Connect with us

Country Lifestyle

The Two Sides of Colten Jesse



He’s always knew what he wanted to be. From as far back as he can recall, Colten Jesse planned to be a bull rider, spending days and months traveling across the country for an eight-second ride. The now 24-year-old cowboy purchased his Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association permit shortly after his 18th birthday in 2015.

In 2016, he joined the Professional Bull Riders, and over the course of four years won more than $310,000, qualified for the World Finals three of those years, and became a household name in the world of professional bull riding.

While his talent with a bull has been on display, Colten had another gift he occasionally shared with family and close friends. He could sing, write songs, and a play a guitar.

Then, when a nagging hip injury forced a surgery and long recovery at the beginning of 2021, his focus pivoted to the music. The bull rider-turned-troubadour’s musical career is now on an upward trajectory.

The Bulls

Colten grew up in the south central Oklahoma town of Konawa. A third generation bull rider, Colten rose through the typical ranks, beginning with sheep riding around four years old. “I never really quit, after that. After sheep I went to calves, then steers, and then bulls,” he recalled. “No one ever forced me to do anything, but it was what I really wanted to do from an early age.”

He purchased his PRCA permit in 2015, dipping his toes in the professional arena. His career took off in 2016, and he finished the year with more than $46,000 in earnings and ranked 27th in the world standings. That year he qualified for and won the Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo in Duncan, Okla., and qualified for the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo.

He decided to make the switch to the PBR in 2017. “The PBR was just somewhere I always wanted to be. I had some good people who helped me make the best decisions for me. I was able to mature mentally during my time in the PRCA before making the switch and didn’t feel as much pressure to make the finals or anything like that,” he shared.

He made the switch to the PBR late in the season, but still managed to claim a couple good wins in the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour.

In 2018, he had one of his best years, pocketing more than $108,000, including a $41,300 payday for a third-place finish at the Music City Knockout and another $21,456 from a win at the Big Sky PBR in Montana. “It was a good year. I think it was the only healthy whole year I had the whole time. It was technically my rookie year in the PBR. I made my first world finals and set the tone and knew where I was supposed to be,” he shared.

Building off his success in 2018, Colten was eager to get out on the road. A few wins early in the year propelled him higher in the standings, but then disaster struck. “It had started off to be really good. I felt more mature and was having fun, and then wound up blowing my shoulder out that summer,” Colten explained. “I was high enough in the standings I still slid into the finals even though I didn’t go anywhere after that.”

Surgery soon followed. Luckily Colten, who was living in Texas at the time, had one of the best in the business in his corner. “Dr. Tandy Freeman did the surgery and kept an eye on me. I was able to go to physical therapy right down the road from his office,” he said. “I got back to feeling good, and he cleared me to compete at the finals.”

With only a short period of time to practice before the World Finals, the event wasn’t a success. “I was able to get on maybe two practice bulls before I went out there. I still feel like it was no excuse by any means,” he said. “I have never had an outstanding finals like I know I can. It’s definitely something that has haunted me.”

Colten came back in 2020 looking for redemption. “I was ready to rock and roll. I had a really good year. I started to get into my own head and had some hiccups towards the middle of the season, but came back and had a really good summer,” he said. Summer 2020 was highlighted by a win in Bismark, N.D., at the PBR Dakota Community Bank and Trust Invitational, worth $36,770.

Then COVID-19 struck, and Colten had to sit out the next event. Then an old injury in his hip flared up. “It was kind of a dog fight from that point in September through the finals,” he said.

The issue in his hip was one that has plagued him through his career. In 2017 he knew something was wrong, and visits with the doctors resulted in having his labrum in his hip repaired. He also had a bone spur on his femur which had given him fits from an early age. “We finally got that fixed and then it resurfaced in 2020. It was something, I guess it’s just something I’m going to have to deal with. I don’t really have a choice,” he said.

With Dr. Freeman’s help, Colten got a couple injections in his hip to help him make it through the finals. “It helped, but not the way I’d like it to. It was tough, trying to ride bulls with an injury like that. It was always in my mind. I’m not so sure if it wasn’t beating me, mentally,” he admitted. “I think I went to three of the last six events. I ended up going to the finals and I don’t think I rode anything at the finals. That year, 2020, just wound up being pretty tough on me.”

With the PBR World Finals in the books, Dr. Freeman set Colten up with Dr. Thomas Byrd, an orthopedic hip specialist in Nashville. “I went and had hip surgery in January, and have just been playing music since then,” he shared. “I haven’t been on a bull since the last one I got on in AT&T Stadium in November of 2020.”

