Hello there, Kimes Ranch! The other morning, I got an e-mail about your model search - initially, I closed it and moved on to the next e-mail. For some reason, it stayed in the back of my mind, and I remembered the saying I often use to encourage myself - “you can’t win if you don’t play”. So, here I am!
My name is Nina Ford. I am a 32 year old, married mother of two... human children, that is. Our modest Oregon ranch nestled in the Willamette Valley is also home to our two horses, pony, ranch dog named Hank, and assortment of cats. I count them all as my kids, too.
Representing Kimes Ranch Jeans would be something personal and meaningful to me. Your products are a symbol of a lifestyle I treasure.
I have been captivated by horses since I can remember, and spent my entire childhood riding every horse I could. My first horse, at 9 years old, was a very green young Appy/TB mare - throughout the years, she gave me many challenges and even a few broken bones, but my passion remained unchanged. I grew up as a member of the Hillside Highriders 4-H club in Anchorage, AK. (Yes... we have horses in Alaska!). Alaska requires a level of commitment to horse ownership and toughness that goes above and beyond - because as an Alaskan horseman/woman, you had better be prepared to bundle up throughout the dark, bitterly cold winters and scrape frozen paddocks, chip manure out of stalls with an ice pick, and constantly break ice from water troughs.
I competed in 4-H shows in everything from stockseat equitation, western pleasure, and showmanship to huntseat and other English events. I credit 4-H for teaching me to be a well-rounded and knowledgeable horsewoman. I worked in the same tack and feed store from age 14 through my early college years. Horses aren’t just an obsession or a hobby for me, they are a lifestyle - and always have been.
As an adult, I met my husband - an Oregon resident who grew up on a ranch and carried on a family tradition of rodeo. He followed in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps, competing in high school, college and professional rodeo in timed events - bulldogging being his focus. He went to farrier school in Walla Walla. He is handy to have around for that reason - every cowgirl needs a good farrier! Though he no longer competes due to his career as an airline pilot, our favorite family tradition is attending the Pendleton Round-Up every September with my husband’s parents.
I have a 17 hand Warmblood gelding who I adore. He had surgery last year to remove a tumor from his hoof and I spent the winter being pregnant. Even after we were both off for a full year between his surgery and my pregnancy and cesarean, my first ride back on him was a bareback jaunt around the ring, and it felt like neither of us ever took any time off at all. My husband’s horse is a great little Quarter Horse gelding, who he plans to turn into a rope horse. My son has a sassy pony named Ninja - she is a wild little thing who bosses our big boys around, but is gentle as a lamb with children and I feel so happy we found her as she is an asset to our family when it comes to introducing our children to learning basic horsemanship.
I may not be exactly what you are looking for, but I believe my lifestyle echoes true cowgirl values. I had a baby three months ago - I don’t go to the gym to get fit again. Instead, I wake up in the morning and work hard around our ranch, caring for horses and children. I have not competed seriously in recent years besides taking my Warmblood gelding to some fun hunter/jumper shows. I can’t boast year-end awards and accolades, as I have chosen to focus on raising my growing family in the lifestyle that means the most to me. When I think of a cowgirl, the words “grit and grace” come to mind, and I hope to embody those terms with my attitude and lifestyle.
Thank you for your consideration. Whether or not I am chosen to represent the superior products Kimes Ranch Jeans produces on a large scale, I will continue to choose your apparel for my family, because it fits who we are.