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Not The Typical Cowgirl 1

Most of the time when people think about roughstock events like Bull Riding or Saddle Bronc, they think about cowboys. After all, climbing on a four thousand pound bull, or getting bucked off face down by a twelve-hundred pound horse is a bit intimidating. However, there are women that compete in these events just like the men do.


One of those tough women is Kaila Mussell. As you can probably guess, Kaila is not your typical cowgirl. Then one of the cool thing about cowgirls is that they’re never very really fit a mold.

Kaila is the first woman to hold a PRCA Card in professional rodeo. PRCA Contestant Card member must first become a Permit Member and fill a permit by earning at least $1,000 at PRCA-sanctioned rodeos. So, the fact that Kaila holds a PRCA Card is no small feat.


As if being a Saddle Bronc rider isn’t tough enough, Kaila rode eventing horses as a child and did Trick Riding for a number of years. As a teenager, she power lifted. A few years back, she trained for mix martial arts fighting. She’s also a certified fitness trainer.


In 2014, Kaila broke her neck in two places riding a bronc at a smaller rodeo. Initially, being the tough gal that she is, she didn’t go to the hospital until over a day later. In the end, her C5, C6, and C7 and required surgery in November 2014.


This year, in true cowgirl style, Kaila is back riding Saddle Bronc and she’s stronger than ever. While she’s received some criticism for stepping back in the saddle after a severe injury, she’s not let it deter her from following her dreams.


Alyssa Barnes with Earn Your Spurs podcast recently did an interview with Kaila and talked about the difficulties she’s faced over the years in the sport of rodeo. You can listen to the interview on the Earn Your Spurs website.


If you’d like to keep up with Kaila, you can find her on Instagram and on Facebook. She’s always posting cool pics from her travels, and telling a little bit about her life as a rodeo cowgirl and certified Equine Sports Therapist.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sure looking forward to what this cowgirl has in store!









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Rescue Dogs Rock! 1

Anyone who has read my blogs know that I am involved in animal rescue. Mostly dogs, but I have taken in the odd cat or two and a few horses over the years. It’s always such a great feeling to see that unwanted pet find a new purpose in life with a person that loves them and thinks they are the most amazing creature in the world.

Recently I have had two of my rescue dogs go on to futures that are so incredible that I just have to share them with you.  Mind you, these dogs were both “throw-away” dogs that no one wanted and they would have been euthanized if they weren’t rescued.

Oliver is the first dog. My daughter in law posted a picture in December of this past year of a small pup that had wandered into their front yard, climbed onto an old chair at the neighbor’s ( they lived in a three-plex) and had promptly fallen asleep. She could see that he wasn’t well and so she called my daughter who went and picked him up. I named him Twister, because one ear was all twisted in on itself, and he was a real mess. Bloated tummy, pale gums, covered in fleas and other detritus, Twister was not a healthy pup. I was not really in a position to care for a pup so I reached out to our community of rescuers to find him a placement. I found one in a neighboring town so my daughter and I packed him up and drove the hour or so to the rescue person’s house. The weather and traffic were horrible, and I was relieved when we arrived safely. the rescue person, however, i was not that impressed with and my misgivings were confirmed when I received a frantic call to come get the pup because she was convinced he had Parvo.  I had told her he had a severe worm infestation but there was no Parvo present, but I turned around and went back. That was when I decided to just keep Twister until he was better and I took him back home.

Poor Twister had a really rough start in life. On top of a life-threatening worm/parasite infestation he also developed mange and had the beginning stages of rickets due to the malnourishment he suffered at such a young age.

Twister’s life took a turn for the better when my god-daughter visited one day. Mariah had recently separated from the air force, having served her time there, and was in need of a service dog for some issues she had due to her service. She fell in love with Twister, renamed him  Oliver Twist, and took him to be trained as her service dog.  Twister, now known as Oliver, has an amazing life with my god-daughter.  He attends classes with her at the local college, goes to her work with her, and is a wonderful friend and cuddle buddy for the veterans that come to receive benefits and help through my god daughter’s work. Oliver loves everyone and is gentle and loving to all. And to think he started out as a back yard mutt that had no prospects of a decent life. He is definite proof that Rescue Works!

Kiona is my other amazing story. Kiona was found running down the side of the freeway by my “other” daughter–she is my oldest daughter’s best friend from like junior high on. She waited for the highway patrol to come and animal control but no one wanted to take responsibility for her so they let Em take her home. She was disgustingly dirty and was covered in ticks and fleas. both girls took her outside that afternoon and scrubbed her with flea shampoo then spent hours picking ticks off of her one by one. The ticks were so bad they had to do this at least once a day and had to clean out her kennel daily to prevent them from spreading.

Kiona was a beautiful dog, but no one stepped up to claim ownership, so she defaulted to us. Em’s fiance and his brother both work in the security business and had connections with companies that trained guard dogs. One of them said they would be interested in looking at her. y then her tick problem had been resolved  and she began putting on weight and was quite beautiful.  the guy came out and ran a few tests with her and said yes he would take her for training.

Just a week or two ago Em got a call about Kiona. She apparently has a very gifted nose because she was trained in narcotic recovery–she became a drug-sniffing dog–and she had just been hired by our local police department! I have to admit I cried over that one. Its not often one will make it all the way through the training but Kiona excelled and now has a great life as an official police dog!

These are just two examples of how important rescue is. So many dogs are out there without homes. I think every dog deserves a home and these sort of results make me more determined than ever to make sure that any that come through my doors get the best place possible.

So the next time you are thinking of adding a new dog or cat to your family remember to adopt, don’t shop! They are the most loving and loyal of pets and you will never regret opening your heart and your home to a rescue dog.  #RescueDogsRock


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When it rains . . . 3

Sorry to be late with the blog, but we’ve had some interesting things going on night and day around my house. As some of you know I live in Colorado, and we’ve had two horrific fires, followed by a hundred year flood, followed by more rain. I haven’t watered my lawn since April. Amazing, how one minute we’re in a drought (please let this happen for California and the Pacific Northwest) and then here comes the rain and the drought is over.
But with rain comes another problem. I live on a spring. As a matter of fact all the houses, including mine have “spring” in their addresses. I’ve lived here – what, 25 years – and never thought much about it until all this rain has caused the springs beneath homes to overload, which creates other “unsanitary” problems if you catch my drift.
This left me in a panic I did not want the sewer backing into my home, which is exactly what happened to my neighbor down the street. Poor guy. That has to be an insurance nightmare. So far so good—and the cavalry—men which huge pump trucks have been working outside my house since yesterday afternoon in one of those holes they like to climb into – or not. Nevertheless, my neighbors and I are grateful.
Wish them luck—and me. Just sayin’ when it rains it pours– literally.

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