Meet the Cowgirls: Sarah
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 was involved in rodeo before competing in bronc riding. I breakaway roped and team roped in rodeos as well as went to jackpots. I still team rope frequently, but stopped breakaway due to an injury with my horse.
Q: Tell us about yourself and what led to you to try out riding broncs competitively?
A: As well as rodeo, I have been starting colts for about 5 years. I have worked at cutting facilities, as a colt starter at a reining horse facility, and also started horses of many different age groups on my own. I’ve dealt with many types of horses, easy going little two year olds, some that were very stuck in their ways of being flighty and fighters with a mustang mentality, and some bred to buck until they are 5. There is no other option as a colt starter but to learn how to stick to one when they broke in two. I loved the feeling of it, so I decided to try and ride one out at a rodeo and compete. First real bronc I ever got on had me hooked and I've been riding since.
Q: How do you prepare yourself physically and mentally before getting on the bronc?
A: I stay very active and am in pretty good shape physically, so I don’t worry too much about that part of it. Rodeo is 90% mental game in whatever event you complete in. Before I ride, the biggest thing I do to prepare is repeatedly go over timing and a perfect ride in my head. I do this all the time, even on days I’m not competing. It’s usually what I do instead of counting sheep at night.
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: I get so many messages on social media from women or girls wanting compete in bronc riding or things that are considered a "man’s sport" and have found what I do to be inspiring. I even have women try and bring down girls like me for not "being in the kitchen" (which by the way, we can do both)!
Women have worked incredibly hard in the past just to earn equality in everyday life and still struggle with it today. Women can do many of the things men can do just as well, and sometimes better! If you are a woman that wants to play a man’s game, go prove some people wrong and show them how powerful and strong women can be!
Q: Tell us about one of your best rides or most memorable moments in bronc riding competition.
A: My best ride so far was scoring 81 points on a little bronc from Diamond Cross in Bastrop, TX. I was stressed out trying to saddle because it was last to load into the chutes so I didn't have much time. It was also a very small horse and my girth barely fit; it was tightened all the way up to the D ring and the saddle I was using had a seat way too big for me. I had to be quick in and out of the chute because he wouldn't stand still for very long. I got down and nodded, it blew hard out of the chute and almost got me first jump off the front. Luckily I decided to not use a night latch and remembered to push back off my saddle horn and then fought my bronc the whole way. It was a tough ride mentally and physically. I made the buzzer and just remember all the girls I compete against and people I’ve never talked to running up, giving me high fives, hugs and congratulating me. I won my first bronc buckle on that ride as well, so that was a great feeling.
Q: What was the best career advice you have ever received?
A: I haven't received much positive advice on riding broncs and starting colts etc. Despite what everyone else wanted me to do, I decided to follow my own goals in life and do what makes me happy. I believe God has a plan for my life and that I am on the right track doing what I am passionate about.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge of being a bronc rider?
A: The biggest challenge of being a bronc rider is just trying to stay safe and uninjured. If you get hurt you can’t compete and most likely can’t work to pay the bills either.
Photos provided by Sarah Brown.
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