CHEYENNE, Wyo. (KDVR) — Jennifer Nicholson was 9 years old when she started to ride horses. To her, every cowgirl was her hero.
“When I was a little girl, I had this incredible passion to be with horses,“ Nicholson said.
Her family thought her love of riding was a phase. She even tried college, but that horse didn’t run. Nicholson decided to pursue her love of trick roping and trick riding.
“Before I knew it I was jumping on and off horses at full speed and standing up on them. I was absolutely scared to death,“ Nicholson said.
Maybe she was scared, but she was definitely good. Now, Nicholson owns Riata Ranch International in California.
“Riata Ranch is a place where we connect people to ranching lifestyles and horses,“ Nicholson said.
The trick riders perform at every rodeo at the Cheyenne Frontier Days.
That’s where 16-year-old Edyn Blum comes in. She’s not from a ranch, not a cowgirl, her dad is a surfer. Her mom is a snowboarder. Eden learned to ride horses for the thrill. It is in her family’s DNA.
“Yes. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to learn because it’s just everything against what I know, which is being in the ocean,“ Blum said.
Riata Ranch Cowboy Girl Bailey Jean Gabel explains the modified saddle used for trick riding.
“First, we have an elongated horn, and we have extra straps on the saddle. These are used to drag off the back and we also have Cooper handles which are for tricks that are involved off the butt,” Gabel said.
The Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls are enjoyed by fans around the world, even the queen of England.
“We performed for the queen of England. She went to Windsor Castle for her diamond jubilee and we got to be part of her celebration at Windsor Castle. I got to meet the queen and I had tea with her,“ Nicholson said.
Nicholson said she is an ordinary woman who lived an extraordinary life. We don’t think she is an ordinary woman at all.