When people ask why this horse is so special to me, my answer will always be right off the bat—because he’s the last horse my daddy trained before he passed away. But he is so much more than that.
When I was a freshman in college, my daddy sent me pictures of himself next to a good-looking bay horse. At first glance, I called him up and said, “I see your missing Reggie.” He said look at the picture again. I pull the picture up again and realize this bay horse has a white star on his forehead. Reggie does not.
Whoa!! Did you get a new horse?! My dad replied that he had a new project and that he was pretty cool and had a big stop.
Fast forward, I came home from my freshman year of college and began playing on this beautiful three-year-old colt. Ears pinned, he took to chasing lead steers quick—he was flashy with a big stop and an even bigger heart. He was different than a lot of the colts I’ve seen over the years. His disposition was gentle. He wanted to please. He also loved cows. As a grandson to Hobby Horse you could say it’s bred into him.
As summer ended I head back to college and take my trusty steeds leaving this cute little dude back home, which was the best place for him. My wise old man had a way with horses and a soft touch that made horses feel at ease. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wanted to add him to my herd. I was determined to find a way and knowing my daddy was a softy for his baby girl and her passion for good horses…well this made that a bit easier. As he grew and matured into himself, I was able to watch him find his feet and his speed.
The next year, I was able to bring him to Reno and add him to my herd of rope horses! He was always different. He was always kind and a pleaser. He was my unicorn you could say—the type of horse that you can leave out in pasture for months and then jump on and he’s still the sweet boy. Throughout time and many miles on him at roping’s, home, and just enjoying riding him out in our beautiful Nevada scenery made him and I connect on an even deeper level. I loved him and I knew he loved me—a feeling that I truly cannot describe.
When I was crowned Miss Reno Rodeo, I decided to use my old faithful, Reggie, simply because he was my daddy’s and Mojo didn’t have the experience that Reggie did. My dad passed away three months into my reign and losing him was like losing a piece of myself. I had an amazing time and it was truly a time in my life that I will forever cherish.
Fast-forward two years; our beautiful Miss Reno Rodeo Alex needed a horse to ride at the rodeo. She asked if she could use Mojo. I was so honored that she thought of him and I. I told her he hadn’t been used in an arena with that many people or fireworks but I said, “ I really think he will do it” and she agreed. Luckily small world Reno, her parents are my next door neighbors on Mt. Rose and I told her to go grab him and treat him like he’s hers.
This whole conversation was over the phone as I was in Boise for a wedding the first weekend of Reno Rodeo 2017 and prayed that he would indeed do as I said he would. I waited all night nervous hoping for good news! Late that night the video and text came that I had been waiting impatiently—he did amazing. He looked like a superstar with the beautiful queen on his back. Of course in true rope horse spirit, he had his ears pinned as she pushed calves in the Reno Rodeo.
Suddenly I stopped and tears began to run down my face without notice. I couldn’t believe the last horse my daddy trained got to make us all so proud. Mojo continues to make us proud as he has had the honor of many queens riding him—including Miss Rodeo America- Kerri Sheffield.
This horse has the spirit of a gentle giant and I swear he loves little kids and the opportunity to teach 1st graders the “Three R’s—Reading, Rodeo, and Responsibility” as he is one of the Reading Roundup horses for Reno Rodeo. I am so blessed to be able to call him mine and share him with our amazing community and my second family—Reno Rodeo!
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