How many of us truly follow our childhood dreams? For Laura Kiracofe’s dad, he did just that when she was in fourth grade. Without a job and a just a few friends in Idaho, he picked up the family and moved them out of Ohio and into his childhood dream of living in “the West” — which landed them in Nampa, Idaho. With the ultimatum of “If I go out to Idaho, you better get me a horse,” Laura has lived in the great western state of Idaho ever since, now with five of her own horses and a firm grip on the western lifestyle.
Laura’s first horse, which she borrowed, came from a neighboring ranch where she was very persistent with the owner that he needed her help with his horses. A deal was brokered to board an old pageant horse on her families land and Laura now had her first of many horses that would enter into her life and give her more blessings than she could count.
After a move to five acres between Star and Middleton, where her parents still reside, Laura began bareback riding lessons, which she says gave her the foundation and balance it takes to be the type of horseman she has become. Her first horse was a local LesBois Park race horse named Termite that raced in quarter mile and chariot races. She was obviously fast, so Laura started doing barrels, key holes and fun 4-H Play Days, but her best memories with Termite was when they would go swimming together in the river during the summer. Laura remembers, “We took care of each other” which is a running truth in Laura’s life with her horses.
Throughout her youth and into her adult life, Laura has set goals, met them, exceeded them, and then set new ones to achieve. This pattern made her quite successful in 4-H, FFA, athletics and into her current part-time role as a competitive cow horse rider.
Her success in reining horses started, once again, with her parent’s neighbor raising reining horses and her type-A personality that says, “Yea, I could do that.” Her first reining horse was named Dry Rainey and they hit it off great.
With Dan Roeser as a trainer and rider on a new horse named Deuce, Dry Rainey’s second foal, Laura was pleased with the outcome of the horse she helped raise, but decided to sell Deuce in California, but did not receive any offers. “I guess he was just too quick for the riders that tried him out.” So, with this strong, quick horse, Laura had a new goal, she decided to ride her cow horse. “Dan said he didn’t think it was the best idea because he was so strong and quick and I was such a novice rider. But so far, everything has worked out.” Meaning, Laura has had much success over the last four years including, a tie for the Reserve NRCHA World Championship in the Limited Non-Pro and winning the 2009 Novice Non-Pro Bridle at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Laura is really good at goals. “It is just that much sweeter that I helped raise him, ride him and win with him. We are a great team.”
The reining and reined cow horse family keeps her going and supports her even when they are competing against each other. “It’s a family. We compete together, BBQ together and enjoy our time together.” With Dan at her side during practice and competitions, Laura attributes a lot of her success to Dan and the athlete that Deuce is today. “Dan is a great coach, mentor and is a kind and amazing person. And, he knows how to put me in my place.”
Not only does Laura continue to compete, but she is also the National Sales Manager for Cumulus Media, a board member on the Idaho Reined Cow Horse Association (IRCHA), a foster parent for the Idaho Humane Society and her most important job, a full-time mom to 12 year old Molly. Molly is experiencing her own success, with a 3rd place in Freestyle Youth Reining at this year’s Western Idaho Fair. “Molly doesn’t have much fear and has a lot of confidence.” Like Mother, like Daughter.
Laura has the grit and determination of what you think a true Idaho cowgirl should have. Her ultimatum to her Dad at age nine has proved that when a young girl puts her mind to something, you better believe she is not only going to achieve it, but blow it out of the water.
You can watch Laura and Deuce this Saturday at the IRCHA event she will be competing in the Novice Intermediate and Non-Pro Bridle event. See these pictures and others from out People of Our West series on our Flickr and Facebook account.