story by Ruth Nicolaus Kate Rathjen has set standards and goals for herself. When the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association cowgirl was a little girl, […]
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Meet the Member Taryn Underwood
story by Ruth Nicolaus
Taryn Underwood has the best daddy in the world. He’s given her good advice, like pointing out that if she chooses not to rodeo in college, she can pick up the sport after college and rodeo for years as an adult.
Or offering counsel like, there’s no room for boys. “Like my dad says, boys make you lose focus, and you should always focus on yourself,” Taryn said. “Boys are out of the question.”
He’s a wise man, she admits, even though sometimes they argue.
The Nebraska High School Rodeo Association member, who lives near Crawford, Neb., competes in the barrel racing and pole bending.
She rides two home-raised horses. Quarter is her sixteen-hand gray mare she uses for the barrels, and Cash is her bay mare she uses for the poles. She trained them herself. Her sophomore year, her horse colicked and died, so she needed new horsepower. “My dad said, ‘these two (Quarter and Cash) are probably the fastest horses we have, and they always work hard for me on the ranch, so get to work’” training them. So she did. “I instantly fell in love with them.” Quarter was easier to train than Cash. She and Cash “butt heads a lot,” she said. But they’re wonderful animals. “They’re overall amazing athletes.”
As a 2019 graduate of Crawford High School, Taryn calls herself “very much a science nerd.” She took every high school science class she could: medical terminology, chemistry, and anatomy and physiology. The only science class she didn’t take was physics, because she couldn’t fit it in her schedule.
In high school, she was involved in FFA, basketball, and did one-acts and speech her freshman year.
She loved her time at Crawford High. “Crawford has amazing teachers,” she said. “They are so helpful. The classes I took this semester were very challenging but it was never too much of a challenge. The teachers always managed to help me when I struggled.”
This fall she will attend college and hopes to go into human services. She’s undecided about collegiate rodeo; as her dad pointed out, she can focus on college now and rodeo later.
For fun, Taryn loves to hang out with friends, cruising the streets of Chadron, a bigger town than Crawford, which is 23 northeast of Crawford. She loves to go to movies. Her favorite movies are The Notebook and Lonesome Dove.
Taryn’s favorite food her mom makes is spaghetti. She loves chocolate cake with ice cream on top, and loves to cook, although she doesn’t want to cook for her family too often because then it becomes a chore instead of being fun. Her specialty is beefy enchiladas, with hamburger, sour cream, and lots of cheese. She likes to make her own unique enchilada sauce using a can of chili with no beans and a can of enchilada sauce, all mixed together.
Her favorite beverage is any Gatorade flavor except for pink, and she loves the Trolli Sour Brite Eggs, Sloths and Octopuses. Actually, she likes nearly any kind of candy.
Taryn competed at the state finals in Hastings last year in the barrels.
She has an older sister, Jessee, who is 22, and a younger sister, Tylea, who is fourteen. She is the daughter of Brad and Tobie Underwood.