Laramie Wedemeyer rides her horse in a rodeo competition.
Laramie Wedemeyer rides her horse in a rodeo competition.
Laramie Wedemeyer

Riding with a passion


Wind blows through their hair and dirt flies around them. They strive for that perfect time, that perfect jump, the best performance. Every time they get on a horse their cares are gone and their stress is relieved. It’s like medicine for the mind. Through hard work and determination, they challenge themselves to be different from everyone else around them.

Two students- sophomore Peyton Hardie and sophomore Laramie Wedemeyer are skilled equestrian riders and have won many competitions. While Hardie participated in the Arabian Horse Association Nationals, Wedemeyer participates in rodeos and FFA competitions.

“I competed for about seven years and won about twenty titles,” Hardie said. “It really is a passion of mine that helps me get away from everything.”

Riding horses is a lifestyle that sticks with the rider through their whole life. Many riders start riding very early in their life and continue to ride and compete throughout their career.

“My grandma and grandpa had a horse farm when I was a baby,” Hardie said. “When I was six months old my grandma put me on my first horse and I’ve been riding ever since.”

Climbing up onto a saddle and sliding their feet into the stirrups is one of the best moments a rider has before taking off. This creates a feeling of comfort and belonging that keeps them in the saddle through thick and thin.

“I enjoy riding horses because I feel it is a stress relief,” Hardie said. “I feel free. It’s just amazing and it’s so much fun.”

Even though there aren’t rodeos happening this month, that doesn’t mean the riders don’t have to continue training themselves and their horses. They have to ride any chance they get and strengthen their riding skills.

“I ride all the time to prepare for the rodeos,” Wedemeyer said. “I actually am taking a break from rodeos right now and they will start back up in December.”

Many students in high school would rather be playing sports or hanging out with friends and believe that riding horses is not an enjoyable activity. The students in high school who still ride horses are a minority that continues to shrink as more people are introduced to more popular activities.

“I’m pretty sure that myself and a few other freshmen are the only students who do rodeos,” Wedemeyer said. “ It’s a dying activity. Not a lot of people do it anymore because there’s not that connection with animals like there used to be.”

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