Matt Armenta

From: Whitesboro Texas
Specialty: Reining

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

“ I got started riding horses because of my dad. My dad worked on ranches when I was little and he roped a bunch all the time so that kind of how I got into it. I’ve always rode since I was little and I started roping I’d say when I was probably 11 or 12. I started doing the reining probably when I was 15 or so and I kind of started doing it more and more. I can’t say exactly what drove me to it more than roping but I don’t really know. When I got to be about 22 or 23 I quit roping as much as I did and started doing reining more fulltime. I can’t really say why. You can sell them for more money I guess.”

Have you always lived in Texas?

“ No I am from California. I moved to Texas in August of 1999. July of 1999 I guess, two weeks before the AQHA youth world show. I was 16 and my parents moved.”

What would you consider your biggest accomplishment?

“I couldn’t say one but being reserve champion in the non-pro and champion in the intermediate non-pro snaffle bit futurity or being co-champion at the reining futurity. I won two youth world titles and been reserve I don’t know how many times. I don’t know if I could specifically point out one. I would say probably either the cow horse reserve championship or the futurity co-championship because I did them on my own. I trained both of those horses by myself.” 

What made you decide to do this as a career?

“Just because that’s all I’ve done since I was 12, 13, 14 years old. Before I went to college I knew that’s what I was going to do. Just because I loved it, that’s what I did every day.”

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

“Hard work and getting in it as early as you can, both of them because if you don’t work hard it doesn’t matter how early you’ve been in it or how good at it you are it doesn’t matter because hard work is what gets it done. Getting a jump in it early because it’s such a hard thing to get your foot in the door as far as showing and knowledge and experience. Just like doing anything else, if you try to become a professional golfer when your 22 it’s going to be hard. If you’ve golfed ever since you were a kid it’s going to be a little easier you know.”

What was the best piece of advice you received when you were starting out?

“When you’re green you grow and when you’re right you rot. When your learning you get better and when you think your finished learning you get worse. I tell everybody the better I get at horse training I realize the less I know.”