— By BRIAN SMITH
Getting into showing cutting horses was simply a “divine plan” for Susie Koser.
“I really don’t know how the hell I got here,” Koser said with a laugh. “I remember hearing Weatherford is where you want to be for cutting horses, so I kind of heard a name of someone I needed to talk to, drove to their house, introduced myself and the rest is history.”
Koser said she moved to Weatherford in 1997 from the Dallas area and has shown cutting horses for a number of years, even while working three jobs. She made friends with Ben and Jan Emison in the early 1990s after she had moved to Dallas and was informed the Parker County area was where she needed to be.
Soon she was working part-time for Ben Emison Insurance Co. and at weekend sales for Western Bloodstock Sales along with her full-time job in industrial account management at Waste Management. Koser said she works her part-time jobs so she can stay abreast of what is going on in cutting horse circles.
All her hard work has begun to pay off, as she had one of her most successful weekends of her lengthy career recently when she took top honors in both the 5/6 year old Amateur and 5/6 Unlimited Amateur at the Abilene Spectacular. The wins in the two divisions netted her $8,500 along with a new John Deere Gator worth another $6,200, Koser said.
She has always been involved with horses, mostly as a trail rider. When she lived in Colorado, she was part of a group that formed a small cutting association called the Four Corners Cutting & Reining Association.
Once she was done working in the beginner class and ready for Limited Aged Events, Ben Emison put her in touch with trainer Paul Hansma and his staff, which she credits with helping her get her wins in Abilene and her first win a couple years ago at an event in Glen Rose.
“It takes a team to show a horse, that’s for sure,” Koser said. “There are veterinarians, helpers, trainers; it takes a team to show a horse for just two and a half minutes.”
Cutting horse competitions are not cheap, which has forced her to become a good budgeter of not only her money, but her time.
“Entry fees alone for the Abilene event were close to $2,000,” Koser said. “You have to schedule your work time and your money, so everything gets done.”
She says she bought her mare Scooters Stylish Kit, nicknamed Fiona, three years ago as a 3-year-old on a recommendation from Hansma. Koser said she has won three championships and two reserve championships aboard Fiona.
After a successful run with the horse, it may be time for the horse to move into a division for other horses. Koser says when mares get to be about 6 years old, they are normally replaced and a younger horse purchased.
“At the end of Fiona’s sixth year, I will sell her and leave it up to Paul to find another young horse so I can continue to compete in Age Events for as long as I can,” Koser said.
Living just 15 minutes from her training grounds at the Bar H Ranch gives her the opportunity to ride and exercise the horse before work and do a little training as well. She has a busy schedule the next couple of months, competing at Bonanza in Glen Rose later this month and at the Cattleman’s competition in Graham in March. She will travel to Fort Worth in April to take part in the National Cutting Horse Super Stakes, the second jewel in the organization’s Triple Crown.