Country music songwriter/singer, Joanna Smith, grew up in a part of the country known for farming, Georgia red clay and family values. Joanna got the performance bug from listening to strong women of country including The Judds, Reba McEntire, and Dolly Parton. Smith decided to head to Nashville and pursue her music full-time. With no connections and in a new city, she set out writing and singing demos, and in a little over a year signed her first publishing deal. Since then, she has had two songs cut (“Flying By” on Billy Ray Cyrus’ latest record, HOME AT LAST), and has opened for Glen Campbell Don’t miss her latest CD “Georgia Mud” – this saucy girl with the Southern twang is destined to realize her dream of playing on radios for country crowds.
WHEN DID YOU START RIDING? CAN YOU SHARE A SPECIFIC MEMORY?
I think I was four or five when my daddy bought our first horse for the farm…. a bay quarter horse named Doc that he was going to work cows with. I remember I stood up on the tailgate of his truck so he could hoist me up behind the saddle so I could ride with him. I thought it was the best thing in the world.
YOU ARE EXTREMELY BUSY, HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO RIDE?
I really have to make an effort! I try to ride whenever I make it home to Georgia!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CURRENT HORSE?
All of “my” horses are at home on our farm, Cherokee Rose Ranch. The one I’ve been riding lately is a three-year-old gelding named Jack. He’s great, but very green! We are both learning lots whenever we go for a ride.
HAS THE WESTERN LIFESTYLE INSPIRED YOUR SINGING OR SONGWRITING?
HUGELY! It’s my favorite imagery to use in songs. Actually, my favorite song in my catalogue is called “Wyoming”. I wrote it on my first trip out West. It’s a heartbreak story about a girl who lost the love of her life to the West.
HAVE YOU HAD ANY MENTORS/TRAINERS THAT STAND OUT IN YOUR MIND?
My dad taught me to ride, and taught me to respect horses. He grew up riding and is a very natural horseman. Also, Peggy Weldon. When I was in school at Auburn University, my favorite thing to do was go out to her farm and have her teach me to ride English, give me basics of dressage, and even coach me on how to jump! It was a blast, but regrettably shortlived because I left Auburn for Nashville after only one year.
YOU ARE USED TO PERFORMING BUT DOES RIDING MAKE YOU NERVOUS?
My daddy taught me early on that although fun, horses are animals you must respect, and they can be very dangerous. I’ve had some bad experiences through the years that have left me a little jumpy at times, but it usually wears off after being horseback for a few minutes. Riding is one my favorite life experiences, and I dream of owning a buckskin horse that I can ride whenever and wherever one day!!
WHAT IS YOUR WEBSITE SO HORSE DIGEST FANS CAN FOLLOW YOUR CAREER AND LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR NEXT APPEARANCE?
You can find me online at www.joannasmithofficial.com