She’s hanging upside down, from one foot, on a horse running at full speed.
Yeah, that’s a real thing you just saw.
Gena Cox is a pro rodeo trick rider, and she probably has more courage and skill in her pinky toe than any of us could hope to have in a lifetime. She performs these death defying stunts with shocking regularity, and she’s completely comfortable doing it.
Just take a look at the video. You’ll see we aren’t exaggerating here.
Trick riding, if you’ve never heard of it before, is gymnastics and acrobatics performed on horseback. It takes an incredible amount of training and innate skill, core strength, trust, and an iron will to succeed. Any lack of one of those elements, and the trick rider risks any number of injuries, broken bones, or even death.
Gena is one of a small group of people who are capable and skilled enough to do this professionally. She tours the country, driving herself and her horses in her own trailer from town to town, and performs at rodeos both large and small. We met up with her during her travels at the Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove, New Jersey.
We know what you’re thinking: she must be fearless. She IS fearless.
And it’s true. Gena says she’s been injured so many times on the job that she no longer has any fear at all of the stunts themselves. She does fear some things, though her answer might surprise you.
For most (all) of us, just the idea of trick riding is so far outside our comfort zones it becomes unfathomable. But for Gena, trick riding IS the comfort zone.
That is what we call a weird (but awesome) job.