Long days and hard work pay off for this veteran ranch-horse versatility competitor.

Lifelong horse-woman Kim Lindsey has served on the board of directors for several associations, including the Ranch Cutting Horse Association and Stock Horse of Texas. But she’s also one of the toughest riders in these and other groups that promote ranch horses through competition.

Her strong desire to compete could very well be traced to an uncooperative Shetland pony that was eventually deemed too dangerous to serve as Kim’s first horse. But until the day that pony was replaced by her father’s aging black mare, Kim repeated a vicious cycle of getting bucked off and climbing right back on.

Kim Lindsey standing in barn doorway with horse

MY MOTHER ALWAYS CALLED ME hardheaded, but I prefer the term “strong-willed.” I guess when I was a kid I was hardheaded, but as an adult I’m just strong­willed.

I GREW UP ON A RANCH IN NEW MEXICO and have been around this lifestyle all my life. It never even crossed my mind that I would do something else. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that the best thing in life is getting to live out my dreams. I get to work at what I love, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

l’VE ALWAYS LIKED COMPETITION, but I look at it more as a compe­tition with myself. I feel like God has given me some abilities, and I need to put them to use.

WHEN SHOT FIRST STARTED, I had to do all the secretary work. So I’d show my horse, jump off and go put figures into the computer. Now, we actually have paid secre­taries—including my mom—to do all of that.

MY ORIGINAL MAJOR in college was fashion merchandising. It seems strange, since I’d lived on a ranch all my life, but I always thought that would be fun. I worked in a clothing store a couple of summers during col­lege, and it gave me a chance to wear high heels and all that stuff. People who know me now would think the idea of me wearing high heels is kind of far-fetched, but it’s true.

I FINISHED COLLEGE on a Friday and we moved to Dimmitt, Texas, and started work at a feedlot there on Monday morning. My husband, Matt, worked in the feedlot and I worked in the office. I shouldn’t tell this—since I was the one managing the books at the feedlot—but I was always confused by credits and debits in accounting class. My mom was a schoolteacher for 26 years, and I’d always have to call her to explain about debits and credits again. It’s even scarier because I worked in a bank in Dimmitt, as well. But I finally got it all figured out.

WE GENERALLY BUY rejected reining horses that just aren’t going to make it at the big futu­rities. It’s great because we’ve been able to purchase some great horses that just needed a new lifestyle or a few more years to mature both mentally and physi­cally. We’ve got an own son of Smart Little Lena and a grandson of Doc O Lena on the ranch right now.

MY HORSESHOER TOLD ME that he doesn’t know when I have time to work, with all the competi­tions I go to.

EARLIER THIS YEAR, I’d won a ranch cutting at Haskell and I had the trophy saddle thrown up over my regular saddle on old Freckles [pictured with Lindsey above]. I was walking back to the trailer when Bob Moorhouse said jokingly, “Shouldn’t you be home sewing on buttons or something?” I told him I’d done that before I left the house that morning.”

This article was originally published in the January 2008 issue of Western Horseman.


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