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Meet the Member Cassidi Alverson
story by Ruth Nicolaus
If it’s true that people act like their pets, Cassidi Alverson is a prime example.
The Colorado High School Rodeo Association member thinks her and her pole bending horse, Nikki, are alike.
The sixteen-year-old mare “is a very complicated horse,” Cassidi said, “and I like to think that if I was a horse, that’s who I would be. She and I think very much alike. We have the same type of hair; her hair gets frizzy and so does mine if I don’t keep up with it.
“She gets really nervous and I do, too. She tends to overthink things and I’m an overthinker too.” And neither of them like hugs or to be touched too much.
Nikki can be dramatic (“she’s a mare,” Cassidi pointed out), and sometimes her rider is dramatic, too. “I don’t think I’m that dramatic, but my friends tell me I’m dramatic all the time.”
Cassidi got the mare about five years ago, and she’s been a challenge. “I had to work my butt off with her,” she said. “It wasn’t an easy thing. Some horses you get on, and any person can ride. I had to focus on myself and change how I was riding.”
But she loves her animal. “She’s my best friend and I couldn’t ask for a better partner. I think God saw that I was ready for a step-up, a challenge, and He really blessed me with her.”
For the barrels, she’s on a new horse, Frosty, a nine-year-old sorrel that Cassidi calls “interesting. He’s almost timid. Sometimes he’s not quite sure of himself, and I’m trying to teach him that it’s ok to run, it’s supposed to be fun.” Nikki was her barrel horse till last fall.
Frosty is a “nerd,” she said. “One of the things he’ll do is come up to me randomly, to my ear, and take really deep breaths. He’s breathing me in or something. And when he drinks water, he’ll stick out his tongue and hold the water in his mouth.”
She loves observing her animals. “It’s so funny to watch these different horses. They all have their own personalities and quirks.”
A resident of Loveland, Cassidi graduated from high school in May. She’ll attend Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colo. this fall, on a rodeo scholarship, working towards being an ag teacher. She is inspired by her high school ag teacher, Mrs. Lum. She was “amazing, the best teacher I’ve ever had. She would call you in the middle of the summer and say, ‘how are you doing?’ She really cares for her students.” An FFA member, Cassidi did horse judging for her CDE her freshman year; her sophomore year was interrupted by the pandemic. Her junior and senior years, she did agronomy and served on the officer team, her senior year as secretary.
She used to not enjoy reading, but lately, she’s fallen in love with it. Her favorite genre is romance: “I’m a romance junkie,” she laughed. She is currently reading Where the Crawdads Sing, and her favorite books are the Shatter Me Series, by Tahereh Mafi.
The best meal her mom makes is chicken enchiladas, and the best meal her dad makes is spaghetti and meatballs, with gooey cheese in the meatballs. Her favorite dessert is brownies, with ice cream, with Blue Bell brand the ultimate kind, she believes.
The best trip the nineteen-year-old cowgirl has been on was to Italy last summer, with twenty other students from Colorado, that she had never met. Her mom was concerned that Cassidi would have trouble making friends, but she didn’t at all. The food was great: the pasta was al dente, and the pizza was her favorite: especially a pizza with artichokes, green olives, and tomatoes. The trip lasted two weeks; her favorite part was seeing the Coliseum. “You hear about it in school, but to see it, it’s massive.”
If she were given $1 million, she’d buy the “ultimate rodeo rig: a semi, a Bloomer or Elite trailer, and a dream truck,” a white F-450 dually, with a head guard on the front. The trailer would have living quarters with a slide-out, and hold five horses.
Cassidi has two brothers, Austin and Andy, and two sisters: Audree and Taylor.
She is the daughter of Julie and Chris Alverson.