Growing Up Western

Yup, starting a family in this crazy world. That’s what taught me to truly appreciate the months of my younger years spent traveling the rodeo trail with my parents.

By raising a daughter in the Western world, she’s going to learn how to work hard, set goals, and be relentless in the pursuit of what she wants. Photo courtesy of BarrelRacing.com

Memories Along the Road

Rodeo families are like any other horse-owning family, really. When it was time to go on the road, my school would send me with the curriculum and I’d return with my work in hand. 

But I didn’t just come back with work. I came back with stories of the monuments and national parks that I had seen and touched in person before even learning about them in our textbooks. 

I came back with an understanding that people help people. We never passed a horse trailer that was broken down on the side of the road without stopping to make sure horses and humans were okay. 

I came back with a larger family. Every family who opened their home up to our horses and us and offered us a warm meal was held close to our hearts. I saw many of those same families over the past several years on the road with my husband, Justin, and my daughter, Bexley. 

Lessons Learned

Gym class was hard to come back to after being on the road. I saw examples of sportsmanship ranging from temper tantrums to the most selfless, kind acts you can imagine. Knowing that it wasn’t right to throw a fit at a young age because I saw decorated cowboys look like fools when they threw their sucker in the dirt—or their saddles or rope cans across the parking lot—after a bad day in the arena.

I came back with friends who would stick around for a lifetime. Kids who understood the challenges and the frustrations. My parents had a support system of other parents to help them, too. Those rodeo families always looked out for me, so my parents knew I was safe even when I was out playing with my friends. I looked forward to seeing those friends just like my daughter looks for her pals now. 

I saw my mother pour her entire soul into a dream, and my father support her every step of the way. Then I watched them save and claw and work their way into the winner’s circle and stay there. I learned what passion was, what it meant to set goals and reach them. I learned things they couldn’t teach inside the walls of that rural school, even though some great teachers filled it. 

Raising a Daughter

I’m not saying that my daughter, who is 3 now, must share the passion that my mother and I shared. She doesn’t have to love roping and training horses like her dad does. She doesn’t even have to love horses like we do or want her living to revolve around them. 

But she’s going to understand that when you own animals, their needs come before yours. She’s going to learn how to be responsible. She will learn how to connect with real human beings that aren’t behind a screen. She’s going to watch her father and mother support one another in their goals. 

And the biggest thing for me—she’s going to learn that she can do anything she wants in this life if she puts the work in. She’s going to learn how to work hard, set goals, and be relentless in the pursuit of what she wants. She’s learning what it takes to be elite at any level, thanks to the lessons rodeo is teaching her.

[More from Jordon]

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