Meet the Member Slade Thompson
story by Julie Carter When you’re not naturally gifted with talent, you make it look like you are with try. Portales Junior High rough stock […]
story by Lindsay Humphrey
Although Addison Kinser is a first-generation rodeo competitor, she’s no stranger to riding and roping out on the ranch with her family. Even though this 13-year-old first competed in rodeo at just 4 years old, other sports drew her away from the arena. She finally returned last fall as a seventh grader, but this time Addison was ready to give it her best shot. “I always rode on the ranch and did stuff like that. I really liked doing that at home, so I just figured I might as well compete since I have the horses for it,” said the Capitan, New Mexico, cowgirl.
Although Addison quit gymnastics in favor of devoting more time to rodeo, she still plays volleyball, basketball, softball and runs track at Capitan Junior High School. “Balancing everything is really tough, but my mom (Meghan) and my grandma (Connie Hanley) help me out. They give me rides to practice and games and then they also help me exercise my horses so they stay in shape.” Rarely does a day go by when Addison isn’t riding with both her mom and grandma. Both of these influential women have been instrumental in shaping Addison as a rider and rodeo competitor. Addison is a third-generation rancher on the women-led outfit, following in the footsteps of her mom and grandma raising commercial Angus cattle and bison.
Life on the ranch lends itself to improving Addison’s skills and confidence in the saddle. Addison’s mom said her daughter is a huge part of the ranching operation. Those roping skills came in clutch this fall roping bulls. “Riding and working on the ranch gives me a lot of confidence with my rodeo horses because there’s no pressure like there is in the arena. It lets me get to know them better too.” Both Addison’s mom and grandma serve as role models for this junior higher, but Connie rises to the top of the list currently. “She’s a really great rider and she always knows what to do with the horses if anything happens to them.”
Addison has recently taken up both cutting and reined cow horse and luckily Connie is well-versed in those events. She also competes in goat tying, breakaway roping, pole bending and barrel racing in the NMJHSRA. Both barrels and poles are tied for Addison’s favorite events. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that her barrel and pole horse are one in the same. “My barrel horses are really good and it’s easy for me to connect with them. I like working with both of them quite a bit.” Of course, going fast in both events is just a fringe benefit that adds to Addison’s affinity for the speed events.
This rodeo season Addison is finally starting to feel like she understands the mechanics for riding and competing on a horse. “Things have really started to click this year. I understand how my horses move and how to do all of the different events with them.” Confidence in the arena has been Addison’s greatest barrier when it comes to competition. Consistent practice and a strong support system both at home and NMJHSRA events have really bolstered Addison’s confidence in herself and her skills. Although Addison enjoys all aspects of rodeo, she’s really loved the travel and the ability to see new places and meet new people.
If Addison wasn’t busy enough keeping up with all her events, helping on the family outfit and keeping up with school, she’s also an active member in her school’s FFA chapter. She serves as reporter as a junior officer and is also a member of the National Junior Honor Society. “One of my friends suggested we should show livestock and we both picked pigs. After that I got really into it and so I kept it up for the last few years.” Showing livestock actually helped Addison earn money for some of her current rodeo mounts.
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