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Never Stop Riding

Getting Your Name Out There

Recently while skimming through PRDaily.com I found an interesting article, “3 ways to land media coverage when you don’t have news.” Article I couldn’t help but find this so comparable to today’s world of media. Businesses just want themselves in the news whether the news be good or bad, they are more worried about their name being spread around. Everyone on social media, especially the millennials, are the same exact way. Whether the news be good or bad they post it.

According to the Article: 3 ways to land media coverage when you don’t have news

  • Conduct relevant research – how has your company improved in the industry in the last 30 years and with this information where will it be in 15 years?
  • Do something huge for a charity partner – seek out a charity that is local to your company that is trying its best but might still need some extra help and do good for them! Plus that is good news!
  • Newsjack a trend – how does a recent major event affect your business?

Being in the eye of the media has become more than just a trend but an addiction. The old saying used to go, “No news is good news,” in today’s media there is no such thing as no news. People don’t know how to survive without knowing every tid bit of what is on social media, I’m not saying I’m not guilty of it either. I have a Facebook friend that put every single detail of her divorce in a Facebook status and I was guilty of looking every single day to see what she wrote.

It’s not just business, companies, and professionals who are guilty of wanting any news all over media to get attention but individuals in their personal lives are guilty too. The change in media over the last decade has changed the way news and companies are viewed, public relations has changed to be more media friendly, and individuals are changing too. In 30 plus years people more than likely won’t think anything of spreading bad news just for the attention.

You Know PR?

Last Thanksgiving every member of my family asked me, “What are you majoring in?” “When do you graduate?” When I would tell every single one of them I was majoring in Public Relations, I got the impression they knew what I was majoring in; however, they didn’t know what that would entail me doing after graduation.

People think Public Relations is:

  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Truth Spinners
  • Party Planners

The reality is I’m not going to plan parties, spin the truth, advertise, or market. I’m going to work hard hopefully in a PR Firm or in Health Care to keep the reputation and public image of my clients positive. A personal goal of mine in my career is to stop the misconception that PR and Advertising are the same thing.

PRSA defines Public Relations as, “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

The biggest misconception is that Public Relations and Advertising are the same thing, but Advertising is what you pay for and Public Relations is what you pray for. Advertising is paid media while Public Relations is earned media.

Examples of Public Relations campaigns that viewers most likely thought were Marketing campaigns are:

In a world filled with advertising through the internet, social media, news, etc. public relations has an even harder challenge to make their work recognized between all the paid for publicity filling up our culture.

Build Yourself Up

For as long as I can remember I have always been a perfectionist with very limited creative ability. I have all these great aspirations to be creative, but no skill to do them. Along with being a perfectionist came the desire to always, always, do things correctly. Maybe this is because I was basically raised in a Law Firm, helping in any way I could since I was a young kid.

When it came time to declare a major I wanted to be able to be a perfectionist, write, and be creative when I want to be. This decision came easy to me because in my short life I had seen so much already and knew where I was meant to go.

So, Public Relations was the perfect fit.

PR is a constantly growing industry in today’s social media world.

My family’s law firm didn’t advertise, ever.  We strictly gained new clients on a referral basis.

Often, we had to refer them on because we were too busy, but many asked how we did this with no advertising? We worked hard, had good secretarial staff, and constantly desired to learn new knowledge, and catered to our clients. I learned from a very young age how important it was to create a good reputation.

Everyone deserves a chance to have a really good go at their career. From the start a company or organization has a good reputation with the media and from there it can go up or down, but sometimes people need assistance to maintain a good reputation.

I chose PR because I want people to be successful and if they have worked hard and deserve a good reputation then for them to have one.

Finding Your Way

I will never assume that being famous in the horse world is all fun and games or that it gives you an extra leg up. Buying a nice horse doesn’t always mean you have an extra leg up either. Buying fancy tack doesn’t mean you have a leg up. The only thing that can truly give you an extra leg up is, talent and determination. Some people are naturally talented and some people are not, you can buy the best bred horse and it can blow up or go lame, the horse world isn’t always in your favor. I wasn’t extremely talented right off the bat, I worked hard at it. My parents had me in lessons multiple days a week, bought me a horse that I didn’t have to work on, but could focus on my own riding. I rode and rode and rode. And now 10 years later, I’m still not anything special. Throughout middle school my Mom drove me everyday to the arena after school. I didn’t always have the nicest things, but in the end I had nice horses.  A couple of wise old cowboys once told me, “it’s not how nice the trailer is that matters, it’s what is in it.” Sure would I love a brand new living quarters trailer and brand new dually duramax? Yeah I would, but I also like having nice horses and being able to afford entry fees.

