The story behind the name of this company, as you can imagine, goes so much deeper than “it was my horse’s name.” Even though the years that separate those good times and now are well into the double digits, it can still be difficult to talk about. Most of the tears are replaced now with smiles and stories- some I don’t remember and most I do. As this dream of BullFrog Creatives has come to fruition, I find myself thinking of him more often then usual. I was recently reminded of the first high school rodeo I entered on him. Newcastle, Wyoming. My dad reminded me that he took the bit and ran to the other end of the arena like a bulldoggin’ horse. Through his, and my whole career, not a summer went by that I didn’t get an offer from some guy to make him into a bulldoggin’ horse. He would have been a good one. While I don’t remember this original run away, I can only imagine how embarrassed I was. Oh, hey, this is my new barrel horse….Carver’s Tough Sonic, Bullfrog. Frog, was, in fact a one of a kind horse. People still call me Frog. Even after all this time; those that watched me build him, or rather he build me. It brings me great joy when people tell me that they remember my good horse, Frog.
In a 3 part series I’d like to share a little something I wrote shortly after he passed away in 2013. I found it recently and thought it timely as BFC had just launched. One thing I know for sure is it is always important to know where you came from and the struggles you surpassed. I will warn you- it is sad. I cried to myself as I put this together. Remembering the hard stuff always is. In the end, I can smile at the lessons learned and the life I have since lived. I hope you enjoy.
As I started high school rodeo I never really considered myself a barrel racer. I used my dad’s ranch horse, Joe, to run barrels. He was bred to run. He never could run and turn, however. He was also my dad’s hazing horse, the family head horse and my goat tying horse. He always bucked just as I was stepping off. And, typically, grabbed a gear. It hurts just thinking about it. My sophomore year, my parents agreed that I would need something a bit more reliable to help get me to the next level. Given my dad’s rodeo connections we looked for quite awhile and came across this stout red horse. We traveled to Riverton to try out Bullfrog. The first time I rode him was at the arena at the college. Patti Stalley, whom I would go to for help afterwards, was there to show him to us. Frog’s original owner was her oldest daughter, Karie. While I never really had an opportunity to get to know Karie, I will always be grateful about her downsize. Suddenly, green became my favorite color an collecting frogs became an obsession. It really is quite crazy the amount of frog figurines one person can have.
This horse became my life. He and I had to connect somehow and the best way to do that was a lot of hours riding. I long trotted Frog a good 10 miles a day. Frog always wintered well and since I was playing basketball during the off season of rodeo it gave him a good break. As soon as b-ball was out in March I hit the highway for more long trotting. As you can imagine, a special bond was created with Frog during our long distance running. I spent more time with this horse then I care to admit.