BOTHELL — Micah Sebranke, 17, has found his passion in horses. It’s a love he shares with others, whether it’s giving young kids their first horseback rides or lending his horses to younger 4-H athletes who don’t yet have their own. Adults who know him say it typifies his giving spirit.
Question: So you just got back in town at 4:30 a.m., and now you’re doing this interview. Where were you?
Answer: It was the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas. It’s like the World Series of rodeo. … I was just watching (you have to be 18 to compete).
Q: Is that something you want to do?
A: It’d be a dream. But you’re on the road 10 months out of the year. I want to do something with horses.
Q: You have horses?
A: I have three quarter horses. I got back at 4:30 and had to feed them at 6. They’re at my grandparents’ three-stall barn, but I’m the one who takes care of them.
Q: How did you come by them?
A: One of them I was going to buy and the owner died so it was given to us; one we bought; and the third, the main one I compete on, I was training for a lady so that she could sell it and then I ended up buying her.
Q: What do you compete in?
A: I do western gaming — speed events — and also calf roping. … I’m in Snohomish County Western Gaming Association. And I’m in Snohomish Valley Equestrian Team, which is part of WAHSET (Washington High School Equestrian Teams). I do 4-H also, just horses. I made it to state this year and placed in 4-H for gaming.
Q: What are your horses’ names?
A: The two I compete on are Cowboy and Koda, and our third one is Harley who we use for packing our elk. We take them all elk hunting in Idaho each year and always get elk.
Q: How long have you been interested in horses?
A: I’ve been riding all my life. When I was 11, I really got into it. I did a few rodeos when I was 14, but I really started getting into it this spring.
Q: You say you have a 5-hour weekly practice tonight.
A: I train horses for people, too, and give lessons to kids. … The summers are really busy. In the summer I also work at stables. I worked at five this last summer, one each day.
Q: What do you like about working with horses?
A: The gaming, it’s kind of the adrenaline. It’s really fun. The horses … There are pictures of me drawing them since I was 2. Ever since I could talk, I’ve loved horses. It’s just a desire from God that he’s placed in my heart. … It’s also a really big family environment. You see a lot of the same people and get close to them.
Q: So what’s next?
A: I don’t know what I want to do yet. My grandpa is paying for all the grandkids to go to Northwest University in Kirkland. So I’m going to go there for a couple of years at least and get some basic classes done and see what I want to do. They have a pre-vet program. I’m not sure if I want to be an equine veterinarian or not, but that is an interest of mine.
Q: What church do you attend?
A: Park Ridge Community Church on Maltby Road. My grandfather started it, and now my dad’s the pastor.
Q: You’ve been on mission trips with your family to Uganda and Colombia.
A: We’re going to Colombia again this summer. We’re going to take a group of youth group kids there and help out.
Q: Do you have any mentors, or people who inspire you?
A: Definitely my dad. He’s been able to take what he’s interested in and make a living off it and be successful — that’s what I want to do, with horses. Also, Fallon Taylor, a world champion barrel racer. She’s not afraid to be different … She does it her own way. I met her this weekend for the first time.
Q: How does it feel to be at this stage in life?
A: I don’t really know what to think, to be honest. I’m not really there. I don’t know from (Northwest University) what’s going to happen next to see how I use that passion (for horses). If God placed that passion in my life, then it will work out.
Melissa Slager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 425-339-3432.