Episode 033 - Professional Horseman,
Brad Barkemeyer

In this episode, we meet Arizona cowboy, Brad Barkemeyer,a professional horseman with deep roots in Montana. Brad owns Barkemeyer Performance Horses and holds the prestigious title of "The Horseman's Horseman" by Team Roping Journal. His specialties lie in Working Cowhorse, Cutting, and Roping, and he's an active member of various equestrian organizations. He's not just a horse expert; he's a devoted husband and father. Tune in to discover the remarkable journey of a horseman who began his passion young and started training horses in front of audiences at 14.

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Podcast Transcript

Taylor McAdams: You're listening to the Kick Your Boots Up Podcast, where we swap stories of the West. Whether you're just waking up or getting in for the day, come on in and kick your boots up.Hi, everybody, and thanks for listening to the kick your boots up podcast. This week's episode is a sure treat, as always. But before we get started, I wanted to remind you guys to like, subscribe, follow our channel, leave some comments, let us know what you want to hear next, what you like about this episode. We love the follow up and we love the interaction, we take the time to read all the comments. So thank you guys, for all your comments, everything that you do every week, we appreciate it. And now let's get started to the show. And what better way to introduce this cowboy, and team Justin indoorsy than to just tell you a little bit about all the things that he's gotten to do. And this is when I say little bit I mean a minor. We're so thankful that Brad has taken the time to be with us. But before I officially introduce him, let me just tell you a little bit about him. So he's actually The NRCA che Hackamore classic champion. He's a two time World's Greatest horseman qualifier. He is now a run for the million qualifier. He has holds memberships in the American Quarter Horse Association, the National rain cows cow horse Association, the World Series of team roping and the national team roping Association. His specialty, though I would say is working cow horse cutting roping. He is the owner of Birchmeier performance horses and a dad to Bryce and Zane and her husband to Mindy. And we gotta give them a little shout out to because both his wife and his son have qualified or have won World Championships through the AQa world. So just an incredible guy, incredible family currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, while he is originally a Montana cowboy, and we're so excited to get to his to get to hear his story. So ladies and gentlemen, none other than Brad Barker. Meyer Brad, thank you for being here today.

Brad Barkemeyer: Thanks for having me. I was great introduction. I appreciate being here.

Taylor McAdams: Well, you know, when you're that awesome, it kind of makes me want to run out of breath talking about how awesome you are. So yeah, we so appreciate your time. And we can't wait to get to hear the rest of your story. And I think I'm just gonna go ahead and dive right in with you. Because your, your story's a little bit unique. You've gotten to kind of grow up on the back of a horse. And I want to hear your perspective through all of that. So I have a super serious question before we get started. And I hear that the word on the street is you want your first belt buckle at eight years old. And I can only imagine what that's like, tell us about it.

Brad Barkemeyer: Yeah, so there used to be before the World Series in the handicap numbered system. There used to be a team roping Association through the International feedlot cowboys, which my parents were involved. And so we had several ropings around our neighborhood that were involved with that organization. And they always had fun stuff going on during the roping. So like sheep riding and miscellaneous, you know, kid, youth events, so proud to say my first buckle I won the mutton bustin at the feedlot reopen when I was eight. And my brother that's a year older was the rodeo clown. So he was he was fighting sheep while I was riding them. It was a pretty, pretty fun experience. I still have the buckle today. It's a it's a Shetland pony with a monkey riding that and coming out of chute number nine. It's just a really fun memory.

Taylor McAdams: Oh my gosh, yeah, I would say that that's one of the better belt buckles that might be the most prestigious one you've ever want. Right? Yeah. And everyone hear if you've been listening for a while, or if you know Justin at all, we're very familiar with mutton bustin. We love it, we support it. And so I had to throw that little fun fact in there before we actually got started with the real interview. But kind of like what what we do with every podcast is we give the opportunity to have the guests tell them a little bit about their background, their self who they represent. So tell us a little bit about you. How did you get started in writing in the horse industry riding horses.

