Cowboy Diaries: Matt Shiozawa

True cowboys are hard to find, but not at the Houston Rodeo. Life on the road leads them here this time every year for the biggest rodeo in the world, where they'll ride and wrangle livestock for cash and glory. Here, we spotlight one person with enough dirt on his boots to call himself a cowboy -- and mean it. Name: Matt Shiozawa

Hometown: Chubbuck, Idaho

Event: Tie-down roping.

I've been to Rodeo Houston 13 times at least.

I started rodeoing when I was a kid. A lot of the guys come into it that way, through family. It's a sport that is passed down. My dad was amateur rodeo and my big brother did it, so I started doing it, too. I love it.

My favorite part of rodeoing is the feeling you get when you win, when you've done well. You start out just learning how to do it, and it's really hard. Then you start getting some success out there, you start seeing the fruits of your labor and all the work and you work harder to keep feeling that. When you do good out there, it feels really good.

When I'm not rodeoing, I've got a wife and three little girls, ages five, almost three and one. I spend my time with them. It's a lot of dolls and a lot of princesses right now.

If I wasn't rodeoing, I'd be in real estate and trading stocks and things like that. I already do some of that when I'm not rodeoing anyway, though I'm not as good at trading stocks yet as I want to be. This lifestyle, a lot of the people in it come from farming or ranching backgrounds, I have more a farming background, but it's all about having land because that's what a lot of this is based on, so from that point, the real estate and the stock market make sense.

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Dianna Wray is a nationally award-winning journalist. Born and raised in Houston, she writes about everything from NASA to oil to horse races.
Contact: Dianna Wray