Shadd Parkinson

From: Scottsdale AZ
Specialty: Cowhorse

How did you get started into riding horses and then what drew you to your specific discipline?

“I grew up with horses, my family always had them. I started showing horses in the leadline and walk-trot. It was always part of my life. I guess what lead me to the cowhorse was I used to always do the all-around and the pleasure and I saw the reining at a show when I was probably 10, 11, 12, somewhere around there and I wanted to do the reining real bad. My mom said if I got good at all of the other events, I could get a reiner. So, I was probably about 15 when I got my first reiner and she happened to be a cowhorse too. I did the reining and the cowhorse and it was just a good time so I continued on with that.” 

Have you always lived in Arizona?

“No, I grew up in Montana. Missoula. My dad retired and he bought a ranch between Wickenburg and Prescott. So we moved down here my senior year of high school. I went my senior year there in Prescott and then I came down and started working for a trainer here in Scottsdale.”

What has been your most memorable win or experience in the show pen?

“Probably winning the AQHA world show last year. I won that and the open bridle up at Reno on the same horse so that’s pretty exciting. I don’t know if its even been done before so it was a lot of fun.”

To whom do you credit your love of the industry?

“I guess I would have to say my parents. My mom has always been into horses and she got my dad into it. We’ve kind of got everybody into it.”

What is the most important thing that someone planning to enter this career should know?

“Everybody thinks training horses is what the jobs about but it’s a lot of people relations and working with a bunch of different people and you have to be really good at that part of it too to be successful.”

What is your favorite thing about being a trainer?

“They always say if you do something you love, you never work so I’m kind of living the dream.”