Rodeo Riding: An Interview with Penny Bruton
by Gina McKnight
Archived from the January 2020 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete
No Duplication Without Permission
From New Mexico, USA, Penny Bruton loves the rodeo. Penny is a non-professional barrel racer, riding for fun and the thrill of the event. She loves her horses and knows how to keep them in tip top condition for competing!
GM: When was your first encounter with a horse?
PB: My first encounter with a horse was when I was two and got my first pony.
GM: A cowgirl in the rodeo, you have experienced a lot of success. When did you begin barrel racing?
PB: I began barrel racing at the age of five and continued until I was nineteen. Then started back when I was forty-five and still barrel race. I don’t race professionally. I do a lot of barrel racing in New Mexico and Texas.
GM: What other rodeo events have you competed in?
PB: I also do pole bending.
GM: What horses do you currently stable? What horse are you riding now?
PB: I have a buckskin gelding who is eleven years old that I barrel race the most. I currently have a paint mare who is four years old - she is in training now. She should be ready to barrel race in March.
GM: Keeping your horse in top condition is important. What is your routine for keeping you and your horse fit to compete?
PB: I use SmartPak supplements for all my horses. My horses get better treatment than I do. They get de-wormed, shoed, and dental work on a routine schedule. I ride almost every day to keep my horses in shape. I also round pen and put my horses on a walker for exercise. I go to gym to keep myself fit.
GM: Of all the arenas you have competed in, where is your favorite arena?
PB: Carlsbad, New Mexico, is my favorite arena. They keep the ground in good condition and the people there treat you like family.
GM: I love the smell of a rodeo - the horses, cows, dust, etc. Besides competing, why do you love the rodeo?
PB: I like to meet new friends at rodeos.
GM: Do you have advice for riders looking for their first barrel horse? What qualities do you look for in a barrel horse?
PB: Keep calm and just keep practicing. I look for fit and healthy horses.
GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?
PB: Horsemanship means to ride the best you can. It’s not always about if you win or lose. But just try your best.
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