Brad Barkemeyer: So the initially it was just out of necessity basically to go with my parents and work every day, you know, before we before we got into school, and so we had a feedlot and cow calf operation there in Montana. And as far as I can remember back I wanted to be involved in that and so my parents allowed me the opportunity to have some nice horses that were safe that I could ride and feel like I was helping I'm sure I was in the way but all the while obviously good lessons in learning how to work read livestock and be a horseman and learned a lot from my father as far as horsemanship goes and so I got started that way that onto us cold starting, you know, I did some clinics with Buck Brennaman. My dad was a student of Ray hunt so that that logic in that theory of force training was strong in our family. So we were trying to be Better horseman not just handling livestock. So that was instilled in me at a young age. And I found a real calling and natural path to being a pole starter did some some cold starting on my own, and started actually riding horses for the public when I was 13, probably. So I'd take outside horses in from the neighbors that they have problem horses or colds that needed to be started. And it worked out great because I could do that after school or on weekends and help round the neighbors ranches and stuff like that. So that part got me into being a trainer, right, I was observing and watching the guys around me and trying to learn every little bit that I could. We always had a little team roping going on my mom and dad both team helped at the time. So I was working on the groundwork and being a better horseman for that event as well, which led into some Junior Rodeo and high school rodeo events where I roped calves and teamed up with my brother didn't get into horse showing at all until I was in college. So I had really no idea where that could take me at that time. So I went to college. Hmm, not with the intent of being a professional horse trainer, I went to college to get an education and work in the agricultural sector somewhere in the livestock business. But God has that way of forming your path. And if you listen and follow along, end up where you belong. So and that's what that's what ultimately led to my career as a horse trainer, working for David Avery, Gary Lynn Olson there in Bozeman, Montana State University, and started out cleaning stalls and just watching and seeing how it all worked. And it was interesting, because I want her to be on the rodeo team there at Bozeman. But being involved in that horse show program, I understood and learned that you could get paid to train horses and still compete and the owners were going to support you and help you get down the road and pay for expenses to get their horses shown seemed like a little safer, more secure path as far as making a living rather than busting your tail trying to win money at rodeos every weekend. So that's what sent me on that path. I'm trying to be brief on the story. But from there, outside of college, I moved to New Mexico, I continued to work for David Avery there. And he was at that time training, a lot of team roping and calf roping horses for the AQa J shows primarily. So that was my first glimpse into the American Quarter Horse Association. The first I'll never forget the first World show that I went to, you got the best of the best horses and trainers and every discipline, all on one breed of horse, right. And so it kind of gives you that appreciation of this is a pretty amazing animal just solidified a little bit like hey, I'm where I belong. That's the right tool to get me to my goals. And the Quarter Horse is obviously an amazing animal. So I was able to see the different events and at that time weren't quite specialized in each event as we are now at it was still kind of the end of the era as far as people being real diverse trainers and a lot of trainers were training multiple disciplines. So I got to see guys, you know, that were showing pleasure horses, and then come back and show on the reigning and then maybe have a rope horse or two. So that really fit my character. You know, I've always been a fan of diversity, where you don't just are you're not just good at one thing. I want to be good at multiple events. And I just feel like we're better horsemen when we're riding the horse with the intent of trying to find out what's the horses best event and what we can do to help groom that and to get those natural talents to come out rather than forcing them into a box of this as the event that I train. So this is the event that you're going to do and they either make it or don't. So long story short for horse world show was a great experience it it really opened my eyes to the possibilities of training quarter horses and can have a career that way.

Taylor McAdams: Yeah, wow. So well said. And I actually have so many questions there. So bear with me. I know that it's gonna be kind of hard. We're gonna go back and forth a little bit. I wanted to touch just a little bit more on. We're going to kind of go back then to your childhood upbringing. Again, I read somewhere that you had your first horse was a black mare. And I'm sure you remember her fondly. So tell us the memories that you had growing up with her and and what it was like there.