Quietly, he added, “I do miss it.”

The Music

With a looming recovery period of at least six months, Colten crafted a new plan for 2021. “I ended up buying a house and land in Davis, and just had a lot of stuff going on. I knew I wouldn’t be cleared to ride until late in the season, so I decided to take the year off and work on my house and my land and my music,” he explained.

Colten’s musical career began – and was short-lived – in junior high. “I played in the band in junior high. It was more of a social thing then, because my friends were doing it, too. I did enjoy it, and tried really hard at it. I played the saxophone, and that was about it,” he shared with a quick laugh.

He quit the band in eighth grade, then purchased his first guitar at a pawn shop when he was 18 following an injury. “I had that injury, I don’t even remember what it was, but I was limited in what I could do, so I would just sit there and play and play and play on that guitar,” he remembered. “I had some other buddies that would play and they taught me a little bit, and then I taught myself as I went along.”

He kept his talent to himself, and didn’t really play much in front of people.

Then he began to write his own songs. The first, titled “Marlboro Man,” was about an old friend. “His name was Jim Burns, and he lived down the road and was a family friend. He meant a lot to a lot of us. I wrote it for a small group of people, talking about how he was, and people just kind of latched on to that song. They’ll write me and tell me that it makes them think of their grandpa, or brother, or dad, and I think that’s pretty cool,” he said.

Colten wound up sending some songs to friends, and one posted a video to social media. “I didn’t have it finished at the time, but it started to blow up on social media. It wasn’t finished at the time, but people were messaging me and it compelled me to finish it. I went out and bought some home audio equipment, and recorded it and another one right their in my kitchen,” he admitted.

One of those first songs was “Firewater,” which he’d written after a rough time at a PBR event. “I was in Billings at the PBR, and I thought something was going on with my hip. I went ahead and got on my first bull that night, and it wasn’t working. I wound up turning out the rest of the weekend, and I guess I was just down. I went out to the bar with my friends, and wound up writing that song,” he said. “I was feeling defeated but knew I had to keep going. The song might have been about whiskey, but it was more about dealing with life in general.”

Read more about Colten in the December 2021 issue of Oklahoma Farm & Ranch.

Continue Reading

Country Lifestyle

Superbells Blackcurrant Punch



Rare Color for Baskets and Mixed Containers

By Norman Winter | Horticulturist Author and Speaker

The Garden Guy has become completely mesmerized by a bowl of blackcurrants. You can guess I am having a little fun with you. I am not talking about the fruit but the flowers referred to as Superbells Blackcurrant Punch.

This year most everything came through the winter including a few plants I am even asking where did you come from? The spring has been long, gloriously beautiful and still in progress and all of the Superbells calibrachoas taking your breath away with their beauty.

I have written about the ‘Punch Group’ but never about a single color. I love every one of them but this year I just have to dedicate a column to Superbells Blackcurrant Punch. Yes, I do have a couple of yellow bowls where they are showing out but in reality, they are mixed in a lot of my containers.

Superbells Blackcurrant Punch has won a ‘baker’s dozen’ of awards, Top Performers, and Perfect Scores north to south and east to west. Like the others they reach about 12-inches tall with up to a 2-foot spread. They obviously have some cold tolerance as mine have come through the winter. The caveat is they did spend five consecutive nights in the garage. Their beauty in March and April has defied logic.

The color which is so rare in the garden makes it a must have plant. I found a Proven Winners description from several years ago that nails it, Superbells Blackcurrant Punch has bright fuchsia-colored petals with velvety black centers and a subtle yellow in the throat. It will be hard to pass by if you are lucky enough to find them at the garden center.

Your success will come from growing them in containers with a very good potting soil. Give them plenty of sun. There is a lot of garden gossip that says you can’t grow them with Supertunias, Superbenas or a plethora of other plants because of different water requirements.

In the South we water containers and baskets every day unless we get rain. These containers drain freely so life is the same for all the plants. Since we water so frequently, we need to feed on a regular basis. The Garden Guy mixes up the blue water-soluble mix and feeds the container grown plants about every three weeks. At some point the Superbells Blackcurrant Punch will look tired and in need of a trim. This haircut so to speak will generate new growth, and blooms for the fall.

