Not many women know what a Professional Bull Rider's wife feels like as we watch our husbands or boyfriends climb on a livestock animal that out weighs them 10 to 1. Very few women know how to pray through the doubt as we see them being lifted off the ground on a stretcher unconscious as we try to get past security to be by their side. And only a select few of these women know how it feels to have their heart race with adrenaline with the same intensity as their husband's when he jumps off a bull knowing he'll at least be 90 points. As a Christian, we call it one-flesh when you're married. And when your married to a bull rider...well let's just say you better be ready to share in the excitement, the fear, the adrenaline and the heartache because honestly, you signed up for it.
Kylie Shivers is one of those women who "signed up for it" and I can say from experience of witnessing it myself that this lady knows how to deal with the highs and lows of being married to a bullrider. I've known Kylie since Kody started on the PBR Tour 10 years ago. At this time, Chris had already won two PBR world championships and became the first PBR cowboy to reach $1 million dollars, the first to reach $2 million dollars and the first to reach $3 million dollars. You'd never know that they'd reached that kind of success by the way they treat everyone around them. And I say "they reached that success" because it's kind of a joke around the PBR circle that for a cowboy to win the World in the PBR, he has to be married. Look it up! Not one guy has won the World that hasn't been married. I firmly believe it's because it takes a partnership to do it. Having a wife that stands by your side through injuries, through slumps and through the exhaustion of having everyone pull you in every direction is worth it's weight in gold buckles.
Kylie and Chris live on their ranch in Jonesville, Louisiana with their sons Brand (12) and Blayne (7). Chris is now retired from bullriding since 2012, but their lives haven't exactly slowed down, but just rerouted themselves. I was so excited to interview Kylie and to bring you a little bit of her story because I have tremendous admiration for her as a friend and a woman of faith that's walked the same path that I'm walking while being married to a bullrider and raising kiddos at the same time.
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: Your life is pretty entrenched in the ranching and western lifestyle; did you grow up in it or was it a classic case of marrying a cowboy that made you a "cowboy's wife?"
Kylie Shivers: The western lifestyle was actually nothing new to me. My daddy rode bulls up until I was born. He also team ropes and so does my brother so I grew up going to lots of rodeos and ropings. I wasn't raised on a ranch, however, so that was new to me but I quickly fell in love with it. There's nowhere else I'd rather live.
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: Can you tell us how you and Chris met?
Kylie Shivers: Chris and I met at my cousins house one night in 1999. He was there to see a friend and we were introduced to each other. It was small chit chat for the most part. Not long after that we ran into each other again and chatted a little longer. A few weeks later he called my cousin to get my number and the rest is history. We started seeing each other not long after he called and have been together pretty much ever since.
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: You have some pretty cute boys and they seem to have such deep respect for you and Chris. How did you instill that respect in your boys?
Kylie Shivers: You know, I guess you could say that we are just raising them like we were raised. Our parents raised us to be respectful and we feel like it's very important to instill that in our children as well. We started making our boys say mam and sir as soon as they started talking. Lol!
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: What does a typical day in the life of Kylie Shivers look like?
Kylie Shivers: A typical day in my life would be getting up around 5-530 am and doing a little laundry before getting ready to head to work. Chris usually gets the boys up and ready and then off to school we go. I teach at a local Christian academy and the boys attend there also. I get to spend my day with 16 little 4th graders who I have grown to love as my own. I absolutely love my job! Yes, it's trying and challenging at times but the good outweighs the bad by far. I love my coworkers and I also love the fact that I can be where the boys are everyday and I never miss any of their school activities. After we get out of school there is usually errands to run, bills to pay, groceries to buy, a sporting event or practice to attend with one of the boys, then home to get homework done, feed kids(and animals too if Chris is gone), get bathed, and go to bed to get ready to do it all over again the next day.
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: Have things slowed down or kept on trucking since Chris retired from riding?
Kylie Shivers: It's funny because in some ways we have slowed down and then in some ways life has gotten crazier. We aren't traveling as much anymore but it seems like we are never home between working, our boys' activities, and just everyday life.
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: In what ways do you find to encourage your husband?
Kylie Shivers: I've always tried to encourage him by showing him I believe in him and support him in the things he chooses to do. Easier said than done at times but it's important that a wife supports her husband's goals no matter how crazy they can be.
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: In 10 years where would you like to see yourself in your faith and in life?
Kylie Shivers: I rely on The Lord and my faith daily but I always see room for growth. I'm a work in progress. My Grandma Jack was one of the most faith filled and faith driven people I have ever known. She spent her life doing work for The Lord and showing Christ's love to everyone she came into contact with. She was and still is my hero and my goal is to have that same admirable and unwavering faith that she had.
As for my life in 10 years, well that makes me kind of want to cry. Our oldest, Brand, will be 22 and our youngest, Blayne will be 17. If I could, I would make them stay little forever. My world has been my kids' ever since they were born so it's hard for me to imagine 10 years from now with them grown and on their own. Let's just hope those 10 years go by real slow!
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: What words of encouragement would you offer to a woman who seems to be struggling in life?
Kylie Shivers: Nobody's life is perfect and we all have to face trials from time to time. I've learned some of my biggest lessons in the trials I've had to go through. One important thing I've learned is no situation is hopeless when you let The Lord take control and quit trying to control it yourself. He can make any mess beautiful if you let Him.
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: What are 3 traits that you and Chris want to instill in your boys?
1) My #1 priority to instill in the boys is to teach them about The Lord and that they need the Lord in their hearts and lives.
2) Respect and kindness... I think these two go hand in hand.
3) Good work ethic and to always remain humble.
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife: Can we get some "Cowboy Wife Wisdom" from you?
Kylie Shivers: "Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people."-Colossian's 3:23
Thank you so much Kylie for chatting with us!
Till' next time,
Cooped Up Cowboy's Wife- Candace
(All photos are courtesy of the Shivers Family)