Earn Your Spurs: Exploring the Cowboy, Horses and All Things Western







June 2014
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This is the special Christmas edition of the Earn Your Spurs Podcast. I have enlisted my brother Bryce to be my co-host and share some of the dysfunctional traditions in our family. Hope you enjoy it and Merry Christmas!

Direct download: Episode_19_barnes_Xmas_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Today I am excited to introduce you to Lori O'Harver. This lady knows her bronc riding and you can find out more about that on her Bronc Riding Nation Facebook page. But today, I asked her on the show to talk about the most colorful and inspiring display of cowboy culture you can find anywhere. The National Finals Rodeo, which just wrapped up in Las Vegas Saturday night. We talk about the world championship races, the goings on around town and some of rodeo's more colorful characters. I really think you guys are going to enjoy this one.

Direct download: Episode_18_Lori_OHarver_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Scott Haynes grew up on a ranch in Northeastern Montana where his family grew wheat and raised beef cattle. During his childhood, Scott developed an affinity for both ranch dogs and western cartooning. Today he has combined those two interests to create the Roadie The Ranch Dog children's book series. If you have young kids on your Christmas list, this book is a must-buy item!

Direct download: Episode17_Scott_Haynes_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Paige Nicholson, Miss Rodeo Mississippi 2013 and Miss Rodeo America 2014 talks about her upbringing, how she got involved in rodeo queen pageantry and what kind of impact her experience as Miss Rodeo America has had on her personally and professionally. Get the inside scoop on the Miss Rodeo America Pageant, which concludes on December 6th when Miss Rodeo America 2015 is crowned.

Direct download: Episode16_Paige_Nicholson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Unlike most professional rodeo cowboys, Kelly Timberman didn't move up through the ranks of Jr Rodeo and High School rodeo before winning a world championship in bareback riding. In fact, he didn't get on his first bareback horse until after he had graduated from high school. Kelly's story proves that hard work and determination are what it truly takes to win. We talk about his rodeo career, his role as Production Director with the Professional Roughstock Series and he gives his advice on how to get started in rodeo.

Direct download: Episode_15_Kelly_Timberman_mixdown_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

John Harrer is the host of the Whoa Podcast, all about horses. For such a horse enthusiast, it's hard to believe that he hasn't been riding all that long. And he taught himself the basics of horsemanship by watching Clinton Anderson and other natural horsemanship clinicians on RFD-TV. In this episode, John talks about how he got started with horses, the mistakes he has made along the way, and offers tips for others who are interested in getting into horses themselves.

Direct download: Episode_14_John_Harrer_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Chelsey Stimson is a veteran of the US Navy, a military widow, and an avid barrel racer. Having been a horse lover since childhood she knew she always wanted to have horses in her life, but it wasn't until after the loss of her husband, Navy SEAL Tyler Stimson, that she learned just how much she NEEDED horses in her life. Chelsey uses her barrel racing to serve as a voice for other military widows and veterans' organizations and is passionate about helping others get started with horses.

Direct download: Episode13-ChelseyStimson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Alex Cord is a horseman, an author, a stage actor and a movie star. He appeared in more than 30 films including several westerns and 300 television shows. Perhaps most notably, he played Archangel on the hit series Airwolf.


Direct download: episode_12_Alex_Cord_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

JJ Harrison has been a rodeo clown for 10+ years. He has entertained crowds at the Reno Rodeo, St Paul Oregon, the NILE and many others. In 2012 he reached the pinnacle of his profession when he was asked to work the NFR. JJ talks about his career, his atypical foray into the rodeo world, and why his job is not always as easy as it looks.

Direct download: Episode_11-JJ_Harrison_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Hannah-Beth Tems is just 16 years old and a senior in high school. She just started a non-profit to help kids get started in rodeo called Dare to Be a Cowboy. Hannah-Beth doesn't come from a rodeo family herself, so she knows how difficult it can be to get started in that world. Now that she is established herself, it is her dream to help other kids develop their skills and live their own rodeo dreams.

Direct download: Episode10_Hannah_Beth_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

This beautiful blonde rodeo gal has been cleaning up in the arena for her college rodeo team at Utah State University and on the amateur rodeo circuit as well. She competes in both the barrel racing and the breakaway roping, is the captain of her college team, and is pursuing a career in motivational speaking.

Oh, and did I mention her main mode of transportation, besides her horses, is a wheelchair?

Direct download: Episode9_Amberley_Snyder_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Wiley Petersen was hooked on bull riding at 10 years old with dreams of becoming a professional bull rider. For anyone who has followed the PBR, you already know he went on to do just that.He qualified for 10 PBR World Finals events and has over $1.4 million in career earnings.In addition to being a great bull rider, Wiley is also an ordained minister and an NASM personal trainer. Wiley retired from bull riding in 2012 and today helps young bull riders develop their own skills.

