by Emily Buckley, editor-in-chief
Cowboy poet Baxter Black wrote:
There’s a hundred years of history
And a hundred before that
All gathered in the thinkin’
Goin’ on beneath this hat….
It’s guts and love and glory,
One mortal’s chance at fame.
His legacy is rodeo,
And cowboy is his name.
Looking in, at a time of urbanization and connectivity, rodeo and a family working together in their training stables from morning to night may seem antiquated — quaint and sepia-toned from an America that no longer exists. But to the Shane and Dana Haviland, of Avon, it is a way of life that allows them to tip their hats at both their past and their future.
Both Shane and Dana were active rodeo competitors and champions in high school and college so it was only fitting that their children would start riding horses before they could walk.
After years of training horses and cowboying, Shane and Dana built their own indoor arena. “We call it Haviland Training Stables,” Shane said. “We break a lot of colts, we train roping horses and work on quite a few ranch horses; a little bit of everything.”
For their family, rodeo is not just a job, it is a way of life. “We are all here every day. We get up in the morning and come,” Dana said. “It is not a 9-to-5 job; it’s an every-day, all-day job. Someone has to be here to feed the horses and everybody pitches in to take care of everything. We are fortunate to do it all together, and I love raising our kids the way we do.”
Shane agrees, “Kids grow up with a good sense of responsibility. In a farming situation, where kids have to care for horses or other animals, they know it is not just punch in or punch out, it is 24/7. It is neat for them to learn that responsibility to take care of the anima. Nobody will take care of them except for us.”
Shane and Dana’s children, Haylee, Tanner and the youngest, Addy, who graduated from Mountain Crest High School this year, all work for their parents, saddling, riding and grooming horses to prepare them for Shane to break and train. They all ride and rope every day, and they each also participated in high school rodeo and continue on the rodeo circuit. Haylee recently began training and showing her own horse and Tanner works as a pick-up man. Addy participated in all high school rodeo events (excluding the queen contest ) and was two-time National High School Finals Rodeo qualifier. She also served as the president of the Utah High School Rodeo Association during her senior year, where she was instrumental in getting the association involved in a project to raise awareness and money for juvenile diabetes research, a meaningful cause for the Haviland family as Tanner was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease at age 7, and Addy was diagnosed earlier this year.
Addy was offered competitive scholarships at five universities from around the country, and has chosen to attend Weber State University where she will continue rodeoing and study early childhood education.
“We’ve been very blessed because all of our kids have had a huge interest in rodeoing,” Shane said. “We didn’t want to push it on our kids and scare them away, but I’ll be darned if they didn’t all, of their own will, end up being rodeoers. With them riding and starting to train and show horses, I hope someday they will want to take over here.”
The kids think that sounds pretty good. “It started out with my great-grandparents and grandparents, and then my parents and brother and sister,” Addy said. “I think it is pretty cool to do something our whole family has done and live out that legacy. I hope to be able carry it on to my kids and hopefully their kids too.”