Road to the CMAs: What it takes to be a cowgirl

Road to the CMAs: What it takes to be a cowgirl (KTUL)

It’s early enough to watch the sun rise and cold enough to cut through a warm jacket, but it doesn’t matter. Jenna Stierwalt has a job to do.

“I don’t mind the hard work. I don’t mind the dust. I don’t mind the cold or rain,” said Jenna.

It’s a way of life she’s always known and a title she’s had since she can remember.

She’s a ropin’, ridin’, cattle-herdin’ cowgirl.

“I enjoy being on a horse, being outside -- that’s what I enjoy most,” said Jenna.

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She started riding horses as a little girl growing up on a ranch in Florida, but later traded in the sun coast for the rolling hills of Osage County when she met her husband, Shane. The two run a family ranch called, "Stierwalt Ranch."

“She’s the one that kind of glues this thing together around here,” said Shane.

Now, she’s raising a cowgirl of her own, her little girl, Sonora. Just like Jenna, she’ll grow up on the back of the horse at the rodeo.

Jenna’s been roping her whole life and the competition in Pawhuska was her last chance to qualify for the "American Rodeo" in Dallas.

Even if she does well, she won’t be competing for some time.

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“I told Shane next weekend will be my last deal,” said Jenna to another competitor.

Sonora’s about to become a big sister. Jenna’s five months pregnant. The idea of giving up riding horses for the foreseeable future is tough.

“It’s only bittersweet, because I’ve been on horseback all my life,” said Jenna.

It was never a choice for Jenna. Being a cowgirl is part of who she is. It’ll be part of Sonora, too, because life’s a little better, a little slower, and a little more beautiful sitting on a saddle.

Jenna didn’t end up qualifying for the "American Rodeo," but she did end up winning some money, so that’s a plus.

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