At just thirteen years old, Miss. Taylor Manning is headed to her very first Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton, Alberta this November.
Taylor and her main mount Matlock, aka Good Little Nick (By As Good As Nick Gets out of Fols Dream of Cash) had an outstanding year winning $21,163.55 after 40 rodeos, and are going to the finals in seventh position.
How would you describe Matlock’s style?
Matlock’s style is bendy and soft through the body
What kind of quirks does Matlock have?
Some of his quirks are that he can be a bit strong and he holds his breath when he’s nervous. He nudges me constantly for attention and will whinny when he sees me.
What was your favourite rodeo this year and why?
My favourite rode was Ponoka Stampede! It was my first short round and final four. I got to go on stage to get auctioned off and got the coolest Ponoka Stampede knife!
Who is your barrel racing idol?
My favourite idols are Rayel Little and Kirsty White. They both have the same style and work hard to achieve their goals. They are nice to me and always are helping me to improve both my horse and I. Rayel also trained Matlock!
My Mom Shelly is also my idol. I’ve always looked up to my Mom, as she is sweet, outgoing and fair. This summer she was always there helping me, and drove me around everywhere. For example we showed up in Ponoka at 5am trying to get to ride, driving all night from Williams Lake, BC.
Riding a seasoned barrel horse, what exercises do you do for tune-ups?
I round pen Matlock to keep him soft. I also do lots of slow work to keep him relaxed.
Regarding legging a horse up,what is your routine?
I let my horse up almost six weeks before I go to a jackpot. My Dad plows a track in the field if the snow is too deep.
We all know that being competitive takes serious mental strength and focus.What do you do to keep focused in the game of rodeo?
I just think about what I have to do and make it as perfect as I can.
What is your go to product for keeping your horse feeling her best for the season?
Matlock loves his Buckeye Feeds and Sharpedge. I also keep his legs feeling good and give him lots of rest.
What is the best piece of advice you were ever given regarding barrel racing?
The best advice I have heard is to always trust your homework.
What is one thing you can’t live without on the road?
The most important things I need on the road is my bridle and tack. Another thing I need is my Mother. She drove me everywhere this summer, as my Dad drove my brother to all the amateur rodeos. I am so thankful for my parents that are giving me the opportunities to fulfill my dreams and helping me move forward in barrel racing.
Taylor would also like to thank her sponsors as this season wouldn’t be possible without them. MMD, Cross Country Pipeline, Anderson Builders Group, Sharpedge and Impact Gel.
*Photos submitted by Taylor