Rodeo isn’t for the faint of heart, with grueling drives, late nights, long days, and sometimes weeks spent away from home. Jodi Colton knows a thing or two about how to stay competitive out on the road and keep her horse and herself feeling good. The Spring Hill, Tennessee, barrel racer is the 2017 IPRA World Champion and finished the season with $37,297 in earnings, all while a full-time nuclear medicine student at Vanderbilt University and maintaining a full-time job in an Alzheimer’s and dementia unit caring for patients. She’s now planning to focus on Women’s Professional Rodeo Association rodeos and make a push for the National Finals Rodeo in 2018 with her mare BB French Effort. Jodi gave us a glimpse inside her life on the road and a few tips for survival if you want to start hauling to rodeos.
BHN: What’s your routine on the road?
Jodi: We stay wherever we can, if we can find friends’ houses or we’ll go places like the Stockyards here in Fort Worth or at Will Rogers [Coliseum and fairgrounds]. I get up in the morning, I feed, and “Solo” has a routine where she loves to be turned out, so anywhere I can find to turn her out when I get to a rodeo, she’ll get a few minutes to do her thing and be a horse. That’s super important to me—I don’t like to keep her penned up in a stall. She’s got that kind of personality where she likes to get out and play. She’s still very much a child on the inside!
Who are your hauling partners?
I hauled the majority of last year with Kristen Yde; she went into the [2017 IPRA International Finals Rodeo] second in the world and ended up fourth or so. We hauled quite a bit together. To the IFR, I’ve been brining my good friend Tyler Jeffery along with me. I also haul a lot with Josh Cragar the bareback rider, he’s been a big part of my success as well.
How do you keep yourself healthy on the road?
I really try to have a hauling partner to help split the driving. I used to hate to drink water, but I’ve really noticed now that I’ve been drinking a lot of water and trying to eat healthier and avoiding fast food that it’s really helped me feel good.
How do you keep your horse feeling fresh?
I always keep her chiropractored. I believe 100 percent in chiropractoring a horse. I use Back On Track products, and I use Magna Cu wraps from PHT. I also like to poultice and have done the MagnaWave and cold saltwater leg spas. Anything I can do to help her feel good, I’ll try it. You can’t do any of this without your horse, and she’s pretty much all I’ve got, so I’ll do everything I can to keep her feeling good.
What’s Solo’s after-run routine?
First thing I do is I always loosen her saddle, and before I ever leave the arena I take her boots off, because I feel like that’s her way of knowing, ‘Hey, you did a good job, that’s your reward.’ The minute I get back to the trailer, I give her a cookie—she’s a cookie monster! Depending on the weather, I’ll use a Back On Track sheet or a poultice. I also like to walk her out to help her cool down and things like that.
What’s your best tip for survival on the rodeo road?
Just have fun. Don’t let it get too serious; don’t let the pressure get to you. You’ve got to keep it fun; don’t get too caught up.
Do you have sponsors or people in your life who’ve helped you succeed?
My mom and uncle, Tyler Jeffery, Mandy Peidl, Jackie Eagle, Josh Cragar and his family. I’m sponsored by Harris Farms, Spurr’s Big Fix, Spur Life, Prairie Sky Jewelry Co, MVP, Beads N Bling, K&N Equine Solutions, D&M Equine Design, Summerdale Western Store, Dream Big Hidez Compression, Glitz N Blitz Customs, Mandy’s Custom Tack, and Thunderbird Brand.