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







June 2015
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The host of the Whoa Podcast, John Harrer returns to the show to talk about his experience training a wild horse for the Vaquero Heritage Trainers Challenge in Tehachapi.

John didn't grow up around horses. In fact, he didn't really get into horses until he was nearing retirement age. But this year, he decided to take on a huge challenge and train 9 year old horse that had never been handled before. Then he competed against several professional trainers at the end of the training period.

I admire John's bravery in this undertaking so much and I hope you are inspired by him as I am.

Direct download: ep51john20harrer20FINAL.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

In this interview, I talk with Heather Smith of barrelracingtips.com about the many facets of competetive barrel racing. It's such a simple concept - take your horse around 3 stationary barrels in a cloverleaf pattern. But it turns out, there is far more to it than that. Whether you're a barrel racer or not, if you are involved with horses and the world of western competition, you won't want to miss this one.

Heather has also written several books on barrel racing:

Secrets to Barrel Racing Success (Vol 1)

The Confident Barrel Racer

The First 51 Barrel Racing Exercises to Develop a Champion (Vol 2)

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_50_Heather_Smith_102115_MIX.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:22am MDT

Today's episode features an interview I did with horseman, Van Hargis for the Cowboy Champions Summit this past June. I got a lot of great feedback on this interview, so I wanted to share it with those of you who missed the summit. Van talks about how to make horsemanship simple by "reducing to the ridiculous."

Just a reminder, I would still love to get your audio bumpers, bios and stories to play on the podcast. Go to www.speakpipe.com/eyspurs to leave a message that's 90 seconds or less. If you'd like to leave me a longer recording, email me at alyssa@earnyourspurs.com, and I'll give you instructions on how to do that.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_49_Van_Hargis_092915_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:53am MDT

Cliff Schadt Jr. is not your typical cowboy. In fact, he grew up in a family of hunter jumper trainers on Long Island, New York. Even so, he knew from a young age, that there was "cowboy" in his blood. That hankering eventually led him to the west where he worked on ranches in Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana as well as for renowned horseman, Craig Cameron. Listen in to hear Cliff's story and get a little inspiration to chase after your own dreams.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_48_Cliff_Schadt_082515_MIX.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

In this episode I speak to the Owner of Colorado Cattle Company, Tom Carr. He tells the story of how he came to love and later own his dream working cattle ranch/dude ranch, and why it's a great option for a vacation if you're into that sort of thing. This interview was a ton of fun and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_47-_Tom_Carr_072115_MIX.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:15pm MDT

Maybe you are familiar with National Day ofthe American Cowboy already. Perhaps you have been to one of the dozens of events held across the US and even in other countries, to celebrate the iconic cowboy hero. However much you think you know, I guarantee you will learn something from this interview with Bethany Braley who is the driving force behind this national celebration. Plus, learn how you can be instrumental in getting this special day recognized in your home state. It's coming up on July 25th!

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_46_Bethany_Braley_071715_MIX.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm MDT

When I ask my guests at the end of each episode what they think is the most important quality for any good cowboy to have, I get answers like, "integrity," "kindness," "honesty," and "grit." Never once have I heard, "the ability to rope two feet every time they throw their loop."

Being a great cowboy is so much more than knowing how to ride a horse or rope a steer.

Today's guest, Kent Noble, of The Center for Cowboy Ethics talks about how his organization is teaching people to live more like the cowboys of the silver screen and follow the Cowboy Code established by the organization's founder, Jim Owen.


Direct download: EYSP_Episode_45_-_Kent_Noble__070815_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:45am MDT

In this episode, I speak with equine clinician Tim Hayes. Tim never rode a horse until he was 48 years old, but was fortunate enough to learn with some of the greatest horsemen to ever live. Today he travels the country giving his own clinics and he recently came out with a book, Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal.

He explores the power of horses to act as a catalyst for healing and rehabilitation in prisoners, military personnel and people with disabilities. Some of the profound transformations that take place are downright remarkable.

Direct download: EYSP20Episode20442020Tim20Hayes2006261520MIX.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

This week's episode features the president of American Hat Company, Keith Mundee. He shares some helpful information about how hats are made, how to judge the quality of a hat, and what the "kids" are wearing these days. And if you are a connoisseur of fine hats yourself, Keith shares an amazing tip about treating hats as family heirlooms and what he is doing for each of his grandkids.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_43_Keith_Mundee__062315_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Andrea Otley is a health and fitness coach who specializes in helping riders reach their goals. As a barrel racer and reined cowhorse competitor, Andrea understands firsthand how developing your fitness can be a huge asset for having more success with your horses and better results in the show pen. She is also a mother of three and knows that getting and staying fit takes work.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_42_Andrea_Otley_061615_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:07pm MDT

The Cowboy Champions Virtual Summit features top horsemen and rodeo athletes sharing their expert knowledge about what it takes to be a champion. The sessions will boost your confidence and help motivate you to push yourself to the next level. In this episode of the podcast, I share some previews from a few of the speaker sessions. Register for Free at www.cowboysummit.com.

