At the 2018 NRHA Futurity, Melissa Mower was simply focused on helping the event run smoothly. It was her first year working as staff for the show. Back home, she is a full-time police officer.
“I grew up in Iowa, so I am definitely western born. When I rode for the mounted patrol for the Des Moines Police Department, I learned English. So, I got into English by accident.”
Melissa’s daughter, who is now 14, stumbled upon one of those mounted patrol photos. This spurred the pair into finding a place to take some lessons at. “We took English and jumping lessons together and I got completely addicted to it [jumping].”
Reining hasn’t taken off in the Hawkeye state yet. Melissa is getting a front-row seat as the impact of Yellowstone’s reining feature starts to unfold. “The Yellowstone feature was huge for the sport. People who didn’t necessarily understand reining started to take notice. It’s been really good to watch people respond to that.”
Melissa remembers recounting how interesting she found reining to be during her time in Oklahoma City last year. Her daughter heard it from her mom, but finally saw it firsthand on Yellowstone.
“I like how interesting and intricate reining can be as far as lead changes, balance, spins and everything goes. Watching these young horses perform at this level and knowing how much time has gone into them is cool to me.”
Melissa’s daughter will join in on the fun later this week and get to see firsthand what the hype is all about when it comes to reining.