Dare To Be A Cowboy Student Spotlight: Shelly & Eli Braginton
Shelly, the older of the two siblings, has been an integral part of our horseback riding lessons program for the last three years. She started riding with us when she was just 5 years old and has overcome many fears and obstacles to become the rider she is today. Shelly is focused and driven during every lesson. She strives to not only become the best rider she can be but also someday enter her first gymkhana and become a barrel racer!
Recently, her brother Eli, who is just four years old, joined our program alongside Shelly! Shelly has been an exemplary mentor guiding him through every step of his journey towards becoming a cowboy. Eli has ridden our lesson horse, Armita, and our mini pony, Tiny while he learns the basics of horsemanship. Eli also entered our Mutton Bustin Practice this past June and did an amazing job riding his sheep! Shelly also helped the Dare To Be A Cowboy volunteer team at this practice event, keeping track of scores, and helping out wherever she could! These two have a bright future within the western and rodeo industry, and we are honored to be a part of it!
Their mother, Lindsey Braginton, shared a testimonial with us:
"When our daughter began to express interest in horses, we wanted to give her some of the same experiences that I had growing up on a ranch in Northern Nevada. We were introduced to Hannah and Dare to Be A Cowboy by a friend whose daughter was taking lessons with her. My daughter immediately clicked with Hannah and fell in love with Armita, her lesson horse. Their approach to horsemanship goes beyond just sitting in the saddle, they focus on education, life skills, and building confidence both on and off the horse. Our daughter continues to expand her skills with her riding lessons and is truly growing into a little cowgirl. Hannah has helped her gain knowledge of horses and rodeo, overcome numerous fears, gotten her back into the saddle after falling down, and given her a lifelong passion for animals. She can't wait until she gets to compete in her first barrel race.
Even at that very first lesson for our daughter, Hannah and Keegan began to also catch our son's attention who was only 3 years old at the time. Whether they were teaching him to rope, involving him in getting the horse ready with his sister, or just bringing along his personal favorite, Kevin the goat, Hannah and Keegan made sure to include him in each of our daughter's lessons. Thanks to their efforts, our son has also developed a similar interest in all things cowboy. He first participated in the Dare To Be A Cowboy mutton bustin' practice day and has since participated in mutton bustin' events at local rodeos as well as started doing riding lessons of his own. Through Dare To Be A Cowboy he has become fearless and willing to brush off the dirt when he falls down. He says one day soon he will be ready to ride a bull or bronc.
Hannah and Keegan are more than just teachers, they are role models to both of our kids for what it means to be responsible, caring, and compassionate. Our kids' favorite part of the week is their riding lesson. Dare To Be A Cowboy has become such a valuable part of their lives and shaping them to tackle any challenge they face. We cannot thank Hannah, Keegan, or Dare To Be A Cowboy enough for the incredible gifts they have given to us and our kids!"