Direct download: Episode_41_CCS_Preview_mixdown_tagged.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Today's episode features Brand Manager for Olathe Boot Company, Steven Kahla. We talk about fit, function and fashion of the modern-day cowboy boot. And I can almost guarantee you will learn something new (I know I did!)

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_40_-_Steven_Kahla_052615_mix_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:49am MDT

Bret Beach is a multiple time NFR qualifier and the founder of totalteamroping.com. He loves to rope and he loves teaching newcomers how to get started and how to win. In this episode, Bret offers some great advice to those looking to get into the sport of team roping on roping, riding and finding the right horse.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_39__Bret_Beach__051915_mix_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:54am MDT

Laura Jean Schneider is one half of a young ranching couple, neither of who grew up with any experience in ranching. Her husband, Sam, is a Yale architecture grad. We talk about how they were able to get their cattle business started, what it's been like learning the tricks of the trade, and what it is really like living in a solar-powered camp trailer.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_38_Laura_Jean_Schneider_051215_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06am MDT

If you listened to the Christmas episode of the show, you already met my brother Bryce. But I wanted to have him back on in a more "official" capacity. So today's episode is all about what he does as the assistant rodeo coach at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. It's a great episode for anyone who wants to get into college rodeo or just wants to learn how rodeo and higher education collide.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_37_Bryce_Barnes_050315_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Today is a special bonus episode of the Earn Your Spurs podcast where I am going to introduce you to my friend, John Harrer of the Whoa Podcast. If you love the Earn Your Spurs podcast, you have to check out the Whoa Podcast. And this is a special episode, because the Whoa Podcast wasn't always the Whoa Podcast. It actually started out as the Downunder Horsemanship Podcast, inspired by John's journey with Clinton Anderson and "the Method" video training series. And this is the 100th episode of the Whoa Podcast featuring the man himself, mister Clinton Anderson. Enjoy.

Direct download: Bonus_Episode_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:34am MDT

If you're looking for inspiration inside the world of rodeo, look no further than Kaila Mussell. Kaila started breaking colts as a kid, moved onto trick riding and just to turn the intensity up another notch, she started riding broncs. And she did it so well, she became the only woman in the history of professional rodeo (so far) to earn a PRCA card in the saddle bronc riding.

In this episode, we talk about her career, the obstacles she's overcome and why she keeps climbing back in the saddle, even when a whole lot of people tell her not to.

Plus, don't miss the BIG announcement revealed in this episode!

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_36_Kaila_Mussell_042615_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

One of the biggest struggles riders at any level have is building and maintaining confidence. After all, being an effective rider requires a strong grasp of your attitude and knowing how to use it to your advantage. Today, Barbra Schulte is my guest on the show and she is going to give us a bit of an attitude adjustment to help us build confidence and become better riders and competitors using the power of our minds.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_35_Barbara_Schulte_041315_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Karen is a Top 50 Riding Instructor with American Riding Instructor's Association and after talking with her, it is no surprise. Karen has a unique ability to teach her clients proper riding technique and form. But beyond that, she can explain the practical reason behind each command, which makes it much easier for her riders to understand and replicate the maneuvers. She travels the world lecturing on horse and rider biomechanics, which we discuss in this episode.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_34_Karen_Ososki_041115_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

I have always been interested in psychology, coaching and how the mind works. In fact, I was even a psychology major for one semester (more on that another time)... So, when I heard about life coaching and therapy using horses, I just had to learn more. Today's guest and fellow Montana resident, Jaimie Stoltzfus explains just exactly how she uses horses as a vehicle to initiate change and allow the people who come to see her to let go of the baggage that is holding them back.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_33_Jaimie_Stoltzfus_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Will Stevens is a lot of things, including a rancher, deputy sheriff, and cafe owner. But up until a couple years ago, he never dreamed he would also become the father of the hottest sport in Texas right now. That's right, goat roping is taking Texas - and soon the rest of the country - by storm. It's easy to get started and the money up for grabs at the World's Richest Goat Roping is nothing to sneeze at. In this episode, Will and I talk about what exactly goat roping is, how to get started, and what you can do if you want to host your own event!

