2022 Montana Pro Rodeo Circuit Finalist Heather Crowley

Which horse(s) are you taking to the finals? What are their lifetime earnings? TS Surley Perks aka Shazam.

What is unique about their personality and what are their strengths? Shazam borders on the crazy side, but she is unbelievably talented and absolutely loves running barrels. She adores Thea. Even though she’s a lot of horse, she will still put her head down and walk slow when Thea leads her.

When did you start competing in barrels? When I was 8 years old on my dad’s rope horse at the local youth rodeos

Do you raise your own horses? Or do you purchase? Are you looking for specific bloodlines? Both. Shazam was purchased as a weanling from Treasure State Quarter Horses and I have multiple from them that I love. I have also had success on ones we’ve raised and multiple different bloodlines.

What are your conditioning and workout routines for both you and your horse(s)? I work to build muscles in my horses by collection and going up and down hills. As much as I dislike the cold, I do think the snow this time of year helps with conditioning. I also had my husband work a field really deep in the spring to also help with conditioning.  I by no means think I have this figured out, but trying to be better all the time. My horses get rode every day I am able to except I usually give them the day after a run off. I like the beachbody morning meltdown and fire and flow for myself. I try for at least 30 minutes every day, but more realistically probably 4 or 5 days out of the week do I actually get a workout in.  I still have not recovered my core strength and conditioning fully since having kids, but hopefully just keeping after will pay off eventually.

When you're headed to the rodeo what do you listen to: inspirational podcasts, music, audio books?  If I’m by myself, I like informational podcasts. Traveling with my husband and kids more often music or Disney movies

Do you have a rodeo idol and reasons why?  Not a specific one. There are so many people that have influenced me, probably most without knowing it. I really admire the girls that have had the courage to chase their dreams, but also the courage to put their family first. Both take sacrifice and the balance between the two is tricky.

Do you have favorite spots to stop at while on the road? We love to find new adventures, stop at beautiful places, take a minute to admire the scenery and keep things in perspective. Maybe go out of our way a bit to do things we wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to do. For sure make time to take the kids to do things they enjoy. I want them to have good memories from the rodeo trail.

Who do you travel with (including pets or companion horses) and in what kind of rig? My husband, JC, and two kids, Thea and Dash, and Monti the weenie dog. Also traveled with Nicole Bice to Cheyenne which made the difference in my mental outlook for the rest of the season. Also traveled with Jill Ferdina some and I really enjoyed the knowledge and experience she has, and traveled with Ashley Day to some futurities. She is one of my heroes for putting up with my kids and also for the amount of feel and talent she has on the back of a horse.

What are your favorite memories/highlights and obstacles you faced getting to the 2022 circuit finals? The highlight of the season was the relationships I got to build throughout the year as well as seeing my kids make memories with my friend’s kids. The biggest obstacle was the work, family, rodeo life balancing act.  Trying to do it all is a blessing, but also very difficult. Hard to feel like I’m able to put enough time into my horses to allow them the chances they deserve, while also working a job and being an attentive mom.

How do you juggle family life while on the road? Wow, I would really like to know the “right” answer to this. Seriously the hardest balancing act. I think it’s important for my kids to watch us chase our dreams and work hard at something.  However, it is also important to set them up to accomplish their own dreams some day and for them to enjoy the journey. I never want rodeo to come before my family. Being on the back of a horse is how I keep my sanity, that’s my version of self-care, but rodeo must fit into my family’s life. Maybe that means going less or making sure the places we go allow for fun activities. We’ve tried to let rodeo be an avenue for the kids to have experiences they would not otherwise get and hopefully good memories that they will have forever.

What are your hobbies or other sports you compete in?
Snowboarding, or anything with the kids. Mostly our other activities revolve around them anymore.

The Run Down
Saddle: Robbie Phillips
Pad: Classic Equine Zone Pad
Leg Gear: Classic Fit
Bits: Kerry Kelly Magnum with a slow twist and roller
Feed and Supplements (in addition to what, how much you feed daily): Haven’t found something I just love and that my horse will eat, but currently Blue Bonnet Feed, Epic G-1, and Equipulmin pre-race.
Additional Care: Acuscope by Taylour Russell, Ice Legs, Equistem Legsaver, Equiresp
Sponsors: Rodeo Rigs, and My husband