- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2016

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) - Back on the home place in the Melrose area, when Renee Talburt turns up the driveway, her five horses out in the pasture trot toward her.

It’s a mutual love affair. She loves her horses and they love her.

“She would be a miserable person if she didn’t have horses in her life,” Karl Talburt, Renee’s husband of 23 years, said. “They’re in her blood. They know her.”

Renee and Buck have been at their best the past couple of years. As members of the Douglas County Mounted Posse, they were recently announced as the 2015 open division champions for the Oregon Mounted Posse Association’s competition. They had also won that title in 2014, and back in 2009.

The competition includes running events such as barrel racing, pole bending, keyhole, four-leaf clover and others, and also showmanship.

“I like to compete and I like the competition,” said the 48-year-old Talburt, whose day job for the past nine years has been graphic designer at The News-Review. “I’ve done about every discipline there is. The only one I sucked at was roping. I just wasn’t very good at it.”

In addition to the Mounted Posse competitions, Talburt has competed in numerous other sanctioned events through the years on both horses and mules and won a tack room full of ribbons, belt buckles and other equine related products.

She has also bred and sold horses and trained horses for clients.

Her love affair with the four-legged creatures began back when she was a little girl growing up in the San Souci area just west of Roseburg. She didn’t have a horse, but her neighbors did.

“I used to stand outside the garage at home and cry because I didn’t have a horse,” she said, explaining that her family’s neighbors - the Youngs, Nashes and Roadys - all had horses. The kids of those families were members of the Roughriders 4-H Club.

At age 6, Talburt’s parents agreed to get her a horse.

“I got an old nag from Tenmile Boarding . it was a broken down palomino mare,” she recalled.

But she finally had a horse, the tears went away and she was able to join the Roughriders.

A few years later, the Talburt family moved to the Melrose area and Renee joined the Callahan Kids 4-H Club. The adviser of that group was, and still is, Norma Talburt, who eventually also became Renee’s mother-in-law.

“She was a determined rider, even though her horse wasn’t satisfactory,” Norma Talburt said of Renee as a teenager. “She had a competitive edge and wanted to excel. She had a way with handling horses.”

Because of the interest and passion she showed, Renee as a 4-H member was awarded a free horse through the Oregon State University Extension Service office. She proceeded to train that young horse, named C.J., and won a grand champion title in colt training with it. She sold the horse after her training with it was complete and reinvested the money in more horses.

During her teenager years as a 4-H club member, she competed in showing, English and Western riding, dressage and jumping. She qualified in horse events for the Oregon State Fair every year as a 4-H’er.

A Roseburg High School graduate of 1986, she started raising and training her own horses in the early 1990s.

“Over the years I’ve put a lot of time into it,” Talburt said of horses, training and competing.

“She excelled as a trainer,” Norma Talburt said. “As the years went by, if you had a horse she trained, you knew you had a good horse under you.

“Horses respect her,” she added. “She doesn’t put up with any nonsense. She knows how far to push them. She turns out an excellent animal when training one.”

Kim Arney has been riding with Renee Talburt since the two were young teens.

“She was always the strongest rider of all the kids we grew up with,” Arney said. “She could make horses do what they’re suppose to do.”

While there’s been a lot of fun and success for Talburt and her horses, there have also been a few mishaps. A major one occurred in 2001 when a mule Talburt was riding in an Oregon Mister Long Ears jumping competition at the Douglas County Fairgrounds crashed. Both the animal and rider fell to the ground and when the mule got up, it stepped on and pushed off from Talburt with a hind hoof.

Talburt was internally injured. As she recalled it, she made a 33-minute ambulance ride from the Mercy hospital in Roseburg to the Sacred Heart hospital in Eugene. In surgery, her spleen, one kidney and half her pancreas were removed. She was hospitalized for two weeks.

Four months after the accident, however, she was back in the saddle and competing again. But at the same time she decided to cut back on her time as a trainer for other people’s horses and concentrate on riding her own animals.

“My own horses weren’t getting any of my time,” she said. “I had been riding one horse in the morning, going to work, then coming home and riding two more in the evening. It was like another full-time job. From that accident on, I concentrated on working with my own.”

In addition to competing, Talburt has ridden as a Mounted Posse volunteer on several search and rescue events and she and several other horsewoman friends trail ride and camp during the summer months.

“They get miles and miles and miles from nowhere,” Karl Talburt said of his wife’s trail rides. “I worry a little bit, but if she was not as good of rider as she is, I’d worry more.”

Renee Talburt has a philosophy about horses.

“I would only own a horse I could leave out in the pasture and when I went out to get it, it would be the same good horse,” she explained. “There are too many good horses to own a bad one or an ugly one.”

For Talburt, Buck is one of those good ones and when the flag drops, the two of them are off to run the barrels.


Information from: The News-Review, https://www.nrtoday.com

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