Brad Barkemeyer: So my actual first horse was a was a gelding named shorty. And he was probably 16 hands, he was huge. And the funniest thing about him is, we had to have helped to catch him because he was kind of mean, like, you go out there and depend with him at the halt there, and he pin his ears and tried to chase you out of the pen. But once he got a hold of me, it was a big dog. So anyway, my that was my real first horse. But the main youth horse that I had was a black mare that my grandmother had raised. My mom's mom was into quarter horse racing. And they bred and raced some some good quarter horses and all 70s and early 80s. My dad had a pretty strict no American policy around the feedlot around the ranch. So I don't exactly know and I should have asked him sometime, but for some reason that mare got to stay. And thankfully she did. So I can't talk a lot about her because I know I'll get emotional about it. But she, she was a really good mare that that, you know, I just think it's kids in when we're so impressionable, at that age to have that kind of bond and relationship with an animal is life changing, right? So you get to those life lessons and you learn about communication, and you learn about safety and what boundaries you can push between animal and human that have a horse that respected that and taught me a lot. Yeah, that's it's a really fun memories of that Mayor.

Taylor McAdams: Wow. And it's really cool for me to hear you talk so highly of her into even mention emotions about a horse that makes me that leads sets me up for this next question that I'm really curious about it. I'm going to kind of throw you off a little bit. So sorry about that. But I know that the team roping journal, they had a whole article in deemed you as the Horseman's horseman. And that right there proves it. I think that you you treat the horses with such respect. And it sounds like you did from the very beginning. So kind of tell us about what it's like, being the horseman that you are, and then the bond talk about the bond really quick with the horses that you get to train and, and is it ever hard giving them back once you've trained them, and you've given them back to the owners? Tell us tell us about all of it.

Brad Barkemeyer: Okay, so as far as being the Horseman's horseman, I thought that was a huge compliment, you know, very appreciative of them team roping journal and trying to get that word out of, you know, just the respect of our peers and being known that way. So that's, you know, more important to me than any buckle or trophy that I could win so appreciative of that, the bond with the horses, you know, I think that over time, it's gotten easier, you know, because I've gone through so many horses so that that transition gets easier each time, but there's always those ones that get a hold your heart a little bit, that it's a little more special relationship than just the working relationship that we have with our horses that are in training. It's a think it's a real important balance, especially for a professional to maintain that little bit of separation right there. You don't want to get to clubs, knowing that that end is near or is inevitable. So that I think makes you be a little bit better trainer so that you're not maybe overlooking some flaws of that horse, you know, we got to be super critical and to get the best out of them. And so they're just it's a real balancing act.

Taylor McAdams: And I can't wait to talk a little bit more and get a little bit needy, needy, gritty, nitty gritty on your training styles and all of that, but really quick, one thing that stood out to me was the, you whenever you want The NRCA J Ltd, Derby, or even I mean the Hackamore classic. Talk to us about what it was like winning any prestigious title, and what you learned from that and how you were able to walk away champion, but also staying as humble as you are.

Brad Barkemeyer: So I think that limited Derby championship was my first major age event title and looking back on it, it seems insignificant now but at the time, that's a that's a big deal for a young trainer. I've just gone out on my own Mindy and I had, I don't know maybe 10 horses in training, you know, and I'll never forget we had an old steel gooseneck trailer that we bought from her grandma you know, making payments on that to try to get to the horse show and you see all the pros show up with their big LAMINAM fancy gooseneck trailers and dually trucks and it's just part of that process of going through the stepping stones and overcoming the hard stuff. I've been working and staying true to yourself along the way. And that first championship, I'd say kind of solidified a little bit that I was where I belonged, you know, gave me a little bit of affirmation that, you know, we're doing this right. And this is this is awesome to win right now. But we've got bigger goals coming down the road. But definitely a good kickoff, you know, and then the hackmore class championship, that was the first one that was like a big time title, I'd beat the open guys. And I was, I finally felt like I was one of them. So that was kind of the turning point as far as me solidifying that involvement and being respected enough to be able to get those judges to take a look and actually feel confident and given the big score to be a champion. And that was a turning point in my career, for sure.

