Barb Bruse lives on a farm NW of Horace, ND, where she grew up. She is the second youngest of six with only one brother. Barb's first 'horse' was a Shetland pony, named "Ginger". She wasn't fond of Ginger since she always wanted to bite Barb, but the pony came with the farm so she couldn't be picky. After a few more horses, Barb soon moved up to a great horse – "Smokey". Smokey was born on the family farm and still lives there. Smokey helped Barb get a few trophies along the way. He has always been her favorite horse. Horses have always been a major part of Barb's western way of life. In her younger years, she was involved in 4-H with all the Horse project activities: showing, riding, games, and goat tying. She was also a member of the Central Valley Show Circuit. Since 1983, Barb has been an active member of the FM Posse. She announces most of the shows in the Pleasure classes. She has held the offices of President, Vice President, and Director, all more than once. She is currently the President. A few years ago, she was honored with the FM Posse Sportsmanship award. She has also won both Year End High Point and Reserve awards twice. She still competes in the Games division.
Barb has been teaching lessons, boarding, and breaking horses most of her adult life. Breaking started way back with Smokey. Breeding Quarter horses and Paints started in 1994 with Rocky, a handsome palomino stud. She has always been a friend of the 4-H kids, helping out at their Horse shows and assisting them with their horse projects and riding.
Presently, Barb has four horses at home but had 12 in the barn at one time. Her dad taught her to ride. In the eighties, her dad had a team of Percherons. They went on the 1989 Centennial Wagon train ride together, he with the covered wagon and team, and her on the horse across the state from Fort Abercrombie to Mandan. Her family went on many trail rides to the Sand Hills and to Medora. Fun times!
She is a member of the Red River Valley Fair 50 person Board. She has worked at Target for over 29 years and also owns a business, Pat's Trophies. She used to do a lot of leatherwork and play softball, but now just fits in a few games of darts and rodeos. She keeps busy with events for her friends, family, nieces and nephews. Did we mention she comes from a big family?
Barb says that riding and just being around horses is her relaxation. "I have been pretty lucky to live my entire life around horses. The best thing about the western way of life is all the people you meet. The worst is losing an animal-your friend". If she had one wish, she would love to own her own farm, raise horses, and not have another job in town.