ARBORFIELD — Suzanne Soucy, of Arborfield, and her 12-year-old horse Who U Callin Yellow, have won the open rein and box category at the first annual Swift Current Dustbowl.
The Dustbowl was held on Aug. 8 and 9, with a total of 19 entries combined from all the categories.
Soucy said she has been competing in local shows and fairs her whole life.
“It takes a lot of years of riding your horse, and learning, and teaching them, and going to clinics, going to shows and learning how to show once you’ve learned how to ride the horse, and train the horse,” Soucy said. “There’s just an awful lot to it – it takes years.”
She said it felt rewarding and humbling to win the award, even though it isn’t her first buckle.
“I know the work that’s gone into it, but when it all comes together and you pull it off, it’s a good feeling. But you always strive to work on all the little things you can do better.”
While Who U Callin Yellow is Soucy’s horse’s registered name, her barn name is Vanna.
Soucy has been training her for the last five years with top trainers and world class riders.
For Soucy, the connection between the horse and rider can be vital when it comes to competition time.
“It’s kind of a connection with your horse. When the two of you start connecting and working together, that’s when it all comes together,” she said.
“I love the animals, and it’s just such a neat thing, especially when you connect with them like this particular horse. If she’s ever in a spot where she’s worried about something, she’ll look for me.”
Soucy said connecting isn’t something that happens between every horse and rider, and sets Vanna apart for her.
An additional beneficial trait Vanna has that makes it easier for the two to work together is her natural interest in cows.
“She loves the cattle, her ears just perk up and she knows her job… Some horses are more cow-y than others,” Soucy said.
“I guess we’re a real team together.”