Nikki Hansen has had a hell of a season, qualifying for the Canadian Finals Rodeo, Badlands Circuit Finals, All American Finals, and finished 22nd in the WPRA World Standings. She competed at 18 CPRA rodeos and won $22,239, and is coming to Red Deer, Alberta in 6th position.
Hansen will be running Sky High Guy aka Sky who is by Frenchmans Guy out of a Pie in the Sky mare & HH Mia Hamm aka Mia Hamm who is by Mia Pig Too, out of Dynamite Rain who is by Montana Easy Move and out of a Frenchmans Guy daughter.
What quirks does your horse have?
Sky really doesn’t have any quirks. He’s an absolute perfect gentleman. ❤️
Where did you buy/find your horse?
I purchased Sky from Bill & Debbie Myers in April 2013. I had ridden him as a futurity horse when he was still a stallion, but unfortunately due to his fertility he was gelded. I’ve always loved him and am so thankful they gave me the opportunity to own him.
My husband and his family raised and trained Mia Hamm. She’s an exceptional head horse, as well as barrel horse.
How would you describe your horses barrel racing style?
Both horses are very consistent and honest. I do have to ride Mia Hamm a bit differently, as she tends to be more ratey than Sky. They both run hard, collect for the turns, and keep forward motion around the barrels.
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
K-Days Rodeo in Edmonton, Alberta. It is such a cool rodeo and was really a turning point in my rodeo season.
We all know that being competitive takes serious mental strength.What do you do to keep a sharp mental edge in the game of rodeo? How do you stay motivated throughout the season?
I think mental strength comes from knowing I have prepared my horse and myself the best that I could. There are so many variables in rodeo, but we can control how prepared we are. I’ve always believed that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
What does your feed program look like, keeping your horses in peak condition going down the road and even in the off season?
We feed high quality alfalfa and grass hay, and I’m so fortunate that our family puts up our own hay. We feed whole, cleaned oats, and I am a firm believer in TechMix equine supplements. My horses get Stable Complete (daily mineral), Equitein U-Formula (the most amazing ulcer product on the market), Build-Bac (daily probiotic), and Health E Oil. When traveling, I feed TechMix’s Bluelite Electrolyte pellets and paste- it has made a huge difference in my horse’s hydration while traveling many miles and different climates.
What do you do to condition your horses leading up to the season, and what does your pre CFR routine consist of?
My horses get exercised 5-6 days a week. I try to alternate days on the horse walker and days that I ride them. I like to long trot in our field, but also lope circles in the arena. I think variety when exercising is important to utilize different muscle groups and optimize overall fitness; also, who wants to do the same thing everyday?! 😉
What is the best advice you’ve ever been told regarding life, horses, rodeo or barrel racing?
Barrel racing is what you do, not who you are.
What has been your most memorable run over the years?
My most memorable run would be winning the Pendleton Roundup in 2011 on “Dash Ta Vanilla. Running across the grass is such a unique thrill, and there’s no other barrel race like Pendleton. I had a lot of great runs on Nilla, but that one would be my favourite.
If you could make a run on any one of the other CFR qualifiers horses which one would you choose and why?
Callahan Crossley’s Brownie- “Bionic Brownie” has been outrunning me for over a decade! I’ve loved watching Brownie since I first saw Jordan (Crossley Minor) run him at the College National Finals Rodeo. It has been so special to see him win with all the Crossley sisters. He’s a legend!
What is the one thing you cannot live without on the road?
My phone- it’s my connection to home and family, a map/GPS, information super-center, and takes videos of my runs.
What are you looking forward to the most as you head to the 2018 Canadian Finals Rodeo?
The competition! It will be a great barrel race, and I’m so excited to be in the mix with such a tough group of horses and jockeys.
This year has been so special, and I have so many people to thank. Without my husband’s encouragement, I would not have even bought my Canadian card. He helps exercise and shoe my horses, makes sure everything is working on my rig (also fixes the things I break), and takes care of everything else at home. Thank you to everyone that helped take care of my daughter Elsie when I was gone rodeoing, and thank you for encouraging me to keep going, even when I wanted to stay home sooo bad!! None of this would have been possible without my wonderful family. Thank you and I love you all dearly!!
*photos submitted by Nikki