Mike Solberg

From: Canada
Specialty: Bareback Riding

How did you get started into cattle ranching?

“My dad did it, my grandpa did it, my great-grandpa did it and then I just kind of took over after my dad passed away. We’ve had it since 1908.”

Have you always lived in Canada?

“I lived in Snyder, Texas for a year to go to college there, then I lived in North Dakota for about a year and a half for University. I did college rodeo over there. After that I have been here pretty much the whole time.”

What made you decide to start bareback riding?

“My Pa did it. He rode bulls too so I kind of just started riding steers when I was younger and then wanted to get on bareback horses and bulls. When I first started I would get on 4 or 5 practice bulls and then 1 bareback horse because I liked the bull riding a lot more but then I broke my cheek when I was bull riding one year. I had a bull throw me and then he stepped on my face.”

What would you consider your biggest accomplishment?

“So far would be placing in all 6 rounds at the Canadian Finals in 2012 and then making it to the Sunday Showdown in Calgary in 2013.”

What do you feel is the best way to prepare for this career?

“Gym time. Lot’s of getting prepped. There is definitely a difference between riding shape and “in shape” and there’s no real way to prepare you for riding shape other than to get on horses but getting to the gym and being in shape is about the closest thing a guy can do. You need to be mentally prepared. You really need to be focused on what you want to do, what your goals are and put them to use. Try not to stray away from that too much.”

Were you always someone who worked out and was pretty fit or did you figure that out later?

“Like 10 years too late I think. I just kind of started the year before last and then last year I kind of retired but then I said I want to do it again. So I got serious about it, quit drinking and got a personal trainer and worked out all winter. I thought I was doing great this year. Everything was feeling good and then I tore my bicep up. Its just one of those things that happens I guess”

Have you ever had an experience that made you consider changing careers?

“No, Not yet. I don’t think there’s anything that could, other than old age or a really, really bad wreck. So no there’s nothing I could say that could stop me from doing what I do.”

So having those wrecks and injuries just comes with the territory?

“Oh yah, its just something a guy puts in the back of his mind. And that’s one of the things I say about mental preparation. I guy’s really got to put all of that stuff in the back of his mind. Try to move forward and move on from past stuff that’s happened or if your feeling pain you try to put that in the back of your mind and just deal with it and move on to the next one.”

KimesMatthew Kimes