Never tell a cowgirl no: Kylee Grace

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I want to introduce everyone to a special Sundial squad member, Kylee. I have had the pleasure of having her back the brand for several years--and I just had to share her "NEVER TELL A COWGIRL NO" story with y'all! She exemplifies chasing your dreams and never backing down; and honestly she is an inspiration...

You recently relocated from California to Texas. Can you tell us a little bit about your move, why you did it and how you've set yourself up for success?

I had dreamed of moving to Texas for at least 10 years prior to actually doing it, and was half way trying and applying for jobs the last 5 years leading up to my final move. I had to say I was not ready for how hard it would be to pack up everything I owned and move away from everyone I loved. But I had a dream to move to Texas and knew in my heart it was the time to chase that dream. I really just tried to go in with the mindset that failing wasn’t an option, there have been many many struggles but I have been able to look at them in a different light than I used to and don’t see them as failures just struggles.

I would love to hear about your riding background, how you started, what made you fall in love with barrel racing, and about your current horses

From the time I was 3 years old I had this love for horses, I used to remember every time we would go through a tunnel I was wish for 100 horses. When I was just about to turn 6 my mom moved my sister and I to the ranch my mom still calls home and I got my first pony for that 6th birthday. I had always loved going fast from the time I first started riding, and through a trial period of trying just about every discipline barrel racing just seemed to fit. I still enjoy learning as much as I can from as many different disciplines and trainers as I have the opportunity to, as I believe in some way or another they all help me with barrel racing. Streakin To Da Moon aka Handsome has been a constant challenge for me which I love, he has really formed such a fun personality and grown into himself. And Super Dry Dock aka Elvis is my first real barrel horse and one of the greatest horses I’ll ever get to own. He is 20 this year and has decided since his birthday which was in April that he is feeling like a 2 year old again so I think everyone just may see him back out there racing again for the remainder of the year!

Can you tell us a little bit about what you had to go through for rehab after the supershow?

"3 years ago today I didn’t know if I would ever walk into this barn again, heck I didn’t know if I’d be able to walk at all for part of that day. Being back here today brought up a lot of emotions I didn’t expect to be completely honest. I’ve been saying for the last three years I’d be back in that arena but I had to let another year go by. I am more determined than ever to be back in this arena next year."

My rehab after the super show was nothing like It was supposed to be. I was originally told at the hospital that I broke my T1 which controls you being paralyzed from the chest down, it was a very fragile break and any wrong move could leave me paralyzed. I was then put into this awful brace that I was supposed to be in for a minimum of 8 weeks, then continue on to physical therapy and then talk about getting back on my horse. The hospital I was at in Las Vegas refused to send over my medical records so no doctor in California would see me. We spent weeks going back and forth with no results. I had mostly been bed ridden for that time being, in excruciating pain and just really having the worlds biggest pity party for myself. Finally after about 5 weeks an amazing friend of mine convinced her chiropractor to see me and get some X-rays and hopefully some answers. After the chiropractor X-rayed me he found my T1, T6 and T7 were all fractured and my brace was doing more harm than good, he suggested I take the brace off that day and we began making adjustments to help get me going again. That night I hauled handsome out to a local barrel race (after him not being ridden since the accident only lunged) I got on at the race and just walked him around. The following Thursday I entered in the race and continued going to the chiropractor 3-4 days a week (not mentioning to him for months that I had got back on my horse and been riding the entire time). So my rehab was seriously so far from what it should’ve been, I’m just so grateful for such an amazing chiropractor that truly turned my life back around.

Are there any short-term goals you'd like to accomplish in the next few months to a couple of years?

My short term goals for the next few months are to really focus on putting my accident behind me and moving forward with confidence. The first year after my accident I came back strong and with what I felt was a point to prove, but within the last year and a half my confidence really went down the drain progressively getting worse and worse. Recently I found myself physically shaking in fear after some exhibition at a race after a few months off racing. I felt like I hit rock bottom at that point, and that my options were either sell Handsome, who has easily been my dream horse, or to start putting my accident behind me again and believing in myself and trusting my horse. At this point my only point to prove is for myself and I feel like that’s my main goal for the next few months. Within the next few years I would like to be at a point where I feel comfortable entering in American qualifiers with my main goal to eventually run at the semi finals!

What do you see yourself accomplishing in five to ten years?

In the next five to ten years, I see myself building my own equine rehab facility and eventually training some colts of my own to futurity. I’d love to continue building my brand and really just trying to be 1% better than the me I was the day before.

Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me Kylee!

It's officially been 3 years this week since Kylee experienced one of those moments all of us dread; a dangerous accident while competing and riding the horse you love. I AM SO PROUD to see you back & look forward to all the things you have yet to accomplish!

"This picture was from my first 3 day race after my accident, I was told 'No' over and over again for months after I broke my back but we happily made our comeback regardless of who told us no!"

Follow along Kylee's journey back in the saddle on her Instagram @perfectperfection, or Facebook Kylee Grace 💕

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