Several years ago I got sick and tired of being sick and tired, and announced that I just didn’t have Lyme disease anymore. Much to my mother’s concern and warnings, I packed up my truck and Roo and went to the Midwest to start and ride around 100 colts for a dispersal sale. Within a week, I was very, very sick and completely unable to complete the monumental task at hand by myself. The first person I went to for help was Reata Brannaman. Unfortunately for me, she was starting colts somewhere else, but her kindness and willingness to jump in with both feet to help made my heart smile.
Reata is the daughter of a professional model mother, a cowboy/clinician father and it appears she got the best of both worlds from her talented parents. Raised on her family’s place outside Sheridan, Wyoming, Reata is currently attending Montana State University where she recently accepted the position as the University’s colt starting instructor. Not to beat around the bush or anything, but Reata has a famous last name. In the cowboy world, people hear “Brannaman” and they start acting like a bunch of school-girls faced with One Direction. I respect Reata not only for the graciousness in the way she treats the people around her, but her ability to carve out a name for herself based on her own attributes and skills. Plus that, she has a sunglass collection I’d like to get my paws on!
Go check out her MSU’s Colt Starting Class Facebook page and show her some love!
What makes home home is….
I was born and raised in Sheridan WY, I will always consider it my home. My family, my horses, everything is there! There’s nothing like the Big Horn Mountains. But my second home is on the road. All summer I live in the gooseneck of my trailer, loaded down with colts, on the road, following my dad to his clinics, and hitting the occasional branding along the way :)
If I could achieve anything in the world it would be…I want to be able to offer a horse as good of a deal as I can, and have 100% confidence in my ability to offer a horse a good deal, and get one in return. Being able to get what you’re looking for with the slightest feel is something that I just can’t get enough of. When you finally get a taste of what it feels like, and eventually the result you’ve been looking for, there is no better feeling in the world.
The one piece of advice I would give to women who are interested in the cowboy/western world is…Just do your thing, and do it with a smile. If you have confidence in your skills, so will everyone else.
My most prized possession is….My Harwood saddle. When I was 16 I had the choice between a car and the Harwood….. that was an easy choice.
As a kid I was always…Naming my imaginary cavy, and rip-roaring around on my little white pony.
My favorite non-western activity is…Travel, when I graduate from MSU I plan on traveling for some time, just seeing more of the world. I’ve been to 49 states and numerous countries, but there’s a lot more to see and a lot more horses to ride.
I knew I was on the right track in life when….I still don’t know what track I’m on yet, but I do know that I’m building the track as I go, and anything worth doing is worth over-doing J I’ve got a lot of life to live yet, and I know that wherever I go, I’ll be astride a lot of good horses doing my best to make a difference.
My ideal day would include….Getting up to watch the sunrise with someone you admire, drinking copious amounts of coffee, riding with good friends, and either roping till I can’t lift my arm anymore, or starting colts. Starting colts is like working with a blank slate and knowing that everything that gets written in their young minds is from you, if anything it's humbling and an education! And probably finishing off the day by cooking for the people you care about, a good meal is the best way to show how much they mean to you. And there’s nothing better than a good branding, with great friends ;)
AND…. Since right now its 15 below here in Wyoming, someone with a place in some tropical location would be fabulous. I’m open to any suggestions J
My favorite cocktail is…Not sure how to answer this since I know my darling mother will be reading this… so I’ll stay safe, Blue Dolphin J
If I could be friends with anyone in the world, dead or alive, it would be….Of course my dearest friend, Nevada Watt. We have been together our entire lives! Its our 20th Friend-iversary this year! We are so different in so many ways, we fight like sisters, but I wouldn’t change a single thing about our friendship. I can’t imagine not having her with me in this amazing life we live.
My favorite beauty product is…I’m a firm believer that the best makeup a girl can wear is a smile, but mascara is a close second. And as far as just care, I’m a freak about coconut oil! I use it on my hair, my skin, and its good for everything. Even my horses get their fair share of coconut oil (it makes a huge difference getting a horse shined up and sleek, I just feed 1-2 tbsp in their grain.)
My family, my lifestyle, my love for the whole cowboy culture, and being proud of who I am and where I came from :) Take me or leave me, but I'm always gonna be honest with myself and my morals :) And that…is what makes me a Buckaroo Barbie!