Meeting: Jenna Miller Wrangler, actress, designer and singer ( Zum Interview auf Deutsch ) We proudly present our brand-new categor...

Western Beauty

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Meeting: Jenna Miller

Wrangler, actress, designer and singer

(Zum Interview auf Deutsch)

We proudly present our brand-new category "meeting..." where we are going to present interesting people from all over the world. We focus on men and women who are living a life that might be a bit different from the life of others, who had special experiences or ideas. 

Our first interviewee is Jenna Milla. The 35 years old Jenna was born in 1978 in Sierra Vista/Arizona. She is a third generation Arizonian and grew up saturated in the western culture. Ever since she can remember she was riding horses because her family would set her up on horses when she was old enough to walk. She started riding all by herself at the age of six. Now, 29 years later, she is not only actress, designer and singer but also wrangler at the Apache Spirit Ranch close to the famous town Tombstone.

Jenna, how does a typical working day for a wrangler at Apache Spirit Ranch look like?
In the horse department we wranglers start our days early and end them late. First thing is feeding all 50+ horses and the small herd of cattle the ranch owns. That's a lot of hay that has to be fed. Then we give them all fresh water. After they've eaten we start saddling for the first trail ride of the day.  The western style saddles weigh around 40 to 50lbs each so it's a lot of lifting. Between rides there is a lot that must been done to keep the place up and the animals well taken care of. When we are not in the saddle, we are still out working in the hot desert sun. It's a lot of work but I love it and when you love something, it doesn't feel like work. 

What do you like most on your job? What’s the one thing you don’t like too much?

I really enjoy getting to know the guests and working with the horses. I'm not particularly fond of shoveling manure, especially on the really hot days but it goes along with horses so you get used to it. I have shoveled a lot of manure in my time. 

Is it easier to work with horses or with people?
I've met a lot of great people and a lot of great horses, and though there have been days where both were difficult, fortunately those days have been few. 

Are a lot of women working as wranglers or is it a job predominantly done by men?
It's not a prejudice its an expectation that I have to keep up as if I were a big strong guy. Because I do keep up, I am accepted by the predominantly male world of wrangling, but I have