On the Trail with Clayton Van Aken
Clayton Van Aken is a California transplant. Born and raised in Descanso, California, a little town 40 miles southeast of San Diego, he grew up […]
story by Teri Edwards
Tyler Kaess has found what most people search for, and more often than not, never find. A perfect day for Tyler is being horseback roping, and helping others with their roping. He has been able to do that with his roping facility, Hot Shot Equine, located in Surprise, Arizona.
During the winter months many ropers relocate to Arizona for the season to take advantage of the beautiful weather. For this reason, Tyler relocated from Colorado to Arizona to start Hot Shot Equine almost two years ago.
“Winters can be harsh in Colorado. I wanted to be roping, teaching, and training every day. When I saw what happens in Arizona in the winter, I decided to move and build a roping camp,” explains Kaess.
Located eight miles from Surprise, Hot Shot Equine is just far enough from town that patrons will enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, while being centrally located to an abundance of jackpots and events.
The facility features an arena, stalls, and RV hookups. Daily practices are held with both cattle and Heel-O-Matic. Tyler offers lessons and enjoys teaching private clinics and the individualized attention he is able to give.
Tyler started roping at just seven. He feels fortunate to have had access to talented ropers such as his uncle, Brett Trenary, a NFR Qualifier, Jay Ellerman, and Ricky Green.
As a youngster, Tyler competed in Colorado Junior Rodeo Association and high school rodeo. At just 15, he won a Shoot-Out in Oklahoma City, and a check for $38,000. Since then, Tyler has placed at the BFI, and competed in PRCA and amateur rodeos. Before moving to Arizona, he managed an indoor arena and produced ropings. This included a memorial roping in honor of his father and was, at one time, the biggest open roping in the mountain states.
Tyler credits the time he spent with Ricky Green for his passion for teaching.
“I like the whole process of learning, teaching, roping. My method is different than some, but I try to connect with people,” says Kaess. “We all make the same mistakes, it’s just a matter of how many times you make them.”
For more information about reservations, lessons, or horses for sale visit hotshotequine.com.
How much do you practice?
Do you make your own horses?
Who were your roping (rodeo) heroes growing up?
Clay O’Brien Cooper, Shot Branham.
Who do you respect most in the world?
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
If you had a day off what would you like to do?
It would be fun to get on a horse and rope without having to do all the prep work. Just rope.
What’s the last thing you read?
Performance Psychology in Action
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Laid back, resourceful, passionate
What makes you happy?
Seeing improvement in horses and/or people that I’m working with.
What makes you angry?
People who gossip or mind other people’s business.
If you were given 1 million dollars, how would you spend it?
Pay off my bills and buy some horses to rodeo on.
What is your worst quality? Your best?
My worst quality is I can be lazy at times. My best quality is I’m easy to get along with.
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