Hi everyone! I’m super excited to be a part of the 2016 Cowgirl Dreams Team!
My name is Stephanie Barrett, and I’m from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I don’t come from a horse family, but like so many young girls, I went through a “horse crazy” stage. My parents purchased my first horse for me when I was 12 years old, and more than 20 years later I can still remember them voicing their doubts that my “phase” would last beyond a couple of months.
I’m very close with my family, and although I don’t have children of my own at this point, I love spending time with my 3 nieces. I have an amazing boyfriend (Chris), who isn’t a “horse guy,” but he’s extremely supportive, and can be found picking stalls and carrying water buckets, or sharing a snack with my horse at the barrel races.
I started out as a teenager, going to some NBHA shows, and eventually some open rodeos. Through the years, I have been fortunate enough to compete at MSRA, IPRA, and WPRA rodeos. I’ve been blessed to have qualified for the Mid-States Finals Rodeo, World’s Toughest Rodeo Finals, as well as the Superkicker finals. Things seem to have come full circle, and now I find myself going to more barrel races and open rodeos, as it’s more feasible at this time to stay close to home.
Barrel racing has offered me the opportunity to form some amazing friendships. The comradery and sportsmanship is like nothing I’ve experienced elsewhere, and I’m grateful for the relationships I’ve developed along the way. If I’m not on my horse at the barrel race or rodeo, you’ll probably find me at a friend’s trailer chatting away (and losing track of time)!
I’m a fairly private person, so there’s sure to be a lot of things that people don’t know about me. If I’m not working or riding my horses however, my nose is probably stuck in a book. I’m an insomniac, so I tend to read from about midnight until 3 or 4 a.m. on most days. I’ve found that life itself is pretty real, so I pretty much stick with complete fictional reading! I’m all over the board in life, I graduated from Davenport University with a degree in Management, and a Bachelor’s in Human Resources, but just recently started work on a Master’s of Accountancy.
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to ride and learn from some outstanding horses, including Rockets Wonder Girl (Rocket), Rare Easter Jet (Easy), and currently Chris Lucky Bug (Cooter). I’m a firm believer that you learn something new every single time you swing a leg over your horse, but those three horses taught me the biggest lessons. From them I learned that the size of a horse doesn’t matter nearly as much as the size of their heart. Great horses don’t make excuses, they try their hardest no matter the circumstance. Horses have egos that are at times much larger than ours; and they can humble us in the blink of an eye. Most importantly I’ve learned from them that in order to reach our goals or “dreams,” we’ve got to do our homework, put in the time and effort, face our fears, and keep plugging away regardless of the setbacks that we’re sure to face.