While writing the “Extreme Wylene” feature about Wylene Wilson, H&R talked to many of Wylene’s friends. They all had wonderful things to say about the cowgirl. So much so, in fact, we weren’t able to fit it all in one article!
Watch her! Check out the video (bottom of page 2) to watch Wylene and Smarty Pants in the finals of the 2012 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover.
Who We Interviewed
Pam Minick, a former Miss Rodeo America and world champion calf roper. Minick and her husband also own the popular honky tonk Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth, the largest honky tonk in the world.
Stephanie Sell, a childhood friend of Wylene’s. The two rode together as teens, and Wylene continues to help Stephanie with her horses.
Lizzie Iwersen, host of Rural TV’s Horse Talk LIVE TV show. Lizzie met Wylene at the Tournament of Roses parade two years ago, and the two became fast friends.
Learn more about Wylene in this Q&A with her friends.
H&R: How did each of you first meet Wylene?
Pam: I met Wylene when I announced the Mustang Makeover competition here in Fort Worth just a few years ago.
I do a lot of television, and I announce a lot of charity events. So Patti (Colbert) called me to announce the mustang makeover. At that first mustang makeover that I attended, I met Wylene. She’s from Arizona and she reminded me that I had known her mother when I was in Arizona for a brief time in the late 70s.
If you’ve met Wylene, then you know that she’s never met a stranger, so we became fast friends. She’s just so gregarious, and I was overwhelmed at what she’d done with that mustang. To be honest with you, I think she was the only female in the finals that year. Since then, our paths have continued to cross.
Stephanie: I’ve known Wylene since I was 13 years old; I’ve ridden with her a long time?just playing and mimicking her skills?because she is such an amazing rider.
We’re about the same age, and she’s made some of my pole horses for me for rodeos. She’s put the fine-tuning on a lot of my horses, that I couldn’t do. I couldn’t figure it out, but she found that little tiny thing that needed to happen to make my horse 100 times better.
Lizzie: I met Wylene at the Rose Parade in California, and she was there with the Cowgirl Historic Foundation in 2010.
H&R: What was your first impression of her?
Pam: Her personality is larger than life. You hear about people like that all the time, and she really is. I don’t think she’s ever met a stranger.
If I were to choose one word to describe her it would be friendly. I’m not sure that that friendliness isn’t also an asset to her when she’s training horses. The horse feels that confidence, that willingness to be its friend. Whether it’s a person or an equine, there’s a friendliness that exudes out of her.
Stephanie: She is the funniest person on the planet. Since I’ve known her, she can recite funny parts of Jim Carrey movies like nobody’s business! She has the best jokes. Some people can’t deliver a joke, but she is the best jokester in the world. She just makes things fun and funny.
She’s also very sisterly; I think that’s why she helps so many women. She makes you feel comfortable with her immediately. You feel like you could go shopping with her as soon as you meet her.
Lizzie: She was just very outgoing and very personable and loved to talk about horses. She’s been in this industry longer than I have, and she is definitely an inspiration to me because she is so outgoing. Her love of horses is extremely apparent no matter what situation she’s in.
I think the way she is around people is the way she is around horses, and I think she gives other people and her horses a good feeling because she’s always in a good mood. ?I think her personality really helps her horses gain confidence. I think that her outgoingness really helps her horses.
She is always positive, and always willing to talk and take time out of her busy schedule. She cares about what I have going on, too.
H&R: What do you think of her training methods?
Pam: I think there are a handful of people who are given a gift to communicate with horses. There are a lot of people who are horse trainers, but there’s a difference between a horse trainer and somebody who really communicates on the level of the equine. I think she’s one of those people.
Stephanie: She’s started horses for me and laid them down?just put a lot of miles on them and shown them a lot of trails that a lot of people wouldn’t go on. They might have to go on the side of a mountain or through the river, and she pushes them through that and makes them willing to do it.
She’s showed me extra things, like putting a stop on them. Her training is impeccable.
Lizzie: She’s one heck of a cowgirl. I aspire to be that good of a hand. She rides really, really well, and not many girls really do ride as well as she does. It definitely gives me inspiration to keep going in my horsemanship and become a better horsewoman and a woman that can hang with the guys.
Her horses are able to progress so quickly because they lean on her; she gives them confidence. I think that confidence translates from her to her horses. I pick up on it; I think people around her pick up on it, too.
She really is serious about what she does, and she asks for a lot of respect and gets that respect from the horse. She’s able to establish that relationship in a short amount of time.
She can ride anything, and she rides bareback. You’ve got to admire someone who rides bareback in all the situations that she does. She’s just a fabulous cowgirl. Her horsemanship stands out because she’s just such a good hand.