Jill Oatman is one busy girl.The eighteen year old cowgirl successfully juggles a strong academic schedule, extracurricular activities, a job, and participation in the Nebraska […]
Roper Review: Makayla Boisjoli
Written by: Teri Edwards< Back to Articles
Almost all parents encourage their children to follow their dreams… but not all parents change their lifestyle or location to help them pursue those dreams. The Boisjoli sisters, (Makayla, 20; Shelby, 19; Marissa, 17) grew up in the small hamlet of Langdon, Alberta.
“I can remember stories of when my dad cut his thumb off,” recalls Makayla. “I decided then I didn’t want to rope. But when I went to nationals in Pole Bending during junior high, I saw these kids roping the dummy and I was hooked. It took a lot of work because we started later than most kids. Our Dad wouldn’t let us rope horseback until we could catch the dummy 50 times in a row, its harder than you think.”
Makayla fell in love with roping and focused all of her time towards her goal of making nationals in breakaway. She attributes much of her success to practice drills and late nights at the barn roping the dummy with her dad and sister. The girls started out roping calves and were not allowed to team rope until, four or five months later when Garth felt they handled their rope well enough.
Frequently on the road with work, Garth didn’t have the time to make a head horse. They refinanced a truck and bought the safest head horse they could find. The girls fell in love with “Handsome,” and couldn’t have asked for a better teacher.
In January of 2012, Double C and Load ‘Em in the Dark Productions had a truck roping scheduled in Phoenix, Arizona. As true beginners, the Boisjoli sisters were all numbered low because they hadn’t really competed anywhere. After seeing the flyer, Sherry convinced Garth she “felt” they needed to haul the kids from Canada to Arizona for the roping. The “feeling” was right on target as Shelby ended up winning the #3 & Under truck.
The Boisjolis sold the truck and used the money to buy property in Arizona. This gave the family a winter home enabling the girls to rope more. The girls home schooled leaving friends and other sports for the next two years working on their roping and making horses. With that came another truck and trailer, buckets of buckles, and a tack room full of saddles. The sacrifice was paying off.
Extremely close, the Boisjoli sisters are tough competitors, both in breakaway and team roping. This summer, while home in Canada, the girls taught over twenty-five eager breakaway students.
Makayla has chosen to attend college in Texas so she could “compete against the best.” She is currently attending Tarleton University in Stephenville where she is working on her Accounting degree. She plans to pursue a Masters degree and become a C.P.A.
How much do you practice?
I try to rope calves every day, I make a point of roping the dummy every day, even if it’s just a few times. My dad always preached that to us.
Do you make your own horses?
Yes I love when you get a good one that loves what they do.
Who is your favorite horse?
Flop is our main man. He has made nine trips to nationals for us girls. He’s come close to a national title and we are hoping he gets one this year before we retire him after Marissa’s senior year. He’s one of the most honest horses I have ever swung a leg over.
Who were your roping heroes?
Melissa Reinhart, she was so handy and one of the best girl ropers in Canada. She always took the time to help my sisters and I and I thank her for that. I had always heard of Lari Dee and Jackie Crawford, but never realized how talented they are and hard they work until I got to Texas. I will always look up to my dad. He taught us everything.
Who do you respect most in the world?
My mom. She sacrificed everything for us and taught us how important it is to be a good person.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My parents, they are giving and hard working; and my sisters because on my best and worst days they are always pushing me to be better. Whatever they are doing, I’m doing, and vice versa we are a pack.
If you had a day off what would you like to do?
Anything that involves my family, a game of basketball, go to the lake and ski or just chill on the couch.
What’s the last thing you read?
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Driven, focused, kind.
What makes you happy?
Getting to do the things I love: rope and the freedom that goes with it.
What makes you angry?
When I see people belittling other people. Rudeness.
If you were given 1 million dollars, how would you spend it?
Buy a place in Texas, for my parents and myself and buy my youngest sister a breakaway horse.
What is your worst quality – your best?
My best quality is I like to help people; I hate to see people struggle. My worst is I take better care of others than I do myself.