Direct download: Episode_8_Wiley_Petersen_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Today I am speaking with Jennifer Nicholson of Riata Ranch Internationa. She has been involved with the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls nearly since it was founded in 1976. Jennifer now directs the organization where she started as a young student and became one of the four original trick riding performers in the late 1970’s. They have performed on 4 continents and in front of such dignitaries as Queen Elizabeth. But even more than that, Riata Ranch focuses on empowering young women to reach their true potential.

Direct download: Episode7_jennifer_Nicholson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Terri Powers has been a writer for 25 years.  Although she claims that she (and I quote) has “never been anything remotely resembling a cowgirl,” she has been around rodeo her whole life and that certainly came in handy when she began writing her first completed book. The autobiography of 8 time world champion tie down roper, Fred Whitfield, titled Gold Buckles Don’t Lie, was a real eye opener for the rodeo community.

Her newest book, Cowboy Tails, will be coming out in a few months, but I will let Terri give us the details about that one. 

Direct download: Episode6_Terri_Powers_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Justin Koehler is a film producer who has worked on projects airing on the History channel, Discovery, Weather channel, HGTV and PBS.

His first independent film entitled The Buffalo King: the Man who Saved the American Bison is an award-winning documentary on the film festival circuit and has aired on public television in all 50 states.

The film he is currently working on, called Floating Horses, chronicles the life of rodeo legend Casey Tibbs.

Direct download: Episode5_JustinKoehler_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

In The Rodeo Guide for City Slickers, Graeme Menzies brings his urban credentials and experiences to the task of explaining rodeo to other urban professionals in a way that is light, lively, informative and accessible.

A communications strategist and writer, Graeme played a leadership role on the communications team at the 2010 Olympic Games and continues in his commitment to telling the true stories of athletes and athletics through his immersion into all things rodeo.

Combining personal rodeo-attending experience, with solid research and consultations with actual rodeo performers and professionals, Graeme introduces the City Slicker to rodeo as only a true City Slicker can!


Born in Western Canada, he has visited over a hundred cities around the world and has lived on three continents. He has an Honours Degree in International Relations and a Masters Degree in Communications and Technology. And well, you could say he has lived a modern and urban life ... the true definition of a “city slicker”.

Direct download: Episode4_GraemeMenzies_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Karen Searle grew up on a ranch in Paradise Valley, south of Livingston, MT. She is passionate about preserving the ranching way of life, and sharing the history and culture of Montana ranchers with the rest of the world. She says, “Think of me as a native Montanan and a travel coordinator who is skilled as a matchmaker. Let me know your interests. I can put you in touch with ranchers whose Montana roots date back 100 years.”

Karen’s goals are to match guests with a ranch that will give them the authentic experience of Montana ranching.  And to help keep the Montana ranch heritage alive by creating a supplemental income for working ranch families.  

Her daughter, Saundra, has been involved in Montana Bunkhouses from the very beginning. In her early teens she was the wrangler and entertainer for guests from around the globe.  In recent years she has taken on the role of tech support, in addition to hosting guests who want what she calls the “Montana Summer Experience” to complement their ranch stay. She is incredibly proud of her mom, and excited to be a part of this new agri-tourism niche they are growing.

Direct download: Episode3_MT_Bunkhouses_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16pm MDT

Paul Barnes has been a performance horse trainer for over 40 years.  He has started thousands of young horses, trained reined cowhorses, cutting horses, barrel horses, rope horses – even stakes-winning race horses.

His clients have won nearly every cutting horse award there is to win in Northern Nevada. His son is a past National High School Finals Rodeo All Around Cowboy and current college rodeo coach at the University of Las Vegas and his daughter has won a few things too.  

Direct download: Episode2_Paul_Barnes_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:06pm MDT

Hey! I am Alyssa Barnes, the host of the Earn Your Spurs Podcast. Thank you for joining me for the very first episode! I will be releasing a new episode every week featuring amazing individuals within the western space - cowboys, cowgirls, authors, movie producers - if they are involved in cowboy culture and have  a fascinating or inspiring story to share, you will be hearing from them on the show.

My goal with the podcast and the Earn Your Spurs blog is to provide a resource for people who want to live a little more western but aren't quite sure how to go about it. With the help of some of the top experts on the skills and nuances of the cowboy lifestyle, I will show you the right way to accomplish your goals or check those items off the ol' bucket list.

Direct download: Episode1_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm MDT