Meet the Member Magdalena Lujan
story by Lindsay Humphrey Before Magdalena Lujan was ever born, she already had her first horse. She was destined to love horses from the very […]
story by Lindsay Humphrey
The moment Dorien Henio steps foot on rodeo ground, the world and all its chaos melts away. Dorien’s at his best when he’s loaded in a chute or mounted on a horse. Even though the 18-year-old is in his rookie season with the NMHSRA, he was born with strong ties to rodeo. He’s now a fourth-generation bull rider. “Riding bulls is in my bloodline. Everyone around me has or is riding bulls: grandpa, dad, uncles, cousins, my younger brother,” said the Naschitti, New Mexico, cowboy. Dorien tightened his first bull rope when he was just 5 years old, but that was on a steer. He jumped on his first “real” bull 6 years later. “I enjoy bull riding because I was born into it and it’s fun.”
Always up for a challenge, Dorien is learning how to steer wrestle and team rope. “Nobody in my family has ever steer wrestled. A friend’s dad (Sheridan Jodie) asked me to give it a try at their house, so I did. It’s something different for me and I enjoy it.” Of the five NMHSRA events this past fall, Dorien entered steer wrestling at four of them. After only competing in the event twice, Dorien took second place and a check to cash. “It’s been a good experience for me. I like learning new things.” It’s clear Dorien is a quick study when he puts his mind to something.
It’s also Dorien’s first year competing on a PRCA permit. “I’m just trying to get the feel of this pro rodeo thing. I rode two bulls at a Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo event in January and so far 2021 is off to a good start.” Dorien has always wanted to rodeo with the NMHSRA, but he was committed to several other associations: the Indian Junior Rodeo Association, Navajo Nation Rodeo Association, and the New Mexico Junior Bull Riders Association. Dorien didn’t drop any of his previous rodeo commitments, he just added high school and professional rodeo to the roster. “It’s my senior year, so I figured I should give it a shot. It has helped me keep my grades up. I’m just trying to have fun my senior year; trying to make it a good one.” If Dorien wouldn’t have started competing in the NMHSRA, the opportunity to steer wrestle might not have presented itself.
“I have had so many opportunities come my way and I’m always trying to take advantage of them. Steer wrestling is a good example and so is team roping. They’ve both been treating me well.” The on-going global pandemic is making Dorien’s resolve to seize every opportunity a bit more difficult. “COVID is making it kind of tough to get food and supplies for both us and the animals in some places. We’re also traveling a lot further in New Mexico to get to rodeos and even leaving the state for some.” Luckily, Dorien enjoys visiting new places, mainly because that’s how he’s met the people who have directed his rodeo career.
“Along the way, I’ve gotten to meet good people who pushed and helped me become better. Like my friend Cody Jesus, who is one of only a few Navajo riders in the PBR. Cody helps me as best as he can and hasn’t forgotten about me.” Of course, there are lots of other people making up the cheering section at home and on the road. That, of course, includes his parents, Dwayne and Darnell; his siblings, Delijah, 21, Dwayne Jr., 16, and Delshay, 11; and uncles, Johnyett Begay and Bahe Henio. “They all really help push me to do my best and they are always supporting me in every way possible. I want to thank everyone who has done that for me, it means a lot. I’m always thinking about the people who are supporting me while I’m at a rodeo and I don’t forget anybody who’s told me right from wrong or given me good advice. I’ll always remember what they said to me. And the people that pray for my safety; it’s the small things that matter.”
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