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_32__Will_Stevens_032915_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

In this episode, I wanted celebrate the four-legged stars of the rodeo arena. Unfortunately, they tend to be a little on the quiet side during an interview. So, instead, I have Cindy Schonholtz, Director of Industry Outreach and Livestock Welfare for the PRCA to discuss these amazing athletes.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_31_Cindy_Schonholtz_032015_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

FJ thomas is a barrel racer, author and horse show judge. She has had a love affair with horses since she talked her parents into getting her a pony as a little girl. Her latest endeavor is a blog called Cowgirls with Curves, where she interviews women who struggle with body image becuase they don't fit the stereotypical "cowgirl" mold. Because FJ has struggled with her own body image confidence, she is especially sensitive to the issues these women experience and is hoping to encourage them to love themselves as they are and go after their dreams.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_30_Frances_Thomas_031215_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Today I speak with someone who has managed to make a career out of studying cowboy culture. Dr. Richard Slatta is a professor at North Carolina State University who has lived all over the west and in Latin America. We talk about some of the earliest origins of what we know as the American Cowboy, what drives him to do what he does, and how he and the horse have worked together seamlessly throughout the years. We also talk about what Rich refers to as the "cowboy renaissance," which includes an upswing in the celebration of cowboy culture over the last decade.

Direct download: EYSP_Richard_Slatta_030815_mix_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Help me celebrate 6 months of the Earn Your Spurs Podcast on this solo episode! I talk about getting to know my amazing listeners, the survey you can complete for a chance to win a pair of Cinch Jeans (everyone gets an Earn Your Spurs sticker), and finding western activities in your local area.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_28__Alyssa_Solo_022815_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Kari Lynn Dell is a mother, ranch wife, author and rodeo cowgirl living on her family's ranch outside of Cut Bank, Montana on the Blackfoot Indian Reservation. She is so far North, she can see Canada from her back porch. In this episode, we talk about  what life on the ranch is really like, how she feels about working with her husband and her newly-released first published novel, The Long Ride Home.

Direct download: _Keri_Dell_022215_Ep_27_mix__2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

If you are a PBR fan, you no doubt remember Ross Coleman from his days as a fixture on the Built Ford Tough Series. But today we're talking about the 4-legged stars of the PBR and the people who raise them. Ross represents American Bucking Bulls' Backseat Buckers program. With a little extra cash, you can own a PBR bucking bull, even if you live in a highrise.

Direct download: Ross_Coleman_021515_Ep_26_mix_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Today I speak with Lyle Sankey of Sankey Rodeo Schools. Lyle was one of the few cowboys who qualified for the NFR in all three roughstock events - bareback, saddle brond and bull riding. Today he puts on schools across the country teaching future rodeo cowboys the fundamentals and giving those who are just looking for a one day adventure, the ride of their lives.

Direct download: Lyle_Sanky_020615_e25_mix_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Al Sandvold has been a bullfighter for more than 20 years. Why would anyone want to fight bulls or a living, you ask? Well, Al tells us the answer, for him anyway. Learn the finer points of cowboy protection in this interview.

Direct download: Al_Sandvold_012815_mix_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

In this episode, I talk to "Buckaroogirl," Adrian Brannan about her cowboy music, her bronc riding days and why she thinks it's so important to pass our western traditions onto anyone who is interested in listening. Adrian is so much fun! You won't want to miss this episode.

Direct download: Adrian_Brannan_012315_e23_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Today, I have no guest on the show. It is just me talking about the number 1 thing that I think holds people back from living out their western dreams - fear. I talk about the inspirational Fallon Taylor and how she has made a promise to raise the bar for rodeo by welcoming newcomers into the sport. I endeavor to do the same, not just in rodeo, but in whatever western activity appeals to them. You guys can do this! Don't let fear stand in your way!

Direct download: Episode_22_Alyssa_Barnes_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

You may have heard I am developing a new podcast called Cowboy Q&A, but I need your questions in order to roll it out! Simply go to www.earnyourspurs.com/cowboy-qa to leave me a voicemail of your question. Today's bonus episode features two questions from my friend John Harrer of the Whoa Podcast and gives you an example of the format of the future podcast!

Direct download: Bonus_Episode_John_Harrer_mixdown_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT

Christie Schulte is the director of the Time To Ride Program. Time To Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council to make horses more accessible to newcomers, especially families with kids. Today we talk about this great program and how you can get involved, whether you want to ride or want to offer a place to ride.

Direct download: Episode_21_Christie_Schulte_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

Sam Finden is a 29 year old blogger, author, hunter, horseman, and all-around good guy who made his way from Minnesota to Montana with the intention of living the western lifestyle. He grew up with limited horse experience and came to the cowboy way of life later than most, starting at 24.

Shortly after moving to Montana, Sam published his first book, Saddle My Good Horse, a clean educational fiction about high school rodeo and teenage ranching life. Many of the characters in the book were inspired by people Sam met in his travels, and many of the lessons contained in the book were not so easily learned by the author. 

Direct download: Episode_20_Sam_Finden_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am MDT