Question and Answer session with Debbie Kiem, Adventure Horseback Guide Part II of II

Last week was part I of the interview with Windwalker Adventure Horseback Guide, Debbie Kiem. This week we finish with part II:

Interviewer: Where did you live during the time you were competing in barrel racing and IPRA?

Debbie: I moved to OK in 1998, which was very flat, we had nothing like a mountain at all. I remember it being kinda windy there, but also south of tornado alley, south of Interstate 40. I don't care what state you're in, Interstate 40 is tornado alley! I've been on that road in Arkansas and run into tornados. I've been on that road in Tennessee and run into tornados! And let’s see… Cincinnati Ohio! I could not believe it, 5 o'clock in the morning and I could hear this faint whine over the rain, and I was like, "What is that??" I opened up the window and it was a tornado siren! And I thought, “This can't be, this is Cincinnati!” So I flipped on the radio and they were talking about the warning. But what they don't seem to consider, on the radio, is that if you are traveling and not from the area, you may not actually know what county you are in. Well, the warnings were all based on the county that you are in! And this was a big deal because this particular tornado hit and killed 7 people! After that, I learned to turn on a CB radio and listen to the truckers talk about where it’s at - because they will tell you where it is. All these times of crossing paths with tornados happened while going to or from a rodeo.

Interviewer: Wow, you seem to find all the crazy weather! So I know you said these storms happened while you were out driving, have you ever gotten caught out in a storm while riding?

Debbie: Well... yes, we did one time in Colorado; you know how the afternoon storms come in? They would often come around 3 or 4 in the afternoon - sometimes with a little bit of rain, sometimes with a lot. I never saw lightning quite like in Colorado! My last ride up there I was out with three kids, they were 9, 10, and 11. The parents did not come with them, they just dropped them off and said, "Take our kids up in the mountains!" The kids kept talking about how they lived in Texas but went to St. Louis every Friday. And so I said, "Why do you do that?" And she said, "Well my dad plays for the St. Louis Cardinals."

Interviewer: OK, so now you are responsible for the children of a sports celebrity!

Debbie: Yes, and we did get stuck out in the rain. We took a vote and it was 2 to 1 that they keep on going, so we just kept on going! lol It ended up being fine.

Interviewer: So how did you handle the kids, were they good riders?

Debbie: Well, no, but you just kinda coach them along the way, the horses are real quiet, and they will NOT, no matter what, leave that lead horse. The kids started out a little timid, but because the horses are so good, it just kinda builds their confidence. The kids really think they're doing something, but they're really not! lol The horse is really the one in charge, the kids are just along for the ride!!