Cowgirl inspires others to ride like the wind

ULM Hawkeye

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Riding with the wind, enjoying the breeze and seeing all of the beautiful sites is what senior pre-pharmacy major Whitney Johnson loves about riding her horse, Texas T.

The 16th annual Black Bayou Rodeo was held this past Saturday at the Monroe Civic Center., and Johnson made sure she went to see her fellow horse riders.

Every year, on the morning of the rodeo, there is a parade and tailgate. Johnson was nominated to be Miss Bayou State for the Northwest Trailride Association last year.

She was in the parade along with Miss Monroe and other local riders.

“It was very exciting actually. Seeing all the little kids yelling for candy and wanting to take a picture was very heart warming. I remember one little girl wanted to put on my hat to take a picture, so I let her and she told me I want to be just like you when I get older,” said Johnson.

Johnson has been riding horses for as long as she can remember. Her dad had an accident when she was a child and it didn’t allow him to continue to ride when he got older.

“He gave me his horse, and from that day on I started riding,” said Johnson.

Horses are gentle creatures, and Johnson sure does love her’s.

“I like that I have someone that will listen when I need to talk. They are just big babies and playful too and will actually protect you because they can sense if you are in danger,” said Johnson.

Although Johnson has participated in rodeos, she has never considered training for the Olympics. In the Olympics, athletes like Johnson compete in equestrian competitions in which they compete in jumping, eventing and dressage.

“I’m more of a barrel type of a girl,” said Johnson.

Johnson would tell anyone who want to learn how to ride to “just get up and do it”.

She said not to try it when you’re scared or nervous though because horses can sense fear, and if they do they may get a little crazy. But at the end of the day it’s not that hard.

“It’s just like driving a car, just without a pedal! Just pull back softly to stop and make a “clicking” sound or nudge them to go,” said Johnson.

One of Johnson’s dreams is to live on a ranch with not just horses but with other animals as well.

Another one of her passions is actually football. Ironically her favorite team is the Dallas cowboys.

“Football season is here! So now I can watch my Cowboys play on Sunday nights,” she said.

Johnson also spends her time focusing on her studies to become a family pharmacist after she graduates, but she will never give up her passion for riding horses.

“The only thing that would stop me from continuing is if horses go extinct! So yes, I would love to continue doing it in the future,” said Johnson.