Meet the Cowgirls: Rainey
Q: Were you involved in rodeo before competing in the bronc riding, if so what events did you do and do you still compete in them?
A: I've been involved in rodeo since I was about ten or eleven. I'd always had a love for barrel racing, so my mom found me a trainer in the area and I started getting lessons. I didn't have a "barrel horse" per say, but I had a really handy Peppy San Badger grandson that was good at just about everything. So, I took him to all my lessons and thankfully Badger seemed to be a natural and it gave he and I a great start. Not to mention I had had him (and still have him) since he was a three year old. I've stepped away from barrel racing to focus on roughstock, but I do have Badger legged up and a couple prospects lined up for when I decide to start again.
Q: Tell us about yourself and what led to you to try out riding broncs competitively?
A: Well, I'm from a quiet little town in Kentucky where everyone knows your name and wants to be in your business. My family has always lived here so I basically introduce myself as my grandfather's granddaughter because chances are, they know him and met me when I was an infant. I got my first job at a barn cleaning stalls the winter before I turned 15 so my mom pulled me out of public school and I started online school. My ultimate goal is to own a barn and start colts, and maybe run some cattle, so any opportunity that came my way that gave me a chance to learn, I took. I stayed there for almost two years and learned about groundwork, starting colts, and putting a handle on them. From there I moved to another barn as a trainer in the winter of 2016 and stayed there until about April of this year. From there I put up a round pen at my house and plan to start a training operation under my own name. I've always loved and admired the roughstock side of rodeo, but everything around me is incredibly gender segregated. If you're a woman you're expected to run some barrels, rope some calves, and leave. Women in roughstock is unheard of and I want to change that, so it ultimately led to my finding the TBRA and the Ladies Ranch Bronc Tour.
Q: How do you prepare yourself physically and mentally before getting on the bronc?
A: Physically, I'm prepared. I work out throughout the week, ride multiple horses daily, and eat healthy. Mentally, I just do it. I don't really prepare myself mentally, everything just falls away when I'm getting my gear together and saddling my horse. After I pull my cinch a bomb could go off in my face and I probably wouldn't notice.
Q: What would you tell women and girls who also want to do things other than the mainstream events such as what you’re doing?
A: Go for it. Absolutely 110% go for it. Do not ever, under any circumstances, let someone tell you that your goals are unachievable. Do the crazy things that set your heart on fire and make you feel something. Life is much too short to live it comfortably in your safe zone. Break boundaries, move mountains, and don't ever apologize for doing what YOU want to do. I cut people out of my life that thought I was ridiculous for trying roughstock, and I didn't apologize for it.
Q: Tell us about one of your best rides or most memorable moments in bronc riding competition.
A: I think my best ride was in Bastrop, TX. Everything really clicked for me there. I was lifting on my rein and felt super solid in my seat. It was a good horse from Diamond Cross and it was an honor to be able ride him. It's always an honor to ride such amazing animals.
Q: What was the best career advice you have ever received?
A: Never say that you can't. My mom would whoop me if she ever heard me saying I can't do something, so I don't say it and I get a lot done.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge of being a bronc rider?
A: I am my biggest challenge in bronc riding. I've always been really hard on myself and a raging perfectionist so learning to not completely and utterly beat myself up when I don't cover has been my biggest hurdle.
Photos provided by Rainey Gibbs.
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