Cheyenne Wimberley – Ranked 14 in the world – NFR – High Performance
Horses – Recovery – Stamina – Focus – Healthy and Happy Horses
John Dowdy: Hello and welcome to another Equinety podcast. I am so excited this week to have on Cheyenne Wimberley out of Stevenville, Texas. Cheyenne, welcome to the Equinety podcast.
Cheyenne Wimberley: Yes, thanks. Thanks for having me. We’re ready to talk some Equinety today.
John Dowdy: Well that’s great. I’m excited to have you on and for those tuning in and thinking to yourself, hey, I know that name, Cheyenne Wimberley. That’s right, she is ranked number 14 in the world. Going to the NFR, how does that make you feel?
Cheyenne Wimberley: Well, it’s been hard to sink in but now it’s getting exciting because it’s been 20 years since I’ve been to the NFR, so it’s exciting to actually be prepared to kind of try to get back to reality over there in Las Vegas.
John Dowdy: Yeah. Now, so 20 years. You were first at the NFR 97, 98. Tell us a little bit about that and your hiatus that you took.
Cheyenne Wimberley: Well, I had a really great horse back in 97 and 98 and then in 98 he had a career ending injury. And so I have taken a break. I went back to school and graduated and did some life things and I continued to train for charity horses and train my personal horses. But I didn’t rodeo as much as I did. And so this past year has really been a change in reality of getting back on the road.
John Dowdy: Speaking of that, being on the road, what was your favorite rodeo this year?
Cheyenne Wimberley: Well I think I would have to say Cheyenne, which is kind of ironic. But Cheyenne’s in July and at that time I had been rodeoing all year, but I hadn’t really pushed myself and I had three horses that I was riding at that time and I had only ran them a couple times a piece, trying to get with them. And then I ran the fastest time of the rodeo at Cheyenne. And so that was a big turning point at a really tough time of year. Because at that point you either need to keep going really hard or you need to go home. And so at that point it was like, oh, those horses were starting to really, we were starting to click, things were going good. And so that was really a turning point for my year.
John Dowdy: Yeah, so running the fastest time, then you’re thinking, well hey, maybe there’s a shot. We’re just going to go all in on this thing and see what happens.
Cheyenne Wimberley: Yeah. At that point it was like, you know what? We’re going to keep going. We’re going to put our head down and see if we can grind it out a little bit. But that only starts the next month. That really was a grueling month. But when you’re at this level, you either have to get all in or get all out. We decided to get all in at that point.
John Dowdy: Yeah, pretty much living well on the road 24/7.
Cheyenne Wimberley: Yes, living the dream.
John Dowdy: That’s right. Absolutely. For those that are looking or that maybe this is a kind of a dream for them to reach this high level, what’s the best advice well that you’ve been given? Just through the years in barrel racing and rodeo in general?
Cheyenne Wimberley: Well, I’d have to start, if I was getting into barrel racing from the start, I would make sure that my horsemanship skills were up to par. I think that the whole industry starts with horsemanship. Then it makes the rest of the learning a little bit easier. And then I would, there’s tons of clinicians out there and I would pick a style that you like and I would stick with that style because it’s easy to jump around. But then you never really master one and I would learn and just become a student of the game and go through the levels. Nowadays there’s so many levels. You can start from a 5D level and work your way to the 1D level. And once you get to that 1D level, then you probably are ready to start entering the rodeos and going to the amateur ranks onto the professional ranks.
Of course it’s like anything, when you’re mastering that skill and you’ve learned one thing, it’s hard to jump around and continue to master that skill. When you’re trying to work your level up and if that’s your goal is to work up to the highest level, then you have to continue to master each skill at the time. But there, the good thing of today is that, there is lots of learning material and you can really be a student of the game.
John Dowdy: Sure. Absolutely. The technology that we have today and online stuff and plenty of clinics around for sure.
Cheyenne Wimberley: Correct.
John Dowdy: Yeah. With, here’s a good question for you, at least I think it is. With the rodeo season as long as it is, all the miles that you travel, what keeps you motivated? Typically, what’s your day look like? Especially maybe after you’ve come out of a bit of a slump. What do you do to keep yourself high energy and focused on the goal that you’re trying to achieve?
