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Meet the Freeride Cowgirl

Meet the Freeride Cowgirl

Syd Ricketts lives a dual life: hard-charging skier and cowgirl. This new film showcases that duality.

Syd Ricketts is what we call a freeride cowgirl. Part wild horse whisper, part big-mountain skier, Ricketts goes by the name Ski Ponie on social media. Ricketts grew up skiing on Utah’s AltaBird Freeride team, learning a love for steep terrain at an early age. She competed on the Freeride World Qualifier tour and has given back to that community by coaching the next generation of freeride skiers. She’s also an artist, mountain biker, whitewater guide, and so much more. 

In this short film, “Freeride Cowgirl,” we get to see Ricketts in her other life: with her adopted wild mustang named Chieftain. In order to protect wild horses from overpopulation and disease, the Bureau of Land Management arranges for humane adoptions of these untamed horses by experienced trainers and rescue organizations. When Ricketts met Chieftain, he was almost entirely untrained. He was able to load into the trailer bound for his new home, a barn in Draper, Utah, but otherwise, he was an unbounded animal. Since adopting him, Ricketts has spent the time patiently building a close relationship with her once-unruly horse.

Created by an all-female team, this Flylow-supported film was made by filmer and editor Erica Hinck and producer Hadley Michaels. It’ll be premiering at the Wasatch Picture Show in Salt Lake City this fall and was released online this week. 

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