#WesternWomenWednesday, Brittany Miller
We all make excuses about where we are in life.
Maybe if we grew up cowboying, rodeoing, or even horseback.
Maybe if we didn't have to work our full time job.
Maybe if we knew how.
What would life look like if we stopped making excuses and started started pursuing our dreams?
It would not mean that we were never weak, never made a mistake, and that the hustle wasn't hard.
It would simply mean we were making headway towards living our best life!
Please meet my friend and lady bronc riding champion, Brittany Miller. This girl is more than making headway- she's kicking tail and taking names! It has been a privilege to watch her ride, talk with her in person, and watch her story develop online. If you are looking for a role model in focus and dedication, this girl is it!
1. Name. Age. Location.
Brittany Miller. 26. My truck-Living on the road until the season is over. Then back to Montana, somewhere.
2. A lot of girls talk about riding broncs but you're doing it! How did a girl from Missouri start on this journey?
I’ve been asked this question I don’t know how many times. And every time I try to really go back and think about what defining moment it was that made me decide to enter up. And to be honest, there really wasn’t. I remember riding my colt at home one evening and simply decided I was going to ride broncs that weekend. I was a junior in college studying in the horsemanship program and had heard about a small town rodeo in Rigby, Idaho with a women’s ranch bronc riding. I called, entered, showed up, rode and won haha it was as simple as that. And then my passion finally found its fuel.
3. How did you get involved with wild horse racing?
I had only been riding broncs for two years when I competed in my first Wild Horse Race. I actually had just got done riding broncs in Miles City at the Bucking Horse Sale when a man came up to me and asked if I had ever horse raced before, he must have watched me ride because we were after the horse race event that day(I actually have once but it didn’t go too well)and I told him only once briefly. He asked where I was from, I said Dillon, and we talked about competing in the Horse Race there( because it’s a PRCA rodeo and they don’t have ranch broncs) and so he asked how I’d like to win my hometown rodeo. I said Hell yes! A few months (2016)later we got together and having never competed with each other before or even knowing each other we took second both nights and won the average. We were a team after that. We came back next year (2017) and were the only ones to cross and won the average again for a 2X Wild Horse Race Championship in Dillon. I only compete once or twice a year because of the risk of injury with this sport.
4. If you could clarify one misconception about bronc riding, women riding rough stock, anything like that- what would it be?
One huge misconception with “Women” Ranch Bronc Riding is, And this goes for the guys too it seems lately, is that it’s RANCH bronc riding. That means horn, swells and bucking rolls, rope/nightlatch, one hand OR two hands, stirrup leathers that are NOT bound, and Wild is as wild can be riding bucking horses. The most wild IN control bronc ride is the definition of Ranch Bronc Riding. Everyone seems so quick to judge us not spurring in rythm with the horse like traditional saddle bronc, well that’s because it’s a totally different game riding ranch broncs. Trust me as silly as it sounds, I am always explaining the differences.
5. A person doesn't have to follow you long to realize you have a poet's soul. Have you always enjoyed writing?
As anyone does growing up and learning to live with and without certain aspects in their life, it’s difficult to filter through your emotions when you’re as introverted as I am. Writing and finding meaning in the things around me has allowed me to find balance with the battles I fight in my head and heart. It’s something I try to go to when I don’t know how to handle my own self. Especially on those days when you can’t get out of your own head.
6. What advice would you give to anyone looking for motivation and focus for their big dreams?
The biggest piece of advice I can give for anyone wanting to find motivation and inspiration for their dreams, is to sit down and listen to yourself. Figure out what it is that drives you. Find Your passion and let it burn. what kind of fuel you need to make you wake up wanting nothing more then to conquer the goals you have set. Once you learn how to do that, then you’ll start to surround yourself with only the things it needs to push you past your limit. It all comes down to this... and it’s what I tell myself quite often this year.... How Bad Do You Want It?
7. You have done a lot of travelling this year- Texas, New York, Montana. Have these experiences helped you to grow or see the world in a different way?
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a wandering, travelling, gypsy of a soul with no roots to my feet. I am constantly wanting to see the other side. Given that, travelling like I do for rodeo has given me so many awesome experiences that have helped shape and change who I am. Every time I travel I learn a little more about myself. Especially compassion and gratitude.... For the lifestyle I follow, for the opportunities I am given, and for the destiny I’m choosing to live.
8. Brittany, you have always impressed me, but you recently had an experience that took my breath away. You were the first lady ranch bronc rider to come out of the chute at Cheyenne Frontier Days in 90 years! Can you explain to our non-bronc following fans why this was significant and what that moment meant to you?
Back in the early 1900s a woman's role had such strict social constructs that didn’t allow much freedoms, and the consequences of breaking these social protocols involved being outcast, disgraced, hated and mocked. When women starting making their marks in the Wild West, gender roles began to change and that included riding horses that bucked. Cheyenne Frontier Days is legend for being the Daddy of Em All. One of the wildest, oldest, most historical rodeos in the western states. When Bonnie McCarrol died riding broncs, the growing opposition to women in the male dominated sport of rodeo found what it needed to outlaw women from roughstock. Since then, it has been nearly 90 years since a women rode a RANCH bronc in that arena. (there was a female bull rider I have been told but haven’t done research). So, being the first to buck out and actually cover my horse in Cheyenne was absolutely insane. There can’t be another feeling like that.
9. What are you listening to that helps get you down the road and through life?
There isn’t anything that good music and lyrics can’t fix. I listen to a variety of artists because I enjoy what different kinds of music do to me. My favorite band is Reckless Kelly. They’ve probably had the most influence on me.
10. What is your favorite quote?
Small minds can’t comprehend big spirits. To be great, you have to be willing to be mocked, hated, and misunderstood. Stay strong.