Cheyenne Wimberley: Well, I’m a person of pretty high goals and so if this year I haven’t rodeoed professionally full time in 20 years. When I, it became a goal that hey, I’m going to make the NFR, then going home wasn’t an option. And when going home is not an option, you have to stay positive to reach that goal. And I surround myself with positive people. Negativity is a killer of all source. It’ll drag the whole rig down. But when you’re running at that level, there’s so many things that are out of your control, the weather, the ground, you’re indoors and outdoors. But the one thing you can control is your positivity and your goal. Because that goal is to make it to the end. And I just reminded myself constantly that, you know what? We’re out here for a reason and that reason is to accomplish it.
And it’s a high goal. And sometimes a lot of people don’t get to accomplish it, but I bet they’ve proven to themselves that they are able to accomplish it. And maybe that’s one of the building blocks to the next part. It wasn’t like I was going to have a lot of do overs, so it was like, you know what? We’re going to put our head down. We’re going to work as hard as we can. We’re going to keep the horses as healthy as we can and we’re going to try to accomplish the goal that we set.
John Dowdy: Sure. Now you just mentioned, and I touched on this before and we kind of skipped over it. You haven’t been back to the NFR in 20 years and I had mentioned earlier about the hiatus. You had a career ending injury with the horse that you had back in 99. What did you do through those 20 years there up until this point where you just came back into the picture?
Cheyenne Wimberley: I’d like to say I was just a couch potato, buy anyway, I went back to college. I had about a year left of college and I went back to college and then I started working in the insurance industry and I worked the industry, that industry for several years, for about five years and I continued at that time to train horses for myself and I never quit riding ever. But and then I started, I would say probably I got into the breeding business a little bit and I had four or five brood mares and I raised and bred my own colts and trained them, sold them. Then I would say probably it’s been in the last 10 years I have raised or bought name brand, I say name brand and I mean the dash to fame, the streak of things, a Frenchman’s guys, I would buy one or two colts a year. I would get them to buy them as two year olds. I would train them for charity them and get them seasoned and ready for somebody to buy them to go rodeo on. That was the end goal.
Now, some of those don’t make it to that level and those horses were sold at the level that they needed to be sold to. But it was kind of a business that I was, I would ride about anywhere from five to eight horses a year, selling the ones that I make and bought, make and sell. That’s kind of the rotation of it. And I’ve done that for the last probably 10 years up to now. It wasn’t like I was out of the game. I still did it a lot. I just didn’t do it at that level.
John Dowdy: As you’re out on the road doing these things, was it the Cheyenne run that kind of said, “Hey, maybe we’ve got a chance here to get back to the NFR?” Or what was your mindset?
Cheyenne Wimberley: Yeah, I don’t say that. I was offered some really great horses this year. I don’t own couple of the horses that I’m taking. Robyn Weaver owns them and they were great horses. They’d been outstanding horses through their furturity and derby years. They’re outstanding horses. I was offered those couple of horses and it was kind of one of those things I had another two horses. I had a horse that I had one Chicago on the WCRA on and that was a really good building horse. Then I had another horse that I’d had for about two years and her name’s Dash to Sue’s and she was continually getting better and better and better, and I was starting to run her outside. I had these combination of horses and then I thought to myself, you know what? I may never have this group of horses in my barn again.
If there was any inclination that I might want to go again, it would be a good time to try it now. But now it was kind of hard because I wasn’t qualified into any of the bigger building rodeos. I kind of had to do it the hard way. You kind of had to start at that bottom level, try to get into the next rodeo and the next rodeo and travel more than you probably would ever want to travel. But when you’re starting at that ground level, you’ve got to start somewhere. Even though I had been to the finals 20 years ago, I didn’t have any kind of leeway getting into anything. I wasn’t granted an entry. You had to start from the bottom and sure enough just kind of get after it. Try to enter at the right places, go to the right rodeos and win, win at the right ones.
John Dowdy: Yeah, that’s incredible. That is an incredible story.
Cheyenne Wimberley: I like to say that, we all like a good comeback story. And after 20 years it sounds pretty good.
John Dowdy: Yeah, absolutely. No doubt. I got to ask you this because being around a lot of professional athletes through the years, they all seem to have rituals, quirks, anything like that. Is there anything that you do specifically that’s just your own little thing before you run a pattern?
Cheyenne Wimberley: I like to be prepared, real prepared for myself. I usually, this time around I hadn’t been to some of the places and I had been to some of them. And by now they’ve built new arenas, new facilities, it’s not the same. I would make sure that I would find a video of somebody running barrels in that arena. I felt like that prepared me, pre-prepared me. It got me in the state of mind of hey where the barrels were setted, kind of where the alley was and maybe what horse I was going to ride because I rode four horses throughout the year and through the summertime I rode three. And so I was riding three different horses every weekend. I wanted to make sure, it’s kind of like a dice game, but I didn’t want to roll the dice and hopefully I picked the right one. I wanted to make sure when I got on that horse that was the right horse for the right pattern at the right time.
And I didn’t do any quarterbacking when I picked that horse for that pen. I went with that. And most of the time I had picked that horse before I got there because I had prepared myself through videos and preparation of getting there. And so I felt like it wasn’t going to be something new when I got there.
John Dowdy: Sure. Not just some pull up and willy nilly.
Cheyenne Wimberley: Yeah. I don’t do very, I wanted to make sure when I got there I kind of knew what I was getting into because sometimes you don’t have all that time to get up there and oh I want to do this, this and that, or get to ride in the arena or stuff like that. I felt like being prepared before I got there was really a benefit for myself.
John Dowdy: Absolutely. Also through the years you also have a saddle company.
Cheyenne Wimberley: Yes. Yeah, my family, we started Cowboy Classic Saddlery about 25 years ago and my dad started it and I’m the only child so of course you get brought into all things family. But anyways, yes, we sell numerous saddles. We sell a lot of trophy saddles. We make several different saddle lines for a couple of different barrel racers and we majority sell roping, team roping saddles and barrel saddles. That’s really our business. And we’ve done a lot of trophy lines. We’ve made saddles for the college national finals, for the NFR, for the Texas circuit finals. Several circuits. We’re currently doing the southeastern circuit finals, so we make a lot of saddles for several different organizations and individuals. It’s been a great business. My mom and I continued to run it when we were on the road. Thank goodness for FaceTime so you could run your shop while you’re driving.
John Dowdy: No doubt.
Cheyenne Wimberley: Yeah, technology changed everything for everybody because I don’t know what we would do if we hadn’t had technology.
John Dowdy: Yeah. Now the website is cowboyclassicsaddlery.com
Cheyenne Wimberley: Yes.
John Dowdy: Awesome. Well anybody listening…
Cheyenne Wimberley: Yes. And if you call you’re probably going to talk to my mom or myself. We’re still pretty, we’re definitely hands on. We didn’t get to the summer but we usually, majority of the time we are messing with every saddle that leaves the shop.
John Dowdy: Great. Yeah. Getting into the, your program for your horses to keep them in top shape. What are some of the things that you’ve done through the years prior to coming across the Equinety, because we’ll get into a little bit of that. What are some of the things that you do to keep your horses in tip top shape?
Cheyenne Wimberley: Well I would say when I’m, I first like to start with a foundation. I feel like a good clean feed is really important. I try to feed zero sugars, no molasses. I personally feed oats and sunflower seeds. I do not feed a feed that has any type of byproduct in or any type of soy. I like to start clean and then I try to find the best hay quality that I can feed. We also turn most of our horses out on a rotation through grass and we have coastal Bermuda in our area. We don’t have them all in stalls all the time. They’re all rotated in through some kind of pasture. But I feel like when you start with a good basic program, then you can add to your program what you feel like your horse needs.
I’ve always said herbs from Equine Natural Care. I feed their herbs and I fed herbs for years and years, but I also educated myself with herbs so I don’t feed the same herbs over and over. I feed what I feel like that horse at that time kind of needs to get it through its system. I’m pretty basic so I feel I feed along that line. When I came to the point of Equinety, I actually had talked to a couple of different friends that I knew who was getting it and I kind of asked around about their stories, but when I started leading Equinety, it was simply amazing the difference that I was seeing in the horses that were getting fed Equinety. Maybe something that was a little bit more added to such a high performance athlete. Their recovery, they were making two, three runs a weekend and we’re talking every weekend driving 400 miles in between each run.
They were making those runs every weekend from July to September and they were just rebounding greatly. They looked outstanding. They look like show horses, they never lost weight, their hair coat was shiny, dappled out, and they might be a little bit tired on Monday, but on Tuesday they were ready to go. And it was just amazing that you could see that difference on such a athletic level.
John Dowdy: Right. Well and those for tuning in for the first time, what I’ll give a little bit of education on what the Equinety product is. It’s 100% pure amino acids. There’s no fillers, no sugars, no starches, just 100% pure aminos. But these are specifically formulated and put together to stimulate the pituitary gland, which is the master gland in the body. And that’s what releases the necessary hormones, which help keep the cells operating at their optimal levels. When it comes to high performance horses like we’re talking about in this case, faster recovery, more stamina, focus, they haul better, their recovery just overall, they look fantastic and you get into horses that are having all kinds of other issues, whatever it might be. Again, we’re giving the body what it needs to release those hormones so the body can help heal itself. It’s customizing to each horse. I would just guess that when people saw you pulling into the showgrounds, they’re like, ah crap, here comes Cheyenne and those good looking horses.
Cheyenne Wimberley: Well I will say numerous times I would have people say, “Gosh, your horses look outstanding. I can’t believe they look like this, being hauled.” And because really and truly the trailering is just probably harder on them as the running. And we say that we weren’t really going that far, but we were going 400 miles every day. We were going back and forth because you’re just, you’re up in the northwest at that time. You’re just making some big circles. And it doesn’t feel like that bad because you’re not driving all night. But it’s still a lot of miles. And they were looking outstanding. They came home looking as good as they did when they left. It was just, it was crazy. It was just one of those things that you just couldn’t believe it that you kept having to go back and it has to be, the program is working. You just had to stick with your program.
John Dowdy: Sure. And I know one of the other things, you have a PMF machine?
Cheyenne Wimberley: Yes.
John Dowdy: Yep. In combination, and that’s what we try to do our best to educate people from our side, and all the Equinety product does a lot for your horse. It always helps to be in tune with your horse and know what they really need. But in combination with all of these different things, it is a dynamite product if I do say so myself.
Cheyenne Wimberley: Yes, I would say that.
John Dowdy: Yeah. Yeah. But well that’s awesome. Well, as we wrap up here, is there anything else that you would like to touch on or any advice that you would have to give or maybe somebody that might be on the fence about trying the Equinety? Anything you’d have to say to them?
Cheyenne Wimberley: Well, I don’t really, I feel like they need to try it. I have truly never seen horses that look as good as they look. And I also know, we talked about this earlier, I make saddles for Bob and Marnie Loosenort. And so Marnie and them have used your product also. Well their horses are high performance horses. And I feel like if you’re starting to see a trend where multiple people and trainers are using the product, it’s probably good to try the product. We can all read about it, but until you try it, you can’t be a believer.
But I’m definitely a believer, so I feel like it’s definitely going to stay in my program because I can’t imagine my horses performing without it because I feel like as an athlete myself, we exercise hard and we train hard. We take amino acids too. And the recovery is just phenomenal and you’re not on it until you are on it. It’s kind of one of the things I feel like if it works for me, I got to try it on my horses and now I’ve seen it work on my horses. I feel like it’s just a win, win situation.
John Dowdy: Yeah. That’s fantastic. Well, Cheyenne, I want to thank you so much for taking the time out. I know you’re very busy and it’s been a great call. I know there’s a lot of people that are going to get a lot out of this. Cheyenne Wimberley: from Stevenville, Texas, thank you so much.
Cheyenne Wimberley: Thank you for having me.
John Dowdy: You bet. Bye bye.