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The Rodeo Poet: SDSU student and rodeo team member shares life experiences through poetry

Carson Houser reciting his cowboy poetry at the 2022 Buckles & Bling Fundraiser
Carson Houser reciting his cowboy poetry at the 2022 Buckles and Bling Fundraiser.

Most people might not expect a bull rider to enjoy writing poetry, however senior agricultural education student Carson Houser finds himself spending much of his time doing both. 

Houser is an active member of the SDSU Rodeo Team and is a published poet. Growing up on a ranch in McClusky, North Dakota, he has been active in rodeo his entire life, and because of his experiences, he understands the stories, emotions and everyday life of cowboys. 

“I simply write about the world that I know,” said Houser. 

Inspired by Rodney Nelson, a well-known cowboy poet, Houser decided to try his hand at writing poetry in 2020. 

“I thought maybe I could do that,” said Houser. “I have been involved on the ranch and in rodeo and had several experiences and stories that I could tell, so I started putting them to rhyme and meter and it’s gotten me to where I am today.”

Due to the enjoyment and success it has brought him, Houser chose to make a business out of his love for writing poetry by publishing his first book in 2021, "Branding in the Rain," a combination of working cowboy poetry and rodeo. 

“It’s a passion project more than anything else, which helps me not get burned out,” said Houser. “I wake up every morning excited to write poetry and involve myself in that life. Honestly, I never planned on this being a viable career—the good Lord just blessed it to be that way.”

Houser has a 10-year plan for the books and CDs he is working to write and produce. With four books already in the making, his first CD coming out summer 2022 and his first poetry book available on Amazon, he is well on his way to making his dreams a reality. 

His heartfelt stories have received many positive remarks and five-star reviews. One review states, “This is a great book of cowboy poetry. It is well written by a great young man who was raised on a small ranch in North Dakota and is currently in college riding bulls studying to be an ag teacher.”

Houser transferred to South Dakota State University in fall 2021 after graduating with an associates degree from Miles Community College in Montana. He said he chose SDSU due to its strong agricultural education program within the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. 

Carson Houser competing in bull riding at the Dickinson State University Rodeo in fall 2021
Carson Houser shown competing in bull riding at the Dickinson State University Rodeo in fall 2021. Photo courtesy of Cody Noble Photography.

“He is a very talented young man that works hard both in the classroom and in the rodeo arena,” said Ron Skovly, SDSU Rodeo coach. “He always has a positive attitude and I know he will do great this year.”

Born into a rodeo family, he has been competing in rodeos since he was young. 

“It was natural for me to join the SDSU Rodeo Team when I transferred,” said Houser. “It’s what I know and what I love.”

At the SDSU Rodeo Team Buckles and Bling Fundraiser April 7, 2022, Houser recited an original poem honoring the tradition and history of the rodeo team. 

“It was incredibly special to write something that resonated with me, but also with my teammates, the school, faculty and alumni,” said Houser. “Although I may have written it, it was just as powerful for them, making it so much bigger than myself.”

Those interested can follow along with Houser and his poetry on Facebook and Instagram @HouserCowboyPoetry.