By Jessica Crabtree
The inevitable is that every little girl falls in love with horses. How far they take that love and passion is another thing. For Kendra Dickson, she had several influential horses throughout her life time.
Dickson was raised in the east Texas town of Nacogdoches. Her roots are in ranching, “We had 1,500 acres that joined another 1,500 so essentially I grew up running on 3,000 acres. Dad had 100 brood mares and cattle. He cowboyed all his life. These cattle were rouge; that was our hay-day, running and roping wild cattle,” Dickson recalled.
Her father, Eddie Rosenberger was an all-around cowboy, PRCA judge and horse trainer. Her mother, Carol, ran barrels and is a former rodeo queen. “I guess that’s were I got my interest in queen competitions. It served me well all through my teen years and early twenties, earning me 10 titles. It was an incentive for communication, an important part to represent the responsibility to grow the sport of rodeo,” Dickson explained.
Dickson has a clear memory of horses clear back to her very first. Her first pony was a blue roan named “Shrinky Dink.” The next, “Tena-shoe Rackie,” “Pondie” was the first horse I ever fell off of,” said Dickson, “and the first horse I ever registered was a four-year-old of my dad’s named “Ruffles N Diamonds.” Then after came a horse of her dad’s,” Blue B Rocket,” an appendix bred Quarter Horse.
Spending more than her fair share of time on the race track grooming and ponying horses, the cowgirl’s aspirations arose to be a champion barrel racer.
“Jessie was my first real rodeo horse. I was a freshman in high school competing in Region 5 Texas High School Rodeo. I won a lot,” Dickson said. Jessie was a horse that taught Dickson a large lesson at a young age, “We had bought Jessie with this long line of credentials behind her. We just knew she was going to be a super star.”
As life would have it, things weren’t that easy. “It took five months for her to teach me. I would check and rate her during our barrel pattern, but would never let her go. I wasn’t a seasoned competitor yet. Finally after all that time I let her go. The harder I rode, the tighter and faster she turned,”
Dickson stated. Once the duo engaged, Jessie paid for herself within 30 days.
After high school, Dickson went on to attend Stephen F. Austin University. During college Dickson didn’t rodeo as much, more or less placing her time and effort into queen competitions. In 1997 Dickson married her husband, Chad and the newlyweds moved to North Texas, “I thought with all the rodeos I’d been to and queen competitions I’d entered, that I’d come to North Texas and show up all the city girls,” Dickson said.
“I was wrong. I got schooled,” she said with a laugh. Dickson explained she learned upon moving that North Texas is the hottest spot for barrel racing. That’s when things began to change in Dickson’s life.