Taylor McAdams: That kind of gives me chill bumps, even just hearing you talk about it now. Because your perspective is so incredible, you could have definitely taken that title and gone on and thought I'm better than you guys, or whatever, but the way you've remained so humble, is so it's just eye opening. To me. It's, it's, it's a very good trait. And I know that a lot of people in the industry have it. And so that's really cool. And I'm sure that comes with the hours and hours and hours that you've spent in the saddle on the days that are the hardest there, all of that. So kind of let's let's just start talking about the training process. And I know that you get to go all around the world teaching so many people training them with their seven horses. What's it like getting to do that, and being the one that they look to for advice is that's got to feel pretty cool, right?

Brad Barkemeyer: It really does. And it's still I catch myself time to time going, am I really qualified to be doing this, right, I still like I'm still learning, I'm still a student of the game. So I have to catch myself every now and then. But it's been amazing. Some of the opportunities that we've had, like the American Quarter Horse Association's affiliate program through the International affiliates, I've had the opportunity to go go to Costa Rica twice. And part of that is because of my diversity. And I have have experience in multiple events. So it's, it's easy for me to be able to teach cutting and raining and do some roping and cold starting. And so it just kind of, you know, more bang for their buck as far as having not having to have multiple conditions at at those international shows. So that was an amazing experience. And I'm really grateful that I was be able to part of that. The amazing thing to me is the really the horse unites us, you know, whether there's a language barrier or cultural differences, our economic diversity, the horses, that common denominator, and we're all equal or horseback. And it's pretty cool to see people come in and have lightbulb moments when they've been training or working with a horse and frustrated and not making progress and you tweak one little thing and then go, oh, it makes sense. And then the horse is happy. And now we're making progress. So it's really fun to be able to influence horses and people in that regard.

Taylor McAdams: Oh, yeah, that's, I mean, gotta be such a good feeling. At the end of the day thinking wow, we had breakthrough with a stubborn horse that this person has been, you know, trying for years and years and years. And kind of speaking on break through a little bit you have horses coming in and out of the barn every day, I'm sure it feels like what's it like for you to to be able to get a horse that's, you know, fresh green. And even if it's not fresh or green, at least it's fresh or green too. It's it's the you know, roping or or the working cow horse or the rain, you know, whatever discipline it is, it's fresh to that discipline specifically, what's it like for you then to be able to see something from start to finish and then see it start performing well, and competing and performing the way that you want it? What's What's that like?

Brad Barkemeyer: Well, that's been a that's been an evolving process as well. You know, so early in my career, I'd ride anything, you know, people bring me whatever horses and I just needed to fill the stalls and make money and try to make a living and I have a lot of horses that people sent that said, Okay, we want to be a cow horse, and they were not that horse was not suited for that event. And for the longest time, I would try. Maybe an internal optimist, I would think, Oh, yeah, we're short it's shallow promise I think we can get you know, get there. And over the years and with experience and trial and error and some failures and victories you learn that some battles aren't worth fighting, right, some of those you just got to cut the cut the loss as soon as you know, it's not going to make it and so I've been better about that. Now that I've gotten over More experience sub not trying to be so optimistic on horses that aren't really suited for a specific event? Well, that's one part of the process that has evolved. The other piece of that is just giving the horse the opportunity to show their strengths and weaknesses and trying to ride that horse every day with a, I tried to put a really solid foundation on them. And that foundation doesn't change for the discipline that they're doing. So they all get the basically the same start, I'll expect the same amount of movement in the body parts, softness in the face, willingness to move their feet and collection, before we ever do a specific maneuver or event, and then we'll experiment with the other events and find out where the horse shines and where it has trouble. Sometimes it's a mental issue, sometimes the horse's mind isn't suited for that specific event, or maybe they're just not athletically talented enough to deal with it. So those are the variable factors that we use along the way to use that process of elimination and determine whether they can stay and be a competitive show horse or whether they need to be a trail horse to, you know, say for somebody. But that's, that's all part of the process.

