Senior Saje Beard has taken over her father’s horseshoeing business as well as competing in roping competitions.
For 27 years Beard’s father ran a business that shod horses for clients surrounding Bismarck-Mandan and now Beard has taken it over along with competing in team roping events.
Beard’s business is ran mostly during the summer months when more people are riding and competing with horses.
“A lot of people don’t keep up on the maintenance of their horses’ feet during the winter months because they are not using the horses as much,” Beard said.
Traveling with her father since she could walk, Beard watched and learned the technique to shoe a horse properly.
“I just went with him everywhere and the more I went the more he taught me,” Beard said.
Her mother, Crystal Beard, has watched her daughter grow up with all of the horse aspects in her life.
“Her father really has taught her so much,” Crystal Beard said. “All of the horse stuff has come from him and she couldn’t of had a better teacher.”
Saje Beard has acquired all of her father’s clients. So during the summer she can shoe anywhere from four to five horses an hour.
“Most of the people only have around five horses for me to shoe at a time,” Saje Beard said. “There are some weeks where I have stables of horses, that have 40 horses, to do and I break those up into about three days.”
Saje Beard plans on going to college in the fall but will be keeping the business alive by shoeing as much as she is able to.
“I am not sure yet what I want to do but I am not going to quit shoeing,” she said.
Along with the business, Saje Beard also team ropes almost every weekend during the summer.
“I am really busy most of the time,” Saje Beard said. “I have to practice along with the horseshoeing. Mostly it just depends on the week and how many clients there are.”
Saje Beard has been on a horse from the time she was 9 months old. Her father would take her along on his horse and eventually she progressed competitively.
“She has done so well in the event. She doesn’t compete in the high school rodeo but does as many open events as possible,” Crystal Beard said.
Saje Beard and her family have traveled all over North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and some in Minnesota to team rope.
“The farthest we traveled would be about 12 hours away,” Saje Beard said. “It was a big competition and we wanted to see how well we could do there.”
Having three horses to compete on and another two that are being trained, Saje Beard spends everyday working with them and making sure they stay in shape.
“My uncle has a big indoor arena near Menoken that we are able to use,” Saje Beard said. “We rope almost every night for about four to five hours.”
Competing in the jackpot ropings has come with big rewards for Saje Beard and the rest of her family.
“I won my first saddle this past year and I have a few buckles,” Saje Beard said. “My uncle puts on a muley roping every year and I won about three grand at that one.”
By competing in the team roping and in running a business Saje Beard has gained many skills that she will be able to use in the future.
“She does well in school and then she does so much with the horses,” Crystal Beard said. “I am so proud of her and all of the things she has been able to do. I worry at times because she is competing and working in a men’s field, but I know she can take care of herself.”