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Rodeo Queen Nicole Marie Nozie gives her advice

Posted: Tuesday, Oct 9th, 2012

Courtesy photo
Miss San Carlos Apache Rodeo Queens 2012, Nicole Marie Nozie, Rawlinds Ben and Berlinds Mia Ben during the awards presentation at the 45th Annual San Carlos Apache Veterans All Indian Rodeo in November.

Good morning, I am Nicole Marie Nozie, Miss San Carlos Apache Rodeo Queen 2012. Just a quick reminder to all young girls interested in competing for the titles of Miss San Carlos Apache Rodeo Queen, Jr. Miss, and Lil Miss — get yourself ready for the upcoming pageants.

I would like to leave a few pointers on my experience as I traveled throughout Indian Country and all the special presentations, radio interviews, parades, community service, pageants, pow-wows, the All Indian Rodeo and the grand entries I have participated in throughout my reign. As I prepare myself for an upcoming event, I must not forget the creator that guides me throughout my daily life. We must give prayer and thanks for everything he has provided. Without our creator in prayer we would be lost and looking for comfort. We ask for protection, the knowledge and the wisdom as we travel with our families to and from celebrations that we all make it home safe.

Your No. 1 traveling partner will always be your horse! As you are called for duty, whether it be a parade, rodeo or a grand entry appearance, your horse completes your appearance. You not only get your hat and crown, you have to also load up with your horse, your tack, feed, water, and grooming supplies. Your horse trailer needs to be checked out by inspecting your trailer lights, brakes, tires, safety chain, etc., and making sure your signal lights and brake lights are working properly.

Start riding your horse daily; get to know your horse and get the feel of your horse’s likes and dislikes. Practice on trots, turns, running and stopping; if you get a chance to make it to the arena, practice on your full circle salute. If you need a flag to practice with, I have one and I can work with you. Start feeding your horse the right kind of grains, alfalfa, and reward him with fresh apples, carrots or sweet feed. Good nourishment makes for a good result in your horse’s performance. Make sure he has plenty of fresh water.

I was curious about what all was involved in a horse examination. I hauled my horse to the veterinarian in Safford and was not quite sure what kind of shots my horse needed. Thanks to Dr. Lucero, who took the time to examine my horse. It was due for its yearly immunization shots and worming treatment (should be done every three to six months). My horse was checked out from head to toe.

The horse shoe is a very important care your horse needs. It makes a difference in how horse functions, and in how well it runs, trots, and stands. Make sure you follow up on your horse’s shoes and get the right farrier (horse shoe specialist). Groom your horse, brush your horse as needed, trim your horse’s hair and don’t forget to groom its tail. Get him used to the tools of grooming, touching your horse’s legs, hoof and eyes.

Get the feel for your horse; what works for you and it. Remember this does not happen overnight, in one week, or even a month. It takes daily care and team work. Just remember it’s all about you and your horse. Respect your horse. It needs medical attention, good nutrition, healthy appearance, and daily attention. Your horse becomes a part of your family. You need to take that responsibility, not your parents or your brother or sister. It’s all up to you. Teach yourself the routine of feeding it daily. Making it part of your routine and daily chores changes your outlook on your horse.

Your tack needs to be in top condition even if you are using something that was handed down to you. Remember you have the whole audience watching you as you enter the arena, so make sure your tack is clean and presentable. Have a saddle that fits comfortably. You will have more control on the horse with the right saddle.

Don’t wait until the last minute to put something new on your horse; getting it used to the feel of new tack takes time. Don’t be surprised if it starts to act up; it will know when something new is on it. In my case, I had to work with my horse, especially when it came to decorating it. I would work with it by putting horse blankets, flowers, ribbons, lights, bells, baskets, and getting it used to carrying a flag a month or so in advance. Some horses are not used to carrying a flag and get spooked by the shadow or the wind and the noise of the flag. It’s always nice to know that your horse is ready for that call of duty.

When I first got Johnnie Red, he was not a parade horse or a flag carrier. He was born and raised on the range and rarely kept in close contact with people. I worked with him for over a year or so and got him to be around people and other horses in close areas. I started bringing him to parades but he would not sep foot in front of the parade route because the bands, people, traffic and noise were too big a distraction to him. It was a do or don’t for me. My dad told me, “you either keep working with him and take him through at least one parade and see how he does or I take him back.”

Thanks to my brother Travis, who rode next to me in the 2012 Casa Grande parade. I did not know what to expect of Johnnie Red. He acted up from time to time, but he would calm down. He has since then become a show horse and has won many parades. He has taught me the skills of how to handle a horse that is out of control during a parade event or a gathering. I was able to use my experience to help guide others having trouble with their horses. I am proud of myself for accomplishing that task. Not only do I have kids coming up to me, I have contestants wanting to use Johnnie Red for their competition because of the gentle and calm spirit in him.

Start thinking now about what kind of style of clothing you will wear. I always like to change in every judging event. If you need to have sewing done, start now. I was not into all that bling-bling until I met my seamstress, my Auntie Corrina John, Delores Hunter and Lillian Anderson. They made sure I stayed within the veterans’ parade theme. Special thanks to my Auntie Karlene Nosie and Cora Nosie for the jewelry they made for me. I will not forget my grandmother, the late Angelina Nozie. She gave me her favorite earrings to wear and told me, “You look beautiful, Nicole, always look your best.”

Prepare a biography about yourself and your horse. Take some time to look at your accomplishments and future goals and put everything into words. Include information about your horse such as breed, age, color and different markings it has. Start now — the earlier you start, the more that will come to you and you will have time to edit.

Practice your public speaking in Apache and English. Try to speak your mind and put things in perspective. Study your topic. Keep up with community news, district news, Tribal concerns, as well as with state and worldwide information. Know your district and Tribal Council numbers. Never turn down people’s advice. Always thank them for the advice they have given you and always give a lending hand. Take the time to help and shake their hands with sincerity. Accept what is given to you and keep them all in prayer.

Parents, without your support and dedication to your child, their accomplishments would not be possible so please support your child(ren) throughout their daily lives. I can’t say thank you enough for what my parents have given and done for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I will be available for any assistance you may need in the next month. Thank you, Ashoog!

Nicole Marie Nozie

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