By Emmaly Widmer
Often times when we are talking about the rodeo industry we mention the contestants, their horses, and how they stay going down the road. But this week I took a different take on the topic, I talked to Kaley Mae Blasdell, an independent stock contractor from Prineville, Oregon who raises bucking bulls and hauls up and down the West Coast. Stock contractors are something that we don’t really think about when we think of people traveling to the next rodeo and competing. But in reality, they deal with all the same obstacles that many contestants do.
When you’re on the road it’s easy to get mentally drained especially if things aren’t going your way. I asked Kaley about how she deals with hardships when she’s hauling bulls to rodeos and competing with them and she gave some very valuable advice. “I just have to remind myself that there will always be another rodeo, there will always be another chance to go somewhere, and you just can’t let things get you down.”. Along with being a first generation stock contractor, Kaley Mae is a mother to a two-year-old son named Ridge who keeps her on her plenty busy!
Not only does she have to balance her bulls and her boy, she’s gotta balance her diet when she’s on the road to stay physically healthy on top of staying mentally healthy. Being a mom has made Kaley Mae have to learn to meal prep for trips and plan snacks in order to avoid pulling up at a fast food window. “When you’re on the road and you’re worn out that’s when it’s important to have snacks and meals on hand.” Kaley Mae also talked about how often prints out workouts she can do while on the road to stay in shape, and that she is sure to pack a lot of water and snacks in an ice chest to stay prepared.
Aside from keeping herself mentally and physically sharp, she’s got to keep her bulls in shape. Though keeping bucking stock in shape isn’t usually something that crosses people’s minds, it’s actually a big deal and is a large part of owning bucking stock. Kaley works hard to improve every bull that comes through her string, catering her work out program to each of them. She started her career at 18 years old, and actually relates her high school track career to her workouts for her bulls. For example, making them complete sprints, 300 meter runs, and even running down long alleys with water barrels for them to jump over.
Kaley is not only a mother, wife, and successful stock contractor, she’s an inspiration. She started this journey on her own and she is killing it, if you can’t find her at a rodeo this summer be sure to check her out on social media @KMH_Bucking_Bulls on instagram or on Facebook.
Photos provided by Kaley Mae Blasdell