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







May 2024
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When this episode is published, I will be really close to having a baby (my first) if I haven't already. So this is a very special episode for me. Andrea and I talk about what it's like to get back in the saddle and back in shape after giving birth and perhaps most importantly, we talk about how to not lose sight of our own goals and dreams as we start to make our children's a priority. With three young children herself, Andrea shares some great insights with me that will hopefully be valuable to you other horse-loving mothers and mothers-to-be out there.

It is a time for endings and new beginnings for me and ultimately I've decided to let this episode be a punctuation mark to the last 55 episodes of the Earn Your Spurs podcast. My audience has been amazing and I appreciate you so much! Please know that this is not that last you've seen of me and I will be back with a new podcast geared specifically toward women and horses this fall. Please make sure you are on my email list (you can join at earnyourspurs.com) so that you don't miss any of the details.

Thank you again for being a part of my amazing audience!

Direct download: EYSP20Episode205520Motherhood20and20Horses2006201620mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

In this episode, Andrea and I chat about some of the negativity that can crop up at horse events and how, as a new competitor, you shouldn't let it get you down. While most western folks are great, as we all know, just one bad apple can really ruin our days...but only if we let it.

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_54_Andrea_Autley_053116_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

I recently wrote a blog post titled, "This Part Time Cowboy Lifestyle, is it Really Worth it All?" where I wrote about the reasons, even with all the struggles that go along with it, this lifestyle is totally worth it to me.

I got a lot of feedback on this post and wanted to dive into it a little deeper on the show today with my new co-host, Andrea Otley.

You may remember Andrea from her interview on Episode 42 of the podcast where she talked about her passion, helping riders get in great shape.

In the next few episodes we'll be talking about topics that impact riders both psychologically and physically, with the goal of helping you to build your confidence and be more successful with your horse!

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_53__Is_It_Really_Worth_it_050416_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

I find January to be a great time to make plans and set goals for the upcoming year. I don't know about you, but I nearly always feel like I didn't spend enough time with my horses when December rolls around, and in January I'm thinking about ways to remedy the situation. But the truth is, if I don't get really serious about what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year, I will likely be disappointed once again at the end of the next 12 month stretch. In this episode, I talk about what we can do to ensure that we are continually making progress throughout the year, by starting with setting SMART goals in January. 

Direct download: EYSP_Episode_52_ALYSSA_SOLO_011716_mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am MDT

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

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