Taylor McAdams: It really is. And that brings up a good point too. In my own experience, I was in high school and I had a really awesome reining horse and the working cow Horse Event rain cow horse event was became available to compete at high school. And, of course, I jumped right in and learned very quickly that just because it's a trainer, or just because it's a roping roping horse does not mean that it's a working cow horse. And the you're right, they have to have, at least for the cow events, they have to have a little bit of a cow in them, they have to be cows, they have to kind of have the ones and it's so funny, I was just talking with one of my friends the other day that her horse is currently at a trainers now. And she was like, Yeah, I he, he thinks that we're going to try breakaway roping right now. But I don't think she has the mental capacity to stand in a box. And that's so true. You have to be patient through all that. So I commend you there. I mean, you have a lot going on all the time, and to have the patience to work through a problem with the horse and feel really good. And, you know, let them cool off and then start back over again every single day. That's so amazing to me. But along those same lines, you kind of already talked through what you were looking for when you're training in the process. But what what do you look for in a horse? What's important for you? Where do you draw the line? Where do you think they're not going to cut it? They should try barrel racing. what's your what's your cut?

Brad Barkemeyer: Yeah, so I kind of, I've kind of changed my theory a little bit over the years, used to be a confirmation number one all the time they adapt good feet and legs and be properly balanced. So but what I found is we've got some so many exceptions to that rule that horses can be good performers without having to look and fit in that box, perfect conformation. So as a trainer as somebody that's competing and performing. Number one for me is their mind. Right? They gotta be a willing, II trainable, good minded partner that wants to put out effort in that job. Number two would be their athletic ability, their raw, natural talent, do they have the gift, the ability to do that job, sliding stops, fast spins, have some cow instinct, those kinds of things. And then on the confirmation, they're for longevity, because the source is going to hold up over a number of years so that we can go through the training process and have a good finished product when we're done. Now, if I was a breeder, I'd probably reverse the whole thing. And go conformation first, mind ability, you know, later, but I do think there's so many exceptions to that not rule of function over form. When we're performing that it's, it's a good way to look at it.

Taylor McAdams: And I think to some people would say that that's really good advice for people and workers as well. You want someone with a good mind, that's willing to work too. So I love your Outlook there. And I'm genuinely curious if if you had to stop training tomorrow. What would be the one thing that training technique that you that you want to be known for? What's the Brad Barker Meier? Wow.

Brad Barkemeyer: Yeah, that's a tough one. I you know, I think it goes back to the basics of, you know, the rayhaan, Buck brown woman theory of make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult. And another one that always sticks in my mind is, if you take the time it takes, it takes less time. And so patients cross with some beings assertive when things are going wrong to let that wash know that it's not going to have an easy way out, but the way that we want them to do it is going to be easy, and there'll be real ordered for that. I guess that's, that's the basic technique that that pretty much across the board for any discipline work.

Taylor McAdams: Yeah, that's great. And I love that you gave the credit to that. That's incredible. And one thing,

Brad Barkemeyer: a lot of the stuff that we're doing is, is being reinvented, right? We're tweaking it all the time. And we're innovating. But we're not inventing anything. Right? So those that came before us, we're just trying to carry on that artwork that they've already put in front of us.

Taylor McAdams: Oh, wow. Yeah, your your brand, your personal ideas align. So well, with Justin, we do that a lot here. We want to preserve everything that was good, and original. So I love that I love that so much. And I think young girl,

Brad Barkemeyer: working with companies like Justin, I mean, that's, that's the whole reason we wear these patches. It's not because we're getting free stuff. It's because we believe in that product. And that core values that you guys have fits us, as well. And so I want to promote that and, and try to get other people on board.

Taylor McAdams: Oh, yeah. And our team does a really great job vetting every person and following them for a while and seeing their story and who they are inside and out of the arena. And that's why when we do slap a patch on a shirt for Justin, it means a lot more, you know, it means that those guys are guys and gals are out there paving the way and keeping everything good. And I think younger me would be so disappointed in myself if I didn't ask you this question. I grew up with some trainers. And I was at Oklahoma and doing a lot of reading. I did rodeo Queen pageants. So reigning and rodeo Queen go hand in hand. But what's the camaraderie like as a professional horseman? Because like, I remember when I would go to the Youth World and stuff like that, like, yeah, it was fun, but I wasn't there as a professional. And so you, you're going to work you're going to your job. So tell us about the camaraderie there between the trainers, and how you guys are able to channel the fun and channel the serious. Just tell us about that.

