By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Giddy 'up cowgirl
Student takes up horsemanship
ell kl cowgirl
Ellinwood Grade School student Breckyn Rowley rides her grandparents horse, Barney. Rowley has shown the horse throughout the summer and plans to continue. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO


ELLINWOOD — Ten-year-old Breckyn Rowley, a fifth grader at Ellinwood Grade School, has a new friend named Barney. She recently began riding and taking care of her grandparent’s 15-year-old quarter horse.

She started showing the horse in June and has competed in showmanship, walk/trot and pleasure riding. She is a member of 4-H and also of the American Quarter horse Youth Association.

"He’s a woolley mammoth," said Breckyn. "It’s hard to keep him at the right temperature," since it her responsibility to groom him and keep him clean and comfortable. Barney is kept at the trainer’s farm ten miles south of Ellinwood.

Barney has taught Breckyn about life. "It teaches you others have feelings and to take responsibility," she said.

"If I get nervous, he gets nervous," she said. Barney shows his nervousness by getting big eyes and seeming to ask "What I am doing?"

"It’s hard to take care of him," Breckyn said. "It teaches you strength and not to be shy, to be okay talking to others."

It’s not all fun and games. The person who cleans out the stalls of horse dirt most of the time is Breckyn. "He’s a poop monster."

But, "I’ve learned you treat animals with respect," she said. In addition, Barney is a good listener. If she feels sad, "I can go out and ride him and it makes me feel better," said Breckyn.

Barney is not too hard to take care of, but he likes attention and Breckyn has learned to respect his boundaries. "He doesn’t like us to touch his ear or his face. He get jealous when I don’t give attention to him," such as when she rides one of the other horses.

The horse has some responsibilities, too, and is required by the girl to behave. "We reward him. He needs to behave for us."

The fifth grader has won awards and placed in almost everything she has competed in. She plans to keep showing the horse.

She won: Barton County Fair, Grand Champion Showmanship, Western Pleasure, 1st; District Horse Show in Kingman, Halter, blue, Showmanship, blue; State Fair AQHA weekend, Showmanship Judge A, 4th, Judge B, 4th, Western Pleasure, Judge A, 2nd, Judge B, 2nd, Horsemanship, Judge A, 2nd Judge B, 2nd; State Fair 4H weekend, Halter, 3rd out of 37 horses, Showmanship.

Hope in the Heartland American Quarter Horse Show, Western Pleasure Judge A, 2nd, Judge B, 2nd, Horsemanship, Judge A, 2nd, Judge B, 4th, Novice Youth Showmanship, Judge A, 3rd Judge B, 3rd, Western Pleasure, Judge A, 2nd, Judge B, 4th, Horsemanship, Judge A, 2nd Judge B, 2nd Novice Youth Showmanship, Judge B 6th.