This episode is brought to you by Troxel Helmets.
Welcome back to another episode of The Ride! We’re changing the way we do things around here. As you listen to this week’s episode, you’ll notice better sound quality, and a change in our interview format as Nichole Chirico takes on sole hosting duties going forward. We hope these changes make for a better listening experience.
In this week’s episode of The Ride host Nichole Chirico sits down to talk with non-pro rider Kirsten Ziegler about her transition from jumping to reining, the best advice she can give other riders who want to try out a different sport, and what it’s like having a non-horse-training career in the horse industry.
Before you enjoy this episode here are four things to know about Kirsten and her horse life:
During a hunter jumper competition at WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kirsten noticed the Cactus Reining Classic taking place at the same time and decided to walk over to the arena to see what it was all about. She was instantly hooked and within a year she purchased seasoned reining competitor Gunnaout Shine Ya, aka ‘Martini.’
Before Kirsten purchased Martini, he spent several years competing in the open division where he was a finalist at the NRHA Futurity, earned fifth place at The All American Quarter Horse Congress Reining Futurity, and won the Oklahoma Reining Horse Association Ride & Slide Level 4 and Level 3 Derby. In total Martini has nearly $47,000 in lifetime earnings.
Within a year of competing Kirsten has competed at some of the industry’s top reining events, including The Run For A Million‘s Rookie Championship, an event she had to qualify for earlier in the year.
Kirsten was able to make horses her career. Kirsten Ziegler works for the Equine Network and does graphic design for The World Series of Team Roping and the United States Team Roping Championships. She’s also an equine photographer and her photographs have ended up on the cover of Horse&Rider Magazine. Kirsten credits her professional career as one of the reasons she’s able to excel so quickly at a new sport. “When you work in the Western industry, people are more understanding when you tell them you have an early afternoon lesson or you’re competing at a horse show that week,” she shares. “It allows me to get more time in the saddle to prepare for competitions.”
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