I stumbled onto Strider on the internet; and scraping up every cent I could get my hands on, I drove from Texas to Florida to check him out. I took a chance and bought him without even riding him. There was something about his "big as Texas personality" that simply yelled, he was the perfect horse for what I needed! A 4 year old stallion at the time, and never hauled on the road; I banked on him fitting the task, which he did...like a duck to water. I hauled him almost immediately to Montana for his first assignment....a concert on the street of Miles City during their annual Bucking Horse Weekend; where he would be asked to stand in front of a stack of speakers pounding out sound while surrounded by people and children who wouldn't know any better than to walk right up under him. My expectations were exceeded, and continue to be met above and beyond what I would EVER ask most horses to do! At 16.1 hands...a “Grand Vanner”....sired by the late, great Gypsy King; Strider goes with me everywhere and does everything from performing before crowds in arenas and even inside a huge church, to cruising a barrel pattern, to gathering cattle in Montana during branding season.
What's next for Strider and I; I do not know.....but God "has this"....and I'm looking forward to the adventure!!
People often ask how I got started in what I've been doing now for over 25 years; I tell them, "it started with me getting on a bull". Over-simplified maybe, but true. While the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) was still in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and while watching the 10th Round on TV; the Lord's presence settled upon me and began to speak into my future; telling me He would send me to the NFR in Las Vegas for His purposes. Three years or so later the NFR moved to Las Vegas, and I wondered how God's word to me would come to pass. Then in 1986, I felt intensely impressed to enter an all-girl bull riding competition, and I had never been on a bull before. It lit my fire as I LOVED the adrenaline rush! 10 or 12 bulls later, I was winning Rookie of the Year in both bulls and broncs; and was invited to ride a bull during the crowning of Miss Rodeo America at the NFR! God's word fulfilled! I rode rough stock for 3 years; and as time continued, it evolved into doing pre-rodeo concerts horseback, as well as doing cowboy church at these events. That's where Strider comes in.