Your choice of partners is only limited by your imagination. I love them with Lemon Coral sedum, Superbena Cobalt verbena, Blush Princess sweet alyssum and mixed with other calibrachoas like Superbells Grape Punch and Magic Pink Lemonade. They are heavenly with Primo Wild Rose heuchera and Superbena Whiteout verbena.

All of the Superbells attract both hummingbirds and butterflies. The butterflies I have photographed so far have all been Eastern Tiger Swallowtails. You have to admit that’s not bad for flowers that are so pretty. Planting season is here, keep a spot open in your mixed-container recipes for Superbells Black Currant Punch or some of the other Superbells calibrachoas that now total 41. Follow me on Facebook @NormanWinterTheGardenGuy for more photos and garden inspiration.

Continue Reading

Country Lifestyle

Western Housewives – June 2024



Life consists of small events that define us. Sometimes, it’s something as simple as eating cake with your two-year-old at midnight at your sister’s wedding. Sometimes, it’s something as painful as taking your two-week-old to the emergency room with RSV and living there for a week. Both are moments that changed me, and both are moments that I’ll remember forever.

Often my defining moments have happened on the back of a horse. I guess that is because that is where I have spent most of my life. It has made me pay special attention to each horse I have ridden during different stages of my life.

My first horse was a big bay horse that was must have reminded me of Greek mythology because it took me about two seconds to name him “Hercules.” He was the perfect mount for a five-year-old that acted tough but was secretly scared of her own shadow. Once I got Hercules, I could start going to work with my dad. We gathered wheat pastures and road pens, and he let me sit in the round pen on Hercules while he worked his sale horses. At the ripe age of five I was a pretty seasoned pen rider and had the sour disposition to prove it.

One morning we had a lot of wheat pasture freshies to turn out. Naturally, they ran off as soon as they got off the truck. Babies cry, and wheat pasture cattle run off the truck; I don’t make the rules.

My Dad had to leave me and get in front of the herd to keep them from crashing into the fence. I’m sure he told me just to stay put, but Hercules got excited by all the commotion and started following the impending stampede. Now I realize that I was safe the entire time, but, at that moment, I was certain my life was over. I was dramatic even as a youngster. Would Hercules ever stop? Would he try and jump the sprinkler tracks? What if he runs through the hot wire? And most importantly, what will I tell my friends?

About the time I was ready to jump into the dirt my Dad ran up beside me and helped me stop Hercules. I was safe, my adrenaline was pumping and I was promised an Allsup’s Coke for all my troubles. That was a defining moment in my life. I realized the more danger you got yourself in to, the much bigger the condolence award. As long as I was able to keep it to an Allsup’s Coke level of danger I would be just fine.

The next horse I truly loved was named “Alotofbull” He was anything but full of bull. He was big, cowy, and athletic. He scared me just a little but that’s what made me love him the most. My Dad and I won countless events on Alotofbull. My Dad has true horsemanship pumping through his veins, but I can only credit my riding success to Alotofbull. He made things easy for me and I felt I was nothing without him.

Even after all the ribbons, the moment I remember the most about him wasn’t in the showpen. it was in the middle of nowhere on a place we called “The Cain.” The Cain was where I spent many fall afternoons and summer mornings. It was full of Sandhills, cactus that were found of my backside every time my seat left the saddle, and absolutely no sign of civilization.  We would push cows to water, move pastures, and do other slow-paced things that were good for the horse and for the mind. I loved it there.

One afternoon in the middle of June, my Dad and I were moving some cattle to water. After we were done we came upon a set of old pens that my Dad had branded calves in with his Dad a long time ago. My Dad got quiet and solemn. Traits that were unusual for him. He started to reminisce of times long ago and told me how much he wished all his kids had gotten to know his Dad before he had passed away many years prior. I was only 14 at the time, and I was having trouble holding back tears myself. I leaned forward and played with Alotofbull’s black mane. I knew my grandfather had been a special man and I knew my Dad had cherished him. It made me see my Dad in a different light going forward. Yes, he was strong and resilient, but he was also human, just like the rest of us. He had a vulnerability in his life, too. It was a moment that taught me not to be afraid to talk about the hard stuff but to always press on. No matter what.

Many years later, I found myself in beautiful Oklahoma on a horse named “Reuben.” He was my then-boyfriend’s horse and was the only quick and little horse I had ever ridden. He was spunky and made me feel like better help than I was as we gathered pairs to wean that morning.

The sun was just coming up over the cottonwood trees, making the dewy grass shine. I looked over at the man beside me and just knew I would spend the rest of my life doing this very thing with him. I didn’t care if we ever had money or much of anything, really. As long as we were together, loving God, and riding good horses, I didn’t care about anything else.