Brad Barkemeyer: Okay, the I think the rain cow horse Association stands out a little bit on that regard. Just because there's a there's the our event is so difficult with three events to train for with the hard work, the rain work, the fence work, and there's so many variables in the show pen that we don't really have that domination of one or two trainers that are winning all the time. It's a little more even playing field. far as you know, any of these Horschel classes are judged, right. So there's always that element of political poll and, and having some momentum, you know, in your career in that's, that's the way it is. And that's okay. But that also can create some contention between, you know, exhibitors, between trainers. So feel like in the cow horse, our culture is such that we all are rooting for each other because we know how difficult that is to win. And there's a lot of camaraderie, we got to help each other train, we got to help each other in the practice Ben and herd work. And there's a lot of inner action going on between trainers, nobody's trying to really hide their program from the next guy. It's, it's a really friendly atmosphere. You know, obviously, there's some differences between styles and character personalities, which that's life, right. But I want to try to be that guy that is always there to help my friend if he needs it. And I have some friends that I know I can count on all the time. People's employees, their spouses, or they're all family. Basically, it's one big family, and we're cheering for each other when things are going well. And we're there to help each other get picked up and things aren't.

Taylor McAdams: That's beautiful. I mean, it's true. If you walk down an aisle of any show barn at any show, you see a lot of that happening. And so I love I love that you got to speak a little bit about that, too. And it kind of moves me into the next portion. I want to learn more about like, where your thoughts are where you think the future of the industry is going. Because if you think about when you first got started to now it's changed so much. And obviously there's more camaraderie, there's more family aspect, all of it. So talk about the future. Where do you? I mean, I know that's a very big loaded question. But where does your mind go? And when you think about the future of horse training the future of the industry?

Brad Barkemeyer: Yeah, I think the visibility is the number one factor. That's the major difference now than it was in the past. Even when I started my career. We're getting more sponsorships. We're getting more information out there. Right. Obviously, technology has helped that along the way. We've got so many videos, subscription platforms that we can put out on training videos so that there's more and more educated public. The other side of it is the shows are becoming A little more spectator friendly. You know, it used to be all about the guys that were there to compete, and you go there. And it's it's, we're basically just showing to each other. Well, now there's an audience, right? Whether it's on the live webcast or actual people coming in, sitting in the stands, watching the events, that is grown immensely. And so it's a snowball effect, everything from the bottom up has grown. And I think that's going to continue. Obviously, our animal welfare is got to be the forefront so that the uneducated public that shows up, has a good experience and understands that we're taking care of our livestock. It's not just there for our entertainment. It's about preserving that Western lifestyle, preserving the the traditions, that is the reason we're showing horses to begin with. And then obviously, the prizes, money and popularity are a side effect of that.

Taylor McAdams: Yeah, very, very well said. The insight there is is onpoint. I personally think too. And so I'm curious to know, and pick your brain a little bit more about the overall breeding programs for the future. I know, we talked about how you listed if you were breeder confirmation would have been first, what do you what do you think in the future? I know you're not you haven't dabbled too too much in it. But what do you what do you think the breeders out there are considering now in the future to

Brad Barkemeyer: with the increase in in popularity of the in vitro and lot of embryo transfer, and we're getting a lot of numbers, the big time mares are producing more babies every year, are shrinking that gene pool quickly a lot more quickly than pre 2000. So I think, ultimately, we're gonna have to start getting a little more of an outcross I think our our bloodlines per event. And this is not just with Western performance, I think it's with every event across the board. And we're so specific on breeding those traits that we've got a fairly close gene pool, that's that we need a little more outcross. So maybe bringing a thoroughbred are a little more of a foundation type Quarter Horse, to get some bone and get some skeletal mass back on our horses that we've lost a little bit over the years, because we've isolated that to, they have to be so athletic and so quick and so smart. That part of this, I feel like there's going to be a reverse a little bit to come back to some of that.