I’ve only bought one finished horse in my whole life, Casey. I give Casey about 80% of the credit for making me such a good rider. I give Zoe another 10% for making me worry about more than just myself. I give all those other random horses I’ve been thrown on over the years the last 10% because they were all different and quirky in their own way. I’ve learned something from each of these horses that has made me the rider I am today. I have realized how beneficial it is to ride more than one horse your whole life because you become more well rounded and have so many more experiences. Go out there and take chances, ride horses that make you a little nervous, it will make you a better hand in the end. If you’ve got big dreams then remember everything that requires big dreams.

The truest statement I’ve ever read is, “most people need a $1500 horse and $18500 in lessons.” If you really want to chase these big dreams then you will work so hard everyday, give up “extra” things to take the extra lesson a week, enter the barrel race, get your horse a chiropractor appointment, add to saving money in your saddle fund, etc. You’ll do all of this because each of these things will help you achieve that end goal. Everybody who is at the top didn’t start there. They had to work and work and work.

Some days after multiple hours of classes and riding, I would like to go home and just relax, but I don’t. I go to the gym and try to find even 30 minutes to fit in some exercise then I head the barn where I ride, clean my pen, and do other misc. stuff that needs to be done. Then I go home and do homework for hours on end along with laundry, meal prepping, household chores, etc. It’s not “easy” by any means but I wouldn’t want to live my life any other way. Because then on the weekend when you load everything up and head down the road, and have a great weekend running, it’s all worth it.

Don’t forget, you are going to hit a barrel, you are going to have a bad run, you won’t make a check one weekend, you’ll get bucked off, but each and every person at the top has had all those things happen to them too. They all had to start somewhere. Reserve WPRA Champion Amber Moore spent her entire life state gaming and it wasn’t until she got Paige and spent a lot of time running her that she hit the Rodeo Trail.

So be brave, saddle up, go to ride even when your tired, keep crossing off achievements, learn from your mistakes, and you will find your way.

XOXO Happy Riding

 

So We Don’t Take Care of our Animals?

So we treat our animals poorly huh? We don’t treat our animals ethically? I along with thousands of others are obviously unaware that taking better care of our animals than ourselves is completely unethical. I recently read an article, “7 Myths About Animal Treatment at the Calgary Stampede Rodeo,” this reading couldn’t have been more true.

Myth 5 was, “Rodeo Animals Have Hard Lives.” I can’t speak for everybody but I know for a fact that my horse is treated better than I treat myself. She is fed the best hay, grain, and supplements. When we travel she has a portable pen for at the trailer because it’s important for her to move around and be able to rest. I have every Back On Track product imaginable for her. If she’s having a bad day, I cut her slack. She gets fresh shoes every eight weeks, while I wear the same boots for years. I make sure she gets her ulcer medication twice a day when competing to make sure she’s on top of her game, I’m lucky to eat a granola bar if I have time. Trailers have had such improvements over the years to make traveling for months on end easier on horses, nutritionists are constantly trying to find the most perfect diet for every horse, and all decisions are made based upon what is best for the horse.

What most PETA supporters don’t know is, “The PRCA has more than 60 rules to ensure the proper care and treatment of rodeo animals included in its official rules and regulations.” If any animals are treated poorly or unacceptable then you are asked to leave. When you have a 1200 to 2000 lb animal you are working with you have to pay attention and be aware of your animal along with being in charge of the animal, for both the safety of you and them. If you aren’t authoritative with them then chances are both you and the animal are going to get hurt.

The battle with PETA will be a never ending battle, nobody will ever win, and we are going to always be at war with them. They want to ban the flank strap, when they have no idea all the thought behind it. What PETA doesn’t understand is that for all the professional cowboys and cowgirls, these animals are their livelihood and hurting the animal will just hurt themselves, and nobody wants that. “These animals are treated as well, if not better, than private ownership of horses,” says Dr. Garth Lamb, a native of Las Vegas who heads a team of veterinarians at the National Finals Rodeo. “It’s hard to find horses of this caliber who do what they want ‘em to do. They’re hard to replace, and the last thing they want to do is abuse them. That’s their livelihood and they take great care of them.” Horse owners aren’t out to hurt their horse, we are lucky to have once in a lifetime horses that we come across and we don’t want anything to happen to them.

Battling with PETA will be a never ending ongoing battle. Nobody will ever win. In the end all PETA is, is an uneducated group of people who have no clue what they are talking about assuming they are experts. All we can do from here is stand up and promote what we believe in.