About 12 hours later, after a long day and a few incidents that may or may not have involved me getting run over by a yearling, that same man proposed to me. We had never talked about it out loud, but I guess God had put it in both of our hearts. It was a moment that, of course, changed the rest of my life. It taught me not to overthink things when they are right and that an Oklahoma cowboy was just what my life needed.

I’ve had many horses and many defining moments in my life. Sometimes, I have loved the horse, and sometimes, I have not. The same goes for the moments. Nevertheless, each horse and moment has taught me something. After all this time, I am convinced that no matter how old I get, I will never be too old to ride a good horse because I will never be too old for a defining moment.

That being said, if one or two of my life lessons could involve another Allsup’s Coke, that’d be all right by me.

Continue Reading

Country Lifestyle

A Beginners Guide to Fishing



It seems that the subjects of countless profiles in the past year have mentioned, whether in passing or as part of a larger discussion, that the COVID-19 pandemic changed Oklahoma’s landscape in numerous ways. By and large, the overwhelming observation is that Okies in urban areas have begun migrating to the country, and are embracing the rural lifestyle. Small farms are popping up with a variety of animals, and gardens are being planted where there wasn’t one before.

It made me think that there are likely people out there who don’t know the basics of one of Oklahoma’s favorite pastimes: fishing.

With countless lakes, rivers, and streams teeming with a diverse array of fish species, Oklahoma offers ample opportunities for anglers of all ages and skill levels to cast their lines and reel in memorable catches.

If you’re new to fishing and eager to dip your toes into the water, don’t be afraid. Here are a few basic concepts to get you started.

Understanding Oklahoma’s Fishing Scene

Before you embark on your angling adventure, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with Oklahoma’s diverse fishing opportunities. From largemouth bass in the renowned Lake Texoma to catfish in the Red River, each region of the state offers its own distinct fishing experience. Consult resources such as the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation website and local fishing guides to discover prime fishing spots near you and learn about the regulations and licensing requirements specific to Oklahoma waters.

Gear Up

One of the first steps in getting started with fishing is acquiring the necessary gear. For beginners, a basic fishing rod and reel combo will suffice. Opt for a versatile spinning or spincast reel paired with a medium-action rod, which offers flexibility and ease of use for a variety of fishing techniques. Additionally, invest in essential tackle such as hooks, sinkers, bobbers, and a selection of artificial lures or live bait, depending on your preferred fishing style and target species.

Learn the Ropes

Before you hit the water, take some time to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of fishing. Practice tying basic fishing knots, which are essential for securing your line and attaching hooks and lures. Watch online tutorials or consult instructional books and videos tailored to beginner anglers to learn casting techniques, proper rod handling, and best fish handling practices.

Choose Your Fishing Spot

Oklahoma boasts an abundance of fishing hotspots, ranging from expansive reservoirs and scenic rivers to hidden ponds and urban lakes. Consider factors such as proximity, accessibility, and the type of fish you’re targeting when selecting your fishing spot. Popular destinations for beginners include Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Lake Thunderbird near Norman, and the Illinois River in northeastern Oklahoma, known for its scenic beauty and excellent trout fishing.

There are also countless farm ponds, but, I hope it goes without saying, you must obtain the land-owner’s permission to access their lands and fish their ponds.

Follow Fishing Regulations

Before you embark on your fishing excursion, familiarize yourself with Oklahoma’s fishing regulations and licensing requirements. The ODWC website provides up-to-date information on fishing seasons, bag limits, size restrictions, and license fees. Remember to obtain a valid fishing license and any additional permits required for specific fishing locations or species, as failure to comply with regulations can result in fines and penalties.

Practice Patience and Persistence

Fishing is as much about patience and persistence as it is about skill and technique. Be prepared to spend time waiting for the fish to bite, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t reel in a trophy catch on your first outing. Experiment with different baits, lures, and fishing techniques, and don’t be afraid to seek advice from experienced anglers or local bait shops. You’ll soon become more proficient and confident in your fishing abilities with practice and perseverance.

By gearing up with the right equipment, learning essential fishing skills, choosing the perfect fishing spot, following regulations, and embracing patience and persistence, beginners can set themselves up for a rewarding and enjoyable fishing experience in the Sooner State.


Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC). “Fishing Regulations.”

ODWC. “Fishing in Oklahoma.”

Continue Reading