Our Mission Statement
Cowboyshighway.com is a community-driven resource whose goal is to keep consumers and businesses informed of the continued innovations and evolution of equine travel.
Provide the most comprehensive and accurate information available
Evolve this web site to enhance the user experience
Keep topical, relevant and visionary
Provide its guests with an enjoyable environment
Define and grow development within the equine business and customers
Promote goodwill between providers and end-users
Aid users in the understanding of choosing suitable providers for their needs
Provide the public with a venue for recourse and accountability
Bland Ballard, CEO
Bland was born and raised in Idaho. His Mom, Nancy, had him start riding horses bareback (because he was too little to saddle his horse) on their old family ranch north of Fairfield. Spending time with his grandparents in the summer. He attended school in Gooding, Idaho during the other months. One summer he spent starting colts and riding cutting horses with Dave Glacier in Eagle to sharpen uphis horsemanship skills thanks to his father, Bud. In Gooding Bland worked at a feedlot during the week and Gooding Livestock Commission Company on weekends. During this time at the Sale Yard he met Walter Parke who helped Bland with his calf roping. He went on to compete in Idaho Cowboys Association rodeos and Columbia River Circuit and Wilderness Circuit rodeos. Bland also showed in the cutting event at the High School rodeos.
Bland is the proud father of Evan B. Ballard and enjoys going back to the Ranch in Fairfield with his wife, Christine. Also bringing Evan along to work on the old 4th generation Ballard homestead. He hopes to teach Evan the same work ethics his family has tought him on the ranch.
During Bland's rodeo travels between 1995-2009, he found a need for information to help take care of his horse and make travel more comfortable. CowboysHighway is Bland's brain child and he has worked on this idea for years before he found the right team to bring it the public. Now, with that team in place Bland hopes to help horse enthusiasts who are traveling a place to find the important services we all need while traveling.
CowboysHighway.com welcomes EILEEN GORMAN to the team! Eileen was born and raised in the Texas hill country. She attended Montana State University and later finished her Ag Business degree at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX. Eileen spent 23 years at 4-Star Trailers, Inc. in OKC with duties running their marketing department and front office. She continues online marketing from home for several companies while giving her the freedom to continue riding and supporting her children’s passions. Eileen has 3 children of which her oldest daughter, Mary is a C.O.P. Protein Specialist at U.S. Foods in OKC, her son Garrett earned a scholarship and competes for the rodeo team at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK. Youngest daughter Morgan competes in breakaway, goat tying and team roping for the OKHSRA. As we begin the redesign and structuring of Cowboyshighway.com we're excited to bring Eileen's marketing experience and passion for rodeo community to the team. Thank you all for visiting the site, stayed tuned to the updates and functionality here at Cowboyshighway.com!
Susie Flenniken was raised on the family's polled hereford ranch in Central Oregon. Raising and showing registered polled hereford cattle. But her passion was horses and at a very young age began showing horses in 4-H and soon AQHA Youth shows. She attended Oregon State University but soon was side tracked into a new event, reined cow horses. Winning Oregon Quarter Horse Association year end high point awards in reining and working cow horse. Susie credits her parents for sending her to a trainer and allowing her to travel as a youth throughout the West Coast and Canada to open horse shows in reining and cow horse. Susie also caught the cutting horse bug and began working for cutting horse trainers and showing cutting horses as well, moving to Texas to pursue her passion for cutting. She went on to marry a team roper who had qualified for the NFR and caught the team roping bug. They owned some nice mares and went into a foal share program with King Ranch. They stood three AQHA stallions on their Sisters, Oregon ranch and had 60 broodmares as well, raising and training/selling the offspring. Susie began selling horses on the Internet in the late '90's and sold horses to Italy, Germany, Austria as well as nationwide. While still training and showing cutting and reined cow horses herself, she traveled with her daughter, Liz to her high school rodeos where Liz competed in Team Roping and Cutting.
Susie won the Northwest Cutting Horses Association $10,000 Reserve Non-Pro Futurity championship in 1990 amongst other awards in cutting and reined cow horse events. Not one to settle down with just one event Susie began her career as a Film and Television Wrangler, Trainer and stunt woman in major motion pictures, television and commercials. All the traveling Susie did, especially hauling between Oregon and Texas, she knew where to lay over safely at night and which routes to take. But there were times the weather didn't allow the usual routes so it became difficult to find where to stay with horses on a new route. She's happy to have met Bland and Matt and was asked to become partners in CowboysHighway.com to lend her technical and Internet expertise. Hoping to make CowboysHighway.com the "go-to" site for all who travel with horses.
Matt’s life started on a potato farm outside of Pocatello, Idaho. His father Kent Shiozawa competed in amateur rodeos and when Matt got his first pony it came with a rope. Kent taught Matt to rope as well as the importance of hard work, dedication and integrity. The family moved to Logandale, Nev., when Matt was in high school and it was there that his love of rodeo and competition blossomed. He was a linebacker and cornerback in football, and an all-state point guard in basketball. As soon as he was done with school and practice, he came home for more practice – in the roping arena. He was the National High School Rodeo tie-down and all-around champion in 1998. The next year he won the team roping with Randon Adams. That was the same year he joined the PRCA.
Since that time he’s qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo ten times and has garnered over $1.5 million in career earnings. But, he’s far from being done. Matt also shared his Japanese heritage with the elementary school children when he taught them a word from the language – kaizen. He said that might just be his new motto. Kaizen is the practice of continuous improvement. He encouraged the kids to do things he is doing in his own life, always working to improve and being honest about personal performance. Those are also things he imparts on his three young daughters, Stella, Lorelei and Ivory. Matt and his wife Ali, a former Miss Rodeo Idaho, have been married for nine years.
His professional career has led to NFR Champion, 10 NFR Qualifications, 3x National Circuit Champion, Canadian Championship, and many major rodeo titles.
Matt's precious family travel with him when they can, but it can be hard on the road without knowledge of good places to stay, stop and rest horses, and use services. Like many veteran travelers, Matt has learned of good locations to stop with horses, good places to eat, good vets, arenas, watering holes, boarding, fuel, vehicle services, and the best spots of all, "honey holes" have all/most of this in one location.
We at CowboysHighway.com would like to create an experience where we can help horse people traveling to find these good locations. By use of a forum users can provide their knowledge and experiences to benefit all horse people! Use CowboysHighway and you'll never go alone!