Horseman. Team Roper. Television Host. Fashionista. I'd call Lizzie Iwersen a jack of all trades. She has found a way to turn her passion into her career by hosting the show Horse Talk Live, and spending her workdays getting to know the equine industry's finest. She took some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions for us. Enjoy!
CV: How did you go from horse-crazy Montana girl to hosting your own television show?
LI: I've always been horse crazy and loved every single thing about horses and the people who love them like I do. But I never would have thought I'd end up spending my day talking about them on national TV. It was just when I had decided to go to Montana State to continue to rodeo in college that my mom's horse died. He was a super star that I ran barrels and stepped off of in the goat tying. Being that he was so hard to replace, I decided to change gears completely. I ended up going to
school in Reno, NV and to pursue my other passion of snowboarding. After 4 years there and a year
in Spain, I moved to Portland, OR. I spent almost 3 really, really fun years in Oregon. But I realized it was time to get my life in gear- ie: get back into the horse world. I applied for a position here in Nashville, TN with RFD-TV. It was over 5 months later when they actually offered me a position. Within another 5 months my sister and I road tripped down here with everything I could fit in my car. A few months later my sweet parents sent me a horse from home. It's been here 3 and 1/2 years that I've lived here. Originally, I was hired for marketing. I guess maybe it was apparent that I loved to talk to horse people about horses so that's why they put me in front of a camera, to do just that!
CV: Tell us about Horse Talk Live.
LI: Horse Talk Live is just what its title implies: An hour spent talking about horses. I've invited people and products in to be guests, always trying to cover as many different disciplines and issues as I can think of. Sometimes, if something comes up in my own life- a product or an issue i am going
through with my own horses, I decide that it's something we should cover on Horse Talk.
CV: Who is the most fun or interesting person you've had on the show?
LI: It would be so hard to pick the most fun I've had on the show or the most interesting person I've met. I can, however, say that Craig Cameron is one heck of a guy. And I did four episodes with the Total Team Roping Crew and we certainly had a lot of laughs. I was not spared in any jokes and had to fend for myself- both off-air and on-air- for 2 days. I also really thought that i knew a good deal about horses before Horse Talk. But spending as much time as I have now with veterinarians and horsemen, I realized that it's true you won't ever know it all and the process of learning is life-long. I love the horse health episodes and find all those subjects fascinating- as well as so helpful as a horse owner.
CV: As a television personality you are a style icon for many women across the country. How would you describe your style and what or who has been your biggest fashion inspiration?
LI: Picking out 5 different outfits a week can be a challenge, let me tell you! I truly love being a cowgirl and believe it's a privilege to be able to dress like one. Although my style is always changing, a few things will always be a part of my wardrobe: A good hat and a wild rag.
I love cowboy hats and love that I have a job where I can wear one everyday. JW Brooks makes my hats and his wife Jody is a cowgirl whose style has influenced me- she ALWAYS looks good. Kathleen Brannon, the designer of Desert Sage Bead Art, is, in my opinion, the best dressed woman in our industry! Every time I run into her, I make it a point to try and dress more like her, but it never happens- style like that can't be recreated. It is my mom and sisters, however, who will always be my biggest influences. Our mom was very particular about how we dressed and we are so much better off for it. My mom always has- still does-remind us to wear a ribbon in our hair, to be feminine no matter what we're doing. I still do wear a matching ribbon whenever I can. It was my mom that turned me on to accessories like wild rags and turquoise jewelry.
CV: You travel a lot for your job. What is the neatest place or event you have been to?
LI: Travel is a huge benefit to my job. I went to Brazil in 2012 which was obviously a neat opportunity. But, honestly, I just eat up any horse event I go to. Last year I was invited to ride in the celebrity challenge at the Snaffle Bit Futurity. That event is first class and is at the top of my list. Road to the Horse is always a big event for me, a lot of real horsemen attend that event. Nothing, though, compares to the Wrangler National Finals. That, for me, is ten days of Heaven.
CV: Who is the cowgirl that you look up to and admire?
LI: I look up to a lot of cowgirls, but Pam Minick is a cowgirl that I've always seen as a good person to learn from. Getting to know her, and being able to call her a friend is pretty spectacular. First of all, she's hilarious and people love being around her. She's accomplished so much professionally, she's done it all. But what I really like about Pam is that she walks the walk, too. She was a world champion breakaway roper and is a familiar face in the short round of whatever roping she's at these days. I also really love being friends with Sadie Lynne from Cowgirl Chicks- talk about a cowgirl. I really look up to girls that ride. Really ride.
CV: What is your advice to girls who want to pursue a career in the equine industry?
LI: I would say to girls who aspire to having a career in the industry, the same thing Pam Minick told me in the first conversation I had with her: "To never lose your spark." Keeping your spark is easy to do if you keep company with like-minded people. If horses and the industry are what make you happy, find a way to be around it. Lately I've been one of those "do what makes you happy," "Life's too short" people. But, really, it's true. When you're doing what makes you happy, then life is so much easier. When you're doing what makes you happy, you won't lose your spark!