By Allison Armstrong Rehnborg

To barrel racers young and old, there’s no one more deserving of the title of “living legend” than Martha Josey of Karnack, Texas. Her storied history as a cowgirl stretches all the way back to the 1960s, when she and her first horse, Cebe Reed, launched their careers by winning seven horse trailers and 52 barrel races in a row. That early winning streak was a shining prelude to a lifetime of greatness gilded with world championships, gleaming buckles, bright trophies, multiple Hall of Fame inductions and a trip to the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Canada, where Martha participated in the United States’ barrel racing squad and proudly wore the stars and stripes on both arms. But even though she has also encountered more than her share of riding accidents, tragedies and losses, Martha has never once doubted that she’s doing what she was meant to do.

More than 57 years later, Martha has qualified for the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) a record 11 times. In 1990, she became the only cowgirl in history to have competed in the NFR in four different decades. She has also won multiple world championships in American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) and National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) events. But while her legacy as a winner is undeniable, Martha’s true legacy is her ability to impact the lives of others. 
Today, Martha continues to influence generations of barrel racers by hosting multiple rodeo schools and clinics at the world-famous Josey Ranch in Karnack, Texas, alongside her husband, AQHA World Champion Calf Roper R.E. Josey. The pair hosted their first rodeo school in 1967, and they’ve been teaching and coaching students ever since. 

“We are the longest-running rodeo school in the world, and we’ve been hosting rodeo schools every year for 54 years in a row now,” Martha said. “Many of our instructors started here as students, and we’ve had a lot of world champions come up through the ranks here. Mary Walker started here as a teenager and went on to win the [NFR] world championship. Fallon Taylor started here when she was about six years old, and we led her all the way through the first time she won a [WPRA] world championship. And then [WPRA World Champion Barrel Racer] Lynn McKenzie started here, too.”

During their schools and clinics, R.E. and Martha coach their students about how to win, but they also teach them about the power of positive thinking and the responsibility of every rider to keep their horses happy and healthy. 

“We want our students to learn how to win, but we also want to teach our students how to take care of their horses,” Martha said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to teach them how to feed and care for their horses and how to wrap their legs and everything else they need to know. And if they aren’t winning, we really go back to the basics. On their first day with us, we let everybody make a run. Some people are here to learn the pattern for the first time and others are here for a tune-up. And then later in the week, we have a competition run, and it really makes me feel good to watch how much my students improve in such a short time.”

Part of Martha and R.E.’s dedication to caring for their horses and teaching others to care for theirs is by using quality products that they believe in – including Draw It Out.

“I’ve been really lucky to ride a lot of great horses, and I’ve taken six different horses to the NFR,” Martha said. “I’d have loved to have Draw It Out back in my early days of competing because we were always looking for something to rub on the horses’ legs and keep the horses fit and conditioned.”

The Joseys became part of #TeamDiO in 2017, and they’re proud to continue using Draw It Out on their horses and to share the products with their students every year.

“I love that Draw It Out is such a natural product that doesn’t blister, and you don’t have to wear rubber gloves to apply it,” Martha said. “We make sure that the products we use are something we can really believe in, and right away, we could see the difference that Draw It Out made in our horses. Many products sound good, but don’t work. Draw It Out really works.”

Like so many other satisfied Draw It Out customers, the Joseys frequently soak their leg wraps in Draw It Out Horse Liniment Concentrate for maximum effectiveness.

“We love to soak our wraps in the liniment, wrap the horses’ legs and let the wraps dry,” Josey said. “We’ll also lay the wraps across the horses’ backs. Our horses get sore in the hocks and stifles, but they’ll also get sore in the back and over the kidneys because we might saddle up a horse at eight in the morning and still be riding by 11 o’clock at night on clinic days. We love being able to put the liniment on a horse’s back, right under the saddle pad. We can really tell a difference.”

In addition to using Draw It Out’s equine products, the Joseys use Draw It Out Soothing Dog Shampoo with Lavender on their beloved dogs, Lariat and Cowboy, to help cut down on summertime itch.

“We love all the dog products, and you know, every barrel racer or English rider or Western rider is going to have a dog, so good dog products are something we need so much,” Martha said. “Our dogs are always itchy, but with these products, they don’t itch. The shampoo really works!”

Although Martha has been barrel racing and teaching others to barrel race since 1967, her love for her chosen sport is as strong as ever.

“What I love about barrel racing is being able to go get on that horse and he’s so dedicated to you,” Martha said. “Horses really are the best animals.”

1 comment

  • JAn bErry

    Great blog on Martha!!! We all love our DIO products they are the best!!!

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