This Texas trainer is making a name for herself, with dedication, a competitive nature and faith leading the way.

Kelsey Mosby works for Wagon Wheel Ranch in Lometa, Texas, starting colts and training horses for barrel racing, roping and working cow horse events. Already known for her success in ranch rodeos, she made history in 2011 when she was the first woman to win not one Ranch Horse Association of America National Championship, but two titles aboard two different horses, Boons Hot Tamale and CD Royal Chica. This past May Kelsey was able to claim her third RHAA title during the organization’s finals in Abilene, Texas.

Kelsey Mosby

My dad always wanted to be a cowboy, and I guess that passed on down through the line. He trained horses when I was little, and I remember in the summers when I was really young, probably 5 or 6 years old, I would be horseback all day.

I come from a really small town, Parkfield, California. My class had me and another kid in it. It was a one-room school.

I wasn’t as competitive until I started going to the RHAA shows, and I started off with a bang. I got a taste of winning with that and I wanted it.

When I worked for [cutting horse trainer] Russ Westfall, that was my college. I learned what work ethic was and how to take care of horses at that level.

The cutting industry is so competitive and you have to work your tail off to compete. I thought, “Oh this is what you have to do to compete at this level.” As far as schooling my horses to get ready in the ranch horse shows, I try to incorporate that kind of work ethic.

Jim, my stepdad, brought “Tamale” home, and I was like, “You paid what for that horse?” He was about half as thick as he is now, his hair was burnt looking and he was ugly. His forelock was curly. He didn’t ride very well, and I think someone had put draw reins on him. But he was cowy. The more I got to ride him, the more I got to like him.

I’ve found I talk to my horse a lot during the run. I’ll say, “Come on, Tamale, let’s go around here.” I don’t know how much it helps him, but it helps me.

I do not do twists in my reins, so I hang them up a certain way. I want them to lay right. I’m always on people’s butts, especially if they’re riding in one of my bridles. I’ll go behind them as they hang my bridle up and fix it. I’m particular about a lot of things at the barn and at my house. I think it all ties back to how good you want to be, and how much you are going to put into it.

It all revolves around the horses. If I’m not here riding, then I might be going to Fort Worth, but once again it’s for a horse event that’s tied into my goals.

Women’s ranch rodeos were softer then than they are now. It’s cool that the competition keeps getting tougher, because you’re only as good as your competition.

I may not have had a $30,000 barrel horse [growing up], but I can guarantee my horse was as broke as anything.

I would rather be known as a horsewoman than a cowgirl. The only reason I like cows is because I like working them on my horses.

The Bible says that God gives us the desires of our hearts, and I feel like he put this desire in me. Who am I to doubt what God has put in me? I need to do what I can with the opportunities and situation that I’ve been put in. And that’s all I can do.


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