In the Sunday morning sun, a little blonde-haired toddler bravely sat atop a gray horse.
“Whoa!” the girl, Riley Senecal, kept saying, as the horse named Smoke neighed.
At 1-and-a-half years old, she participated in her first barrel race on the last day of the Lake County 4-H Fair on Sunday.
Led by brother Tel and father Josh, Riley, who was the first in the pee wee age group, finished the course in a little more than one minute.
Senecal said that Riley emulates her big brother, and she sees him riding horses regularly, which has made teaching the toddler easy.
“She sees us cowboying and riding around and wants to do” what her family does, Senecal added.
On the family’s property, Senecal Ranch in Pablo, Senecal trains about 100 horses a year with the kiddos in tow. Sometimes, the family will play a friendly game of “tag” on top of the horses, which Riley loves.
Josh Senecal said that the family owns between six and 10 horses at any given time. He also calves out for other people in addition to having his own 80 head of cattle.
The ranching responsibilities don’t stop there, however. Senecal said that he also “goes chase cows” and doctor them.
While Riley won the pee wees, Tel finished in fifth place in his division with a time of 32.290.