Happy Riding xoxo

http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2010/12/09/5617915-faces-of-the-rodeo-vet-defends-treatment-of-rodeo-animals

To Everybody Who Helped Me That Summer

To Everybody Who Helped Me That Summer:

It’s been almost two years since the one and only time I chose to not to get back on the horse but instead go to the hospital. It was a weird day and it had been a weird spring overall. My coming three year-old was kinda out of control, she had always been such a good baby that I hadn’t really figured out I needed to discipline her quite yet. I got on that day, Tana started bucking, and I lost the battle.

I ended up on the ground in the arena, face and head filled with dirt, and no memory of the accident just happening. After a couple of hours in the Ellensburg ER, my Mom and Brother came to pick me up, and took me home. For a week I sat and felt sorry for myself and through part of it was probably going to quit riding. For a few days I wanted to give my horse away. After I realized the hair I lost would grow back and my black eyes would eventually go away, I picked up the pieces and decided I was going to figure it out. My Mom told me that she and my Dad would support me in whatever I chose, Mike called me and said, “we’ll figure it out.” Kylee offered to ride Tana because I was still scared out of my mind.

Throughout the next weeks people told me to give up on her, sell her, trade her, buy something that doesn’t buck. As a three year-old this was the first time she had bucked, she had never done anything I would classify as “bad,” and overall had been a pretty good filly. Some people told me she was a reject and would never amount to anything. Then there were the people who told me, things happen, young horses buck, it was all going to work out. I cried a lot to my best friend and went back and forth about what I wanted to do. She literally listened to everything I said and would tell me all my options and then some. She told me not to listen to everyone who told me to give up because deep down she knew that I shouldn’t listen to everybody and give up. I finished the quarter and came home for summer to figure it out.

It had been three weeks and my Mom said one day, “if you aren’t going to ride her then you need to get rid of her.” So that Saturday my Mom ponied me on a trail ride and of course Tana did just fine. I have no clue why I was less scared to ride her through the woods than in the arena but I was. My friend Kylee rode her the following Monday and she didn’t even act like she had ever blown up before. When it came down to it, I wasn’t scared to ride her in general, I was scared to get on her. Kylee made me get off, get on, get off, get on. That entire summer my Mom took me to the barn everyday and made me ride, even on days I didn’t want to, by August I went on my first ride by myself. By September I was confident to go back to school, with Tana in tow.

As the summer came to a close and I was back in Ellensburg riding everyday without my Mom. I realized that entire summer was a mental battle. I had to mentally fight with myself everyday not to be scared. I had went back to my Mom lounging me on a line while I rode because mentally I needed that. I took Casey with Tana everywhere because I thought she would protect me. Did she protect me? Sure she did. But did I need her? No. The entire summer was a mental battle, a mental battle I won. I won this battle because my Mom made me ride everyday, Linda picked me up and took me to barrel races even when I didn’t want to go, she would stand in the corner while I scaredly trotted circles, Kylee made me get on even when I didn’t want to and was there to hold Tana when I got on. She would tell me over and over that she didn’t like crying, so I wasn’t allowed to cry.

That summer wasn’t easy. Did I want to give up some days? Sure, I thought it would be easier but I had put a year and a half into this filly so I thought I owed her one summer. Has she ever bucked again? Nope, not one time. Has she grown up a lot? Yeah, she has. Does she still have bad days where I decide it’s not worth the fight? Yeah of course she does, she’s a horse. I wouldn’t trade not giving up on her, it taught me a lot. Horses in general have taught me a lot. I learned to be tough and giving up isn’t always worth it. If you broke your leg would you just give up walking ever again? No you wouldn’t and you would surely hope that your friends wouldn’t give up on you. Last night I was loping and thinking about how blessed I am. How I learned so much from that summer and realized those few months made me a much better horsewoman.

 

XOXO Happy Riding

5 Reasons Horse Friends are the Best Friends

My entire life I’ve had “school” friends and “horse” friends, but I have to say horse friends have always been the best friends!

  1. They understand the majority of your life is going to be consumed by horses. You might not be able to hang out after school or work because your horse needs to be rode, pens need to be cleaned, and hay needs to be stacked. They get it because they are probably doing the same thing! They have their own hay to unload or move, horses to ride, and pens to clean. If you spend a Thursday night packing not only you but your horse too instead of going to $1 beer night, they get it.
  2. They don’t mind when you show up somewhere and you smell like a horse. This one is pretty self explanatory!
  3. Chances are that if you are spending your weekends off riding, they are too! They don’t get hurt feelings because you can’t hang out because they can’t either. I spend most weekends off barrel racing and most of my best friends spend the weekends with me at barrel races or off doing their own event. It’s just part of what we do. We don’t have days off, it’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  4. Growing up I spent my entire summer with my horse friends and I enjoyed every single moment of it. As we grew up, we all grew into different disciplines and even through that we all continued to go and watch each other. I can’t say how many times Jacklyn would spend her days at barrel races with me or how many times Mackenzie woke up at O-Dark-Thirty to go barrel racing with me. Horse friends support each other from start to finish!
  5. You share the same passion! No matter if what discipline you ride if you text your horse friend about making a really good run or having a really good go. When your two year-old starts picking up the right leads automatically or you beat your best time. Or even the little things like, “today I cleaned the trailer out so now it doesn’t look like a bomb went off,” text messages, they understand!

