Behind the Slide – Denise Anne Severson-Hobbs, Texas

Long Beach, California, transplants, Denise Anne Severson-Hobbs and her husband headed east in pursuit of the American dream: a life in the country. That’s exactly what they found down in Honey Grove, Texas.

“We built a house long distance before moving to Texas about six years ago,” Denise said. “We lived in a beach community, which was very close quarters. We wanted the wide-open spaces. Living in Texas has been a dream come true.” 

Denise set her sights on moving east and learning to ride a horse. She had never ridden before, but that evidently wasn’t a deterrent. Denise’s bubbly personality makes it clear she isn’t afraid of a challenge and has always enjoyed trying new things.

Denise and her husband met NRHA Professional Pete Kyle and he introduced them to reining. The couple didn’t have a clue what a reining horse was, but they watched a few runs and knew it would be a thrill a minute. 

“Since then, I’ve been working with [NRHA Professional] Josh Crawley and he’s taught me how to ride,” she said. “I’ve been riding with him consistently for the last year and a half. He’s been the key. He works very diligently with me.” 

Denise spent almost an entire month in the hospital just over a year ago. And she said the doctors came close to losing her, but she’s fighter.

“I got over those health issues and got started [riding] again,” Denise said with a huge smile. “The horse is good for the soul. Period.”

Now 73 years old, Denise swings her leg over the back of a horse three times a week. She’s just started her own show career and she even purchased a Futurity horse last year.

“I really jumped in with both feet,” Denise said. “I didn’t even know what a Futurity and Derby was, I was just trying to figure out which horses were young and which were old.” 

Denise is a living testament to the healing power of a horse. She’s 73 years young and has a message for everyone with even an inkling of interest in reining.

“I want everyone to know there’s no limitations to getting on a horse,” she shared.