Ponoka-based barrel racer Shayna Weir is bringing her ‘fire breathing dragon’ to the Canadian Finals Rodeo (CFR) at the Enmax Centrium this week.
That’s the term of endearment she gives to her horse, Moons Dyna, who she describes as a big, handful of a horse.
“She does not love people,” said Weir. “She keeps to herself and doesn’t want a lot of attention but she’s lots of fun.”
And the nine-year-old Bay mare just loves her job.
“She works well indoors and outdoors and the bigger the pattern and the trashier the ground, the harder she works.”
Weir, who owns a ranch in Ponoka with her husband, comes from generations of cowboys and cowgirls, many of whom competed in the CFR. So, making it to the highly competitive rodeo in barrel racing comes naturally to her.
Like so many rodeo competitors, Weir started out in high school and worked her way up.
The 32-year-old made the FCA Cowboy Classic Finals Rodeo and the Lakeland Rodeo Association Showdown Finals in 2010 and 2011.
From there, Weir continued in the professional circuit, coming up just shy of the CFR last year.
“The CFR is definitely an experience of a lifetime,” Weir said.
“It’s something that most cowboys and cowgirls strive for and so it is an honour to make it. And it’s always been a goal of mine. I’m definitely pretty excited to have accomplished that and be able to compete there.”
Going into big competitions like the CFR involves lots of practice, she said. And keeping her horses ‘fresh.’
“I ride my horses out in the field,” she explained. “I try and keep them fresh and get them exercise. I will go to the odd event just to keep them sharp to get them going and prepped but the biggest thing is work them out in the field and keeping them fresh.”
She said a strong partnership with your horse is key in barrel racing.
“You need to have trust in your horse and your horse has to trust you and I think that combination is what matters most,” she said. “They’ll work for you, if you work for them.”
Look for Weir and Moons Dyna as they compete this week in the barrel racing competition. The CFR runs through to Nov. 4th at Westerner Park.