Meet Rodeo Queen and Barrel Racer, Sierra Howard Villalobos
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As the sun highlights the red desert mountains, casting shadows against the wind-carved canyons, a pasture stands out. Inside its enclosure, Jason Aldean’s, “She’s Country” drifts through the air. The words “You boys ever met a real country girl” echo the reflection of 21 year old, Rodeo Queen and Barrel Racer, Sierra Howard Villalobos, standing next to her two-Quarter Horses, eleven-year-old Dunny and seven-year-old Snazzy.
Do not let the Pontiac she drives mislead your thinking, she is a country girl through and through and her passion is horses. She hauls horses. She trains horses. She even rides horses. While she can not put her finger on why horses are her passion, she is in awe due to their size and nature, “Horses are so beautiful and such big animals. The fact that an animal that big would let you on its back; let you tame it, makes it an amazing animal.”
Sierra Howard Villalobos with her horse While she is in the fields watching her horses graze or unwind after a workout, Sierra can be found reading the latest issue of Barrel Horse News Magazine. A barrel racer for years she has seen her share of horses and owners and if there were thing she could change in the barrel racing industry, “helping those owners that treat their horse badly” tops her list. “Riding barrels took commitment. I was a lousy rider initially, but Barbara West believed in me and taught me the skills of being the rider I am today and the one I aspire to become in my future.”
Sierra enjoys watching anything on Animal Planet. She looks up to the singer, Selena for her kindness, her compassion for people and her positive attitude. They are the qualities Sierra hopes to convey with her horses and the humans that she encounters.
Even Sierra’s bucket list revolves around horses! On top of her list is “going to the NFR one day; Becoming a well-known horse trainer and marrying a cowboy.” She is not necessarily set on checking them off her bucket list in that particular order.
While Villalobos has been around horses her entire life, ownership happened nine years ago. There has been no looking back. She covets the talent of Horse Whisper. There is a vast amount she has learned about horses. The knowledge has only enriched her love affair with them. Still, there is a terrific amount she hopes to discover about horses.
Her two horses are her pride and joy, especially eleven-year-old Denver Dun Bar (“Dunny”). He has been with Sierra for the past seven years. She is training him to be a barrel horse. His character and personality make him a keeper, “He is a horse until the day he passes away that I will own. He is an angel. I just love him.” Sharing the field with Sierra and Dunny is seven-year-old Stinkingly Blue, nicknamed, “Snazzy”. “I have owned her for a few months. She is very high-spirited.” Sierra Howard Villalobos loves horses! Sierra’s purpose is not just about horses. Her first job was as a dog groomer’s assistant. If she had the opportunity other than working with horses, she would like to have a career as a Veterinarian.
The voice of a horse, Sierra says that most people are quick to judge a horse. “Horses do NOT think like us. So many people think if a horse is acting up that the horse is stupid and does not know what it is doing when, in fact, it is the rider that does not know how to communicate with the horse. Horses are intelligent, and with some training, patience, and love they can do many things you would not expect.”
July 15 is I Love Horses Day. There is no doubt Sierra Villalobos will be celebrating it with some quiet time with Dunny and Snazzy, reflecting on how unique each horse is and how lucky she is to call them her friend.