LOVINGTON, N.M. – The highlight of the Summer & Co. Fearless Equine Stunts team isn’t what Summer Boyd can do on horseback.
It’s what the rest of her team does.
“The best part of my team would be my two little girls,” Boyd said of daughters, Emmie, 7, and Jinsen, 4. “We’ve just been performing together the last few years; it’s the greatest thing for me.”
She and her husband, Seth, have lived in Lovington for the past eight years and been trick riding for 11. Originally from Alamogordo, New Mexico, she’s been perfecting her craft over time and now has the opportunity to showcase her love for horses with two of the most important people in her life.
They will perform at Jake McClure Arena during the mutton busting slack on Saturday, July 30, then again during the Lea County Xtreme Bulls, which begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2.
“It means a lot to be able to work that,” Boyd said. “People say in our industry that a lot of times you never get hired at your hometown rodeo. To be acknowledged and to be part of the event means so much to us. It’s a rodeo we go and watch when we’re at home, so this means so much.”
This is the next step for Boyd, who was raised around horses and has had a longtime passion for doing tricks while riding them. Her love affair with trick riding stems back to before she tried her hand at it and continues with passing along her skills to her daughters.
“When I grew up, we raised a lot of horses and broke a lot of horses,” she said. “I don’t remember seeing it anywhere, but trick riding was something I always wanted to do. I guess I was bored just sitting on a horse, so I found someone to teach me and found a saddle.
“It’s the only discipline where the horse has to do it because it wants to, because you can’t use your feet or use the reins to help them through things. If they don’t want to do it, it becomes apparent pretty quickly.”
Even with horses that seem to care for her daughters as much as she does, Boyd does try to corral her children’s fearless nature.
“There are things we may do at home that maybe we don’t perform yet, because it’s important to me that they’re safe,” she said. “It’s the mother in me. It’s amazing to me what they can do anyway, but at the same time, I will do what I need to do to keep them safe.”
Traveling and performing with her daughters just enhances the experience. Emmie is the youngest person to have ever done a shoulder stand, Boyd said.
“It does add a degree of excitement, traveling with your small children all the time,” Boyd said. “As far as performing, it’s great. My oldest and I alternate laps. She’s like performing with another adult, and she’s performing tricks that some adults can’t do. She’s never nervous. She never requires a pep-talk.
“You can’t expect the crowd to have fun unless you’re having fun, and she makes it easy. Jinsen helps us close out the show; she’s the icing on the cake.”