It's been a little less than two weeks since I rolled into Cheyenne, Wyoming with my camper, horse trailer, and two horses. Now that the college rodeo has come and gone, I'm getting a few less questions about what college I'm rodeoing for...because apparently I look like I'm the right age to be in college and have out of state plates! (I'm taking this as a compliment). So what have the first few weeks been like? They've been full of horses, friends, rodeos, and much, much busier than I expected they would be.
Let's start with the thing that brought me to Cheyenne in the first place: my new job. I can't get over the fact that I am literally working at my dream job! I have so much to learn about this area of the law, and I'm thrilled to be working in the agricultural industry and advocating for farmers and ranchers. When I first spoke to one of my new bosses, they described it as "cowboy law." As you can imagine, that sold me pretty quickly! I had the opportunity to be part of writing an article about the proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act this week, and if you'd like to read it you can find it here:
I received several messages from people on social media saying that I've made moving look so easy. Honestly, this was a huge leap of faith for someone who usually likes things planned out to the very last detail. The only reason it has gone as smoothly as it has is because I am incredibly blessed with a wonderful rodeo family and great friends. In 2016, I had the greatest host family when I came to Cheyenne Frontier Days as Miss Rodeo America. We got to know each other well, because I was the first Miss Rodeo America CFD booked for an entire week rather than three days (I still think this is one of the greatest birthday presents ever!), and we both celebrate birthdays during CFD. Not only that, but I've actually stayed with them at least once a year every year since! They have been instrumental in my move - not only am I currently staying in their basement, but they helped me find a fantastic barn to keep my horses and have been helping me find a more permanent place to live.
As my dad said on the phone the other day, everyone has been incredibly welcoming and "too nice" to me. (I think a small part of him was hoping that I would decide to turn around and head back North if they weren't!). I owe a large part of that to my rodeo family! The day after I arrived, I headed down to the Ram National Circuit Finals, which was held in Greeley, Colorado this year due to COVID-19. Only a few days later, Laramie County Community College hosted their college rodeo at Frontier Park due to COVID-19 regulations, which was an amazing opportunity for the student athletes to compete in a venue full of history and prestige. The first day, I met a couple who said they had a good friend from Post Falls...who happened to be one of my fellow Gem State Stampede rodeo committee members! Rodeo is a small world, and I'm learning that it's even smaller in Wyoming.
I brought two of my horses with me to Wyoming for now, an
d they are loving it just as much as I am. Jax, my retired super nice reining horse, has decided that cows are his favorite thing ever. I've joined in on the after-work roping practice at the barn, and Jax is completely convinced that this is what he was born to do. We also went to a cowhorse clinic in Wellington, and I think there might be some ranch horse versatility in our future! Frosty is the first horse that I ever broke, and she had to have surgery when she was coming four so at only five she's had a lot of new experiences. First, the farthest she'd ever ridden in the trailer was about twenty minutes to the vet and she made the nearly twenty hour trip with absolutely no problem. She's had a lot of new sights, but the most exciting part of her little life has been experiencing cattle for the first time...and she hasn't quite decided how she feels about it!
As you can tell, these first few weeks have been truly amazing. I'm looking forward to seeing what each new day brings and filling you all in along the way!