story by Julie Carter Cowboying at the ranch comes natural for Trip Saulsberry, but the arena part of the job didn’t start until he was […]
Association MemberJoin Rodeo News
Meet the Member Treyden Gonzales
story by Lindsay Humphrey
Treyden Gonzales is excited for the upcoming rodeo season for a myriad of reasons, but he’s mostly looking forward to competing in team roping in the NMJHSRA with new partner, Dax Sullivan. “We’ve been around each other since we were little bitty because our dads roped together for a long time,” said the 13-year-old from Los Lunas, New Mexico. “He’s one of my best friends and we’ve wanted to rope together for a lot of years.” This will be Dax’s first junior high season, but it’s Treyden’s last. “I think we can do pretty well this year. We go to jackpots almost every weekend and practice every day with my siblings.” Despite Treyden’s strong affinity for heading, he’s also an avid calf roper.
“We mainly practice tie-down and team roping every day. I like the competitiveness of them both, but I like how fast tie-down roping has to be. And that while you’re being quick, you also have to be precise.” The team aspect can be a deterrent for some competitors, but that’s Treyden’s favorite part of roping with Dax. He also doesn’t mind that team roping offers jackpots with large purses on any given weekend. “Everyone in my family ropes and rides, it’s just what we do.” Treyden’s dad, Tim, is a team roper by trade, so learning how to rope calves was a bit of a challenge. Of course, Treyden has his eyes set on adding another event to the roster soon: saddlebronc riding.
“We often rope with Taos Muncy and he wants to teach me how to ride broncs. I’ve ridden calves and steers, but now it’s time to move up to the broncs. My dad rode saddlebroncs in high school and college, so he can help me too.” Tim has taught Treyden almost everything he knows about riding since he first learned how to rope and ride. “He’s also taught me how to win. My older siblings (Morgan, 26, and Avery, 23) have helped me out too because they did junior high and high school rodeo first. My brother (Tyan, 11) helps me practice every day. And my mom, Lisha, is the backbone of the family, she keeps us all lined out.” Since his primary event is roping, Treyden is especially thankful for his sponsorship from Cactus Ropes.
This fall proved fruitful for Treyden in his preparation for his eighth-grade season in the NMJHSRA. At the High Plains Finals, he won the average in the double mugging and goat tying. He’s also cashed several big checks from team roping and breakaway jackpots in the last few months. “I’m proud to be able to compete against grownups¬–higher level ropers–and still win. It’s what I practice for every day and it’s all I think about.” Everything going on in Treyden’s mind usually pertains to something inside the rodeo arena. A positive and focused mindset is one of his most valuable assets when it comes to being consistently competitive.
“Keeping my mind right is the hardest part of rodeo for sure, because I want to go too fast and bypass the basics.” Oftentimes, those foundational skills pave the way to a winning time for Treyden. “I have to visualize the run I want to make. I do the same thing in the practice pen. This helps me make sure everything is in the right place with myself, my horse and my rope before I nod. But I also try not to think about all of it too much.” Treyden likes to keep things simple and it seems to work well for him. He began attending Dora Middle School online in the past year and he’s thoroughly enjoyed it. Most of that extra time is spent roping, but Treyden is also taking up a new hobby. His parents call him an “old soul,” while boasting about his skills with braiding and knot tying. Treyden has stacks of old ropes laid out as he enjoys tying halters and braiding neck ropes. He also spends his spare time hunting, fishing, and snowboarding.