region we know can go to the pro rodeos and be competitive.  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. I’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. It’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.  When you go to the rodeos, there’s music playing and people in the crowds; there’s cattle, there’s bulls and it’s kind of hectic for horses.

Q: So when you graduate, what do you want to do next?

Kayla: I don’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.  I even thought about breeding barrel horses or show cattle or something like that but I’m not sure yet.

Q: How do you balance competition and school?

Kayla: It’s really hard to do. I didn’t college rodeo this year because I didn’t have a horse and you only have four years of eligibility, so I didn’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 you’re going to go to the rodeo and study, it doesn’t happen.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into rodeo?

Kayla: Just come try it out.  It is intimidating because, if you know how to do it, it’s easy to make it look simple, but it’s not.  Starting can be intimidating.  Try roping a dummy, come to practices, learn how to ride and get a horse.  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.

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