 

 

In the end, they get it!

Horses & College

Every little girl dreams of taking her horse to college with her. Sadly for most girls this doesn’t become a reality. Either the horse gets turned out, leased out, or sold the summer before college begins. I will be the first to admit taking a horse to college is a lot of work and one more responsibility. Sometimes it means waking up an hour early to go to the barn and clean your pen before leaving on a Friday or riding at 8 p.m. after you went to three classes, worked 4 hours, and spent a few hours in the library studying. For myself, taking my horse to college with me is how I keep my sanity.

We had an awful winter, I mean awful. So I made the decision to leave her at home until the never ending storm was over. Being able not to ride everyday sucked a lot, I’ve rode three times since Christmas, two of those which were local games shows. Because Tana is who she is, she handles the craziness of college pretty dang well. She doesn’t mind early morning rides or late night ones, waiting in the trailer while I’m in class for an hour, or having a day off every once in awhile because I spend the entire day studying in the library.

Most people said I was crazy taking my horse to college especially fall quarter of freshman year and then I tell them she was two and a half when I left and they thought I was even more crazy. Taking a young horse to college wasn’t exactly easy, but it sure was worth it. Being able to leave the hustle and bustle everyday and spend a couple of hours at the barn makes the madness so much easier to get through. I love getting to spend my weekends going on trail rides, to barrel races, and just hours riding. I’ve given up a lot of my social life to go to the barn everyday. Taking your own horse to college is totally different then riding a horse through college. You deal with the not so fun parts like cut legs, ripped blankets, cleaning the trailer out after a long weekend, and everything that comes with a horse.

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My parents are truly saints for letting me take Tana with me and its taken the whole family to keep this going. My brother has come to pick her up in the snow for Christmas Vacation, my Mom has woke up at 3 a.m. to be in Ellensburg by 6:30 a.m. to watch my time-onlys, and the family has brought me numerous loads of hay. Having your horse at school isn’t all fun and games but it is definitely worth it!

I wouldn’t trade my college experience with my horse for anything!

XOXO Happy Riding

 

Practice Pays Off

Three years ago I took a leap of faith and bought a coming two year- old that had ten rides on her, a hay belly, short legs, and a big head. Eventually consistent exercise took away that cute hay belly, her legs grew, she got taller and grew into the large head. Having only a young horse makes you miss things like relaxing rides or jumping in the trailer to go to a last minute barrel race. I spent the last two and a half years getting up way too early for time onlys, staying till the end of the race to make an exhibition run, riding even in the pouring rain because consistency is key and fighting through every tiny battle.

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Best Lane Partner and Friend, Cara

I know I talk about my Mom a lot and how great she is but literally she is! Well my whole family is and raising a filly is hard especially when you’re 18-21, juggling college and busy with life in general. My Mom still is the best in all the consistency even a coming five year- old requires. She helped me with the battle of catching her as a wild two year-old when I didn’t have enough patience. My brother, Brandon, helped me with the trailer battle this last summer when I threw in the towel. He got her in the trailer not one, not two, but three times that day. Well all these battles and fights and long nights filled with consistency paid off this last weekend.

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My show buddy, Summer and I 

This winter hasn’t worked in my favor and is still continuing to work against me (today it snowed another couple of inches), but I’ve managed to make it home for SCWGA in February and this last weekend. Something hit me this weekend and I decided it was now or never to start actually riding. So I got my whip out, put on my big girl panties, and rode like my horse wishes I would every race. It paid off. I ended up placing 8th overall in a tough age group, running most of the best times I have on Tana, and riding the best I had in years. Tana didn’t cheat me, I stayed off her face, gave her slack where I needed to in each event and just rode how I know how. Miraculously when I do what I’m supposed to, she does too!

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After not only a successful weekend but overall series, I am that much more excited for what the rest of the year has to hold!

Thank you SCWGA, for choosing me as one of the scholarship recipients! It’s much appreciated.

Happy Riding!

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