Taylor McAdams: That's a good point that that very well could happen. And and that's, that's good to be talked about too. I know that you kind of got your start in the beginning, through your parents through through everything. And you've got to work with a lot of incredible trainers along the way. But I want to know from you, what are what are you doing? Or what do you wish to do to ensure that future generations are still staying encouraged and engaged in the industry? And they're seeing the results of their hard work? What do you what do you what are your thoughts there?

Brad Barkemeyer: I'll tell you, it's a little scary, because you know, the society and culture that we live in today, it's harder to promote that Western lifestyle, it's harder to, we feel like we've lost a little foothold there. But it's encouraging at the same time, because just in my experience with my two boys, they're in high school. Anytime that we get some of their friends to come out to the barn that have nothing to do with horses I've never seen or been around a farm or ranch. They're immediately attracted to what we have going on. And it's it's like they immediately have an appreciation for being outside of the city. And being in the dirt and having cows and flies and manure around and just opening their eyes to that kind of stuff and seeing their response gives me hope that there is that the desire for those young kids to once they get a taste of it once they get exposed to it, that it's an easy path to go on from there. So with that in mind, obviously I'm teaching my kids that it's it's the lifestyle, it's it's about being a good human, it's about working hard, having responsibility. And that's treating each other with respect and treating your animals with respect. And so our culture needs more of that. People need to understand that it's okay to work hard and it's okay to be nice. And so all the kids that I come into contact with through my children, we try to, you know, lead by example, and hopefully that they pick up on some of those things. There's a lot of scholarship opportunities out there through our Horse organizations besides four H and FFA and those kinds of things. So really a proponent of promoting that. There's a lot of work to do, you know, as far as getting more outreach to our youth, but I feel like there's some great sponsors out there, Mars equestrian, did a really cool thing and invited the youth, cow horse World's Greatest violinists to the run for the million this year. And so that was a great place to highlight, you know, our youth riders, and a huge audience, all over the world. So people can see that those opportunities are available. And I feel like if we can get the parents interested, they'll see our kids being good humans. And they're, they're thinking, I want my child to be like that. And if we can influence one or two kids, it's worth doing. So hopefully, we'll be able to do that along the way.

Taylor McAdams: Wow, it sounds like this was a TED Talk. That's I shouldn't have even been here You did so good. I'm leaving encouraged and empowered thinking about the future and just the just what you're doing a loan with your sons, but also like, what they're friends and multiplying that so Wow. So incredible. And we're out of time for now. But I know that a bunch of people want to keep up with you if they don't already. So where can we find you tell us everything social media website, we want to be able to keep up with you and support you the best we can everyone out there listening. So where can we find you?

Brad Barkemeyer: So we're at Barca Meier horses, on Instagram and Facebook. We have a video subscription format through horse and rider magazine. So horse and rider ondemand.com. That's a great place to keep up with my training techniques. It's not just me, it's it's myself and some of the greatest trainers in the industry across the disciplines from barrel racing to ranch riding cow horse cutting. So that's a really cool platform that I wanted to put a little plug in for any of the listeners that may want to find out more about performance sources.

Taylor McAdams: Very good. Well, thank you so much, Brad, for being here today. I know you are swamped. You got a lot going on. I'm just so thankful that you took the time to talk with us on the Cucurbita podcast. And I know everyone at Justin is so proud of you. We continue to love what you're doing. And so keep it up. We're cheering you on, and we cannot wait to see what is next for you.

Brad Barkemeyer: Thank you very much. I appreciate Justin and all that you guys do as well. It's, it's I've been wearing Justin boots since the 80s. Right. So it's like, just really neat to be involved with a company that's got that stronghold through the industry. And we're gonna keep this thing going.

Taylor McAdams: Well said I couldn't agree more. That's exactly why I love working here too. So yeah, thank you for that. Thank you. Thanks for joining us on Kick Your Boots Up. I'm your host Taylor McAdams and we can't wait to share the next story of the West. Until then, feel free to like, subscribe, and leave us a review. Follow us on social media at Justin boots to keep up with our next episode. And we'll see you the next time you kick your boots up.