Rodeo Life: You took a break from competing full time to
start and raise a family, how was the transition leaving rodeo
and how was it getting back to competing full time?
Nellie Miller: Transitioning from rodeo to family life came at
a good time for me. At the time I felt like my horse was slowing
down a bit and I didn’t have anything to replace him so I was
happy to take a bit of a break from rodeo and I really enjoyed
every minute of becoming a new wife and mom. You really find
out what life is all about after having kids so I wouldn’t trade
that for the world. After our second daughter was born I started
to get the itch to try it again mainly because Sister was coming
on pretty strong and I felt like she had what it took to make a
rodeo horse. Learning how to rodeo with kids was a bit of a
challenge and soon realized I needed to recruit a lot more help
than what I had in the past. My family and friends really stepped
up and made it work for me and I am so grateful for that.
RL: What is the life of a professional Barrel Racer like?
NM: Life of a professional Barrel Racer is not as glamorous as
one might think but what job is? There are a lot of miles behind
the wheel and strategic planning that goes into every run, but
the reward of a winning run is the best feeling in the world.
Barrel Racing is the only thing I have ever wanted to do and so
for me to actually be able to do it full time and have the success
I’ve had, has been a dream come true.
RL: How many rodeos are you traveling to this year?
NM: So far this year I have been to twenty-five rodeos, which
is less than any of my previous years. Fortunately, I had some
pretty big wins early on in the year, which allowed me to be
home a little more than usual. This has been nice since our
oldest daughter started school it can get a little hectic trying
to keep up with everybody’s schedule.
RL: What is the training schedule with Sister like? How do you
keep her fresh over the course of that many rodeos?
NM: While on the road it can be a challenge to find a place to
work your horse. A lot of the time you just have to adjust from
run to run. Sister is smart and it only takes small corrections to
get her back on track after a bad run. I try to exercise her every
day however depending on how much she is getting used I will
give her breaks as needed or change my riding to fit whatever
she feels like. It is a fine line between keeping her fresh and
keeping her focused so I really try to pay attention to her
attitude from day to day.
Rodeo LIFE 13