GREAT FALLS – As summer approaches, more events are ramping up such as the Big Sky Regional Rodeo Finals that took place over the weekend in Great Falls.
Behind the stalls, the people that compete start training weeks, sometimes months, before a rodeo.
“Coming off of winter, I start a month and a half before our first rodeo and just start long-trotting and doing circles and strengthening muscles and doing specific drills for specific horses,” said Sierra Young, a 21-year-old University of Montana Western rodeo team member.
It’s not just her that has to train, but her horse too.
“I have to have him in shape before I go and start roping live cattle and that usually takes about three weeks.”
Just like those who play football or basketball, passion is behind it and they train just as hard.
“It’s definitely a lifestyle, not just a sport,” said Young. “There’s the training of your own body and being mental prepared and in shape, as well as the training of your horses and having them conditioned.”
No matter how experienced the rider or the horse is.
“It takes a lot of time and effort for anyone who’s in rodeo, whether they’re winning at the top of their rodeo scene or they’re just there giving it their all, they’re all putting in 110 percent, working every day.”
Young competed in barrel racing and breakaway, but did not place.
She said she was disqualified for tipping a barrel.
Reporting by Kaley Collins for MTN News