story by Ruth Nicolaus Out of about 1,200 students at Loveland (Colo.) High School, Colton Clymer is the only one he knows that competes in […]
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Meet the Member Josey Snidow
story by Darlene Craven
Consistency is the key element to 16-year old Josey Snidow’s rodeo success and it shows in her Colorado High School Rodeo Association (CSHSRA) standings where she is sitting at third in breakaway roping, fifth in girls cutting and tenth in pole bending. 2018 was a banner year when Josey split third in the state in breakaway and finished seventh in poles. At the 2019 state finals in Craig, Colorado, Josey posted a third in breakaway roping.
A new year means a new goal – qualifying for the high school nationals in 2020. That will take lots of practice and, as Josey puts it, “Learning how to control my thought patterns and not over think things.” Her fastest time, roping 2.5 in Greeley, happened so fast Josey “didn’t know her brain worked that fast.” Muscle memory took over and Josey knows that kind of conditioning takes finding that sweet spot again in working together with her horse.
A Colorado native, Josey was born in Grand Junction and now lives in “the middle of nowhere” in Parachute, Colorado, where her parents developed a 6-acre property to include a full size arena and horse runs for the twelve to thirteen head they currently keep. When they first moved in, there was just a house and some land. Her dad, Donnie, built an arena and runs for the horses. Josey remembers playing in the dirt piles her dad made for her and her siblings and cousins. Donnie, and her mom, Jamie, are proud to be able support Josey’s rodeo career. Jamie works at Terra Energy and Donnie manages Cross Excavation in Parachute. Jamie rodeoed in high school and Donnie teams up with Josey roping at local jackpots. Josey’s aunt, Brandi Spaid, who lives in Grand Junction, also trains and shows cutting horses. Josey considers herself blessed to have such great family support even if she doesn’t always get what they are trying to teach her. Josey explains, “They are always supportive and encouraging. And my aunt helps me get stronger in learning how to do it right.”
Donnie and Jamie also have instilled a work ethic in their kids. Josey rarely needs prompting to get out in the arena by herself to practice. Dad pays her to ride his horse and she also has a part-time job teaching kids how to ride. Seeing those kids with “big old smiles on their faces is the cutest thing.”
As with most competitive, active teenagers, Josey’s spare time is rare. She is a sophomore at the local country school where the weight training class is her favorite. Winter means a break from rodeo and basketball takes over. When she isn’t practicing roping or basketball, Josey spends time with her boyfriend, Jacob Walck, who prefers cattle, but they have fun roping on dummies together. Jacob “puts up with her sass” and Josey considers him her best friend. There’s also a younger sister, Kashlynn, who has commandeered Josey’s pole bending horse for her own. And a Dachshund named Loop who is best buddies with Donnie.
Rodeo season means packing up the living quarters trailer and getting down the road. The Snidow family travels with Josey’s aunt and her family and they travel across the state, never leaving home without sunflower seeds, cheddar popcorn and Mentos gum. Josey’s best horse, Bird, a 13-year-old roan horse who does anything Josey asks of her, especially pole bending goes with her. Hollywood, a loaner from her cousin, goes for the goat tying but “he’s a pain in the butt because he’s kinda lazy.”
Josey’s wins have qualified her for trips to the high school nationals, Rapid City, South Dakota in 2018, and in Rock Springs, Wyoming last year. The traveling also included a pretty cool side trip to Mount Rushmore. But it was the Cowboy State that made a lasting impression on Josey. Wyoming is where she wants to move after high school. Future plans include getting certified as a medical coder so she has a backup plan to her true goal of establishing a horse trading and training business in her aunt’s footsteps.
Another goal is to meet Hailey Kinsel Lockwood. Though Josey confesses to “not knowing what to say to her because she’s so cool.” Goals and consistency in working toward them are what is defining Josey Snidow’s life these days and that is right where she wants to be.