Local rodeo arena offers riding options for all ages
By Wesley Gardner
For as long as she can remember, rodeo has been a massive part of Kim Reveile’s life.
“My dad used to break horses back in the day,” said Reveile. “He was a member of the Travis County Sheriff’s posse in Austin and that was basically just up the street from us, so I rode drill team, I did barrels, I rode bulls.
“He used to have a practice session for cowboys every week … We’ve been around this our entire life.”
Reveile, who moved to Caldwell County from the Del Valle area in 2014, opened up Reveile Ranch and Rodeo Arena on Highway 20 in Lockhart later that year. In addition to hosting large-scale rodeo events, the venue allows cowboys and cowgirls of all ages to learn the ropes of bull and horse riding.
More than anything, Reveile said she and her family, including her late father, opened the arena to give kids a chance to learn more about rodeos.
“The rodeo is slowly fading out, and most of the kids don’t know about it,” she said. “They go to see the livestock show once a year, but there’s no involvement for kids other than showing their animals.
“I would like to get enough exposure out there to where people know that if they need help, even if it’s just to ride or see if their kid is even interested in something, my doors are always open.”
Even better for the kiddos, Reveile said most of the services offered at the arena are free of charge for the youth.
“There are a lot of kids that want to try it, but unfortunately a lot of people can’t afford it, because it’s not cheap,” said Reveile. “When we set out, we always said anything with the youth, I don’t charge for the arena.
“When it has to do with youth, I won’t charge, because they’re starting out and I think everybody, including kids, needs that opportunity to have a place to go, even if it’s just to ride.”
For adults, Reveile said the charge to come out and ride varies, depending on the situation and whether they bring their own horse or bull, but it’s typically around $15 a head. She did note, however, that bull riding sessions need to be scheduled for a weekend at least a week in advance to give her time to get the necessary crews on hand. For horseback riding, appointments need to be made 20-30 minutes in advance.
Reveile said that while the arena is still available for practice sessions, she noted COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in the family’s plans to host any events in the near future. Still, she said she was hoping to be able to put something together for a Christmas event.
Running an event, however, is no easy task, Reveile said.
“It’s a matter of getting your bullfighters, getting your judges, getting a crew to work back pins, a crew to pull gates, rodeo clowns, bull fighters, entertainment,” said Reveile, noting her last two-day event featured 100 bull riders and 150 bulls. “Then you have to do your PR work, advertising and all that. It takes quite a bit, but in the long run, it’s worth it.”
According to Reveile, one of her most consistently helpful employees when setting up an event is her daughter, Caitlyn Stox.
“She does everything, really,” said Reveile. “She does the fliers for the event.
“She goes out and she gets sponsors. She runs the concession stand. She does all the booking for the bands. I do all the outside stuff. I deal with all the contractors and the bulls – stuff like that – and she does the rest. She’s great. I couldn’t ask for a better kid.”
At the end of the day, Reveile said the efforts required to put on an event are worth when she gets to see a child experience all the things she loves about rodeos.
“It’s worth it to see little kids out here, and fortunately I’ve always had really good rodeo clowns and bull fighters that take time out and mingle with people before and after,” said Reveile. “They mess around with the kids, and to me, that’s what it’s all about – being personable.
“It’s not just a show. It’s including everybody to where they can see everything that goes on.”