LYPA Rider of the Week: Kenzie McAlister
Kenzie was one of our first 80 members of the Lakota Young Professionals Association, learn more about her journey below!
5 Quick Questions:
Q: How did you get into riding?
I got into riding thanks to my family. My pawpaw, Toxie, had always had horses and he always had me on a horse. He taught me the fundamentals of barrel racing and continues to help me. My grandpa Butch also taught me how to ride and some training tips. I wouldn’t be here with out them☺️
Q:Do you have a good luck charm?
I don’t have a specific good luck charm, but I always talk to my horse when I’m getting ready to run. It makes us feel like a team…like 1 person, almost. It calms her down and that gives us both confidence. I also say a little prayer that asks to keep my horse and I safe and clean before our run, and you cant forget my RanchDressn Tie-Dye pants? Those give me a boost of confidence, since I know I’m almost always the only one wearing those!!
Q:Why do you ride?
I ride for those who can’t ride. There’s people out there who would do anything to swing a leg over a horse. I have that exact opportunity every single day. My friends at school think I’m a rockstar for riding a horse at 30 MPH at a metal barrel. So, they are my reminder that this could be different. I could be hurt or not have a horse. I wish every body could ride or at-least own a horse, but unfortunately that’s not how it goes. This is just a constant reminder to me.
Q:How do you calm those pesky show nerves?
I don’t always calm my show nerves completely down. I tell myself that it’s going to be ok and I get my mind off of it by talking to a family member or a friend there. I also just watch. It keeps my mind on what I need to do to successfully be placed higher.
Q: What’s the best piece of horse advice you’ve been given?
The piece of advice that sticks with me from a horseman is from Fallon Taylor. She has always been an idol to me, and when she said this it just seemed to be burnt in my brain: “The world is your alley way, so you better prance”. It’s not big “advice” but it taught me to stand out and be proud of my horse and I. Every time I see someone glaring at my clothes, horse, or trailer I just repeat this little piece of wisdom and it brings a smile to my face. The second piece of advice I got is, listen to your horse. I don’t know who I heard this from, but it has changed the way I look at my horse. The advice stated:
“It’s not a blinged out, shiny saddle. It isn’t a special blanket, and those aren’t the name brand SMBs, but my horse is comfortable. Listen to your horse, watch their body language. Listen and see if your horse is worried or anxious.” This piece made me start looking deeper into my horse and making sure she was comfortable.
Follow Kenzie to see what she’s up too!!
Check out the Lakota blog next Thursday for the next LYPA Rider of the Week…it could be you!