Meet horsewoman, hunter, singer, and GrooveLife influencer Katie van Slyke.
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Katie van Slyke’s parents first met at a barrel race, so it’s safe to say horses are very much in her blood.
“I didn’t really have a choice, I don’t think!” Katie laughs as she tells the story of how her dad helped her mom park her trailer, and the rest was history. “But even if that hadn’t been the case, horses are just in my blood.”
Growing up, Katie’s parents mainly kept barrel and cow horses, leading her into barrel racing early on. But going fast wasn’t necessarily Katie’s speed (bad pun intended): “I’d have the prettiest barrel pattern, but it would be slow!”
Her parents noticed this, so they encouraged her to do more all-around riding, which gave her experience riding both English and Western on the Quarter Horse circuit. Eventually, she’d travel to compete at Quarter Horse Congress, the NSBA World Championships and other prominent shows, primarily in horsemanship equitation, showmanship, and trail classes.
The family also bred horses, and eventually began to produce horses more geared for western pleasure. Now, after taking some time away from riding competitively to get married, Katie says she’s looking forward to getting back at it – with any luck, on one of her family’s homebreds.
“We have a full sister to the Superhorse Snap Crackle Pop and three quarter siblings now,” she explained. “Hopefully I’ll be able to show one of our babies when I get back into it.”
Horses have always been Katie and her mother’s favorite bonding activity. For Katie and her father that shared activity has been hunting. For this reason, you can find Katie’s popular Instagram page filled with both horsey as well as hunting shots.
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“My dad started taking me hunting when I was a toddler, and I actually started hunting when I was 10,” she said. “Now, my husband and I travel around and hunt and keep food plots all year round. There’s never an off-season!”
Because of her active outdoor lifestyle, Katie’s collaboration with GrooveLife makes perfect sense. “The silicone rings and watch bands just go hand in hand with the outdoors and working with your hands,” she said. “I know a lot of women who don’t even wear a ring anymore because they’re constantly getting dirty, you’re outside, things break easily. It’s really cool to work with a great company, and it’s been really rewarding to see the line do as well as it has with the horse community.”
Want to know more about Katie? You’re in luck! She’ll be doing an Instagram takeover over on Horse Nation’s Instagram (@go_riding) on Wednesday, January 12. Be sure to tune in to see a day in Katie’s busy life!
Katie collaborates with GrooveLife to create beautiful designs of silicone rings, watch bands, and belts. You can save 15% using code HORSE at checkout – shop Katie’s collection here: https://groovelife.com/collections/katie-van-slyke