Meet The Horsewoman – Brittani Johnson
- March 27, 2018
- Tiffany Schwenke
I have had the pleasure of meeting Brittani Johnson at a couple ranch rodeos. Brittani along with her team of lady ropers were all very sincere and super handy. I watched them work as a team in the arena and I watched them cheer on other teams with great enthusiasm. Brittani Johnson especially caught my eye as I watched her horsemanship. Brittani has a soft set of hands on her horses reins, but make no mistake she is confident in what she is doing and that transfers well to the horses she rides.
I recently asked Brittani a few questions about her journey as a horsewoman…
CS: Please give us a little background on your journey with horses?
BJ: I wasn’t born with horses. I took my first riding lesson when I was seven. I mainly rode hunters before I dabbled in several other disciplines; saddleseat, dressage, reining, western pleasure, roping and barrel racing. I even started and exercised thoroughbred racehorses for a year. I took an interest in colt starting in my late teens and it’s something, along with cowhorses, that really stuck.
CS: What made you interested in being a farrier? Who did you learn from?
BJ: Becoming a farrier was never something I had planned. It was a rushed decision, I only thought I wanted to learn how to shoe my own and before I knew it, I was at the Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School. I owe my early education and experience to two men who are very important to me, Jacob Valentic and Bruce Gibbs. They both took me in when few others took me seriously or wanted to give me a chance.
CS: Tell us about your women’s ranch rodeo team. How long have you ladies been roping with each other?
BJ: The girls and I competed in several rodeos last year and qualified and competed at the world finals. Two of the girls have been long term teammates and the other two of us were new last year. We traveled across the country and back again together and I couldn’t have imagined a better experience to exercise team work and horsemanship and make new friends who shared irreplaceable memories with us.
CS: How did you get involved in the mustang challenges and colt starting challenges and do you think that has helped you grow as a horsewoman?
BJ: I’ve watched the mustang and colt starting challenges from afar for many years, never thinking I had what it took to do well. I’m my own worst critic and I had to learn to set that aside after I won the last two challenges I entered. I couldn’t possibly describe what those have done for my horsemanship, my confidence and my grit. I’ve learned, most of all, that undivided attention and commitment to your passion is the most important thing you could do for yourself. It’s hard work, it’s easy to quit, but it’s the most rewarding feeling when I learned to push through.
CS: What are you up to these days and what are your future plans?
BJ: I’m working on two very big projects at the moment. I am entered in the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Fort Worth, Texas. This will be my rookie year. I am also working feverishly on passing my Certified Farrier exam through the American Farriers Association. I don’t imagine I’ll take any breaks in between, I’m sure I’ll find some more colt starting competitions as well! We don’t grow if we don’t challenge ourselves.
About Tiffany Schwenke
My family has been ranching and raising horses for over 100 years. We raise, train, and market AQHA horses at North Four Mile Creek Horse Ranch. We produce the annual event WYO WILD RIDE RANCH RODEO. I am a wife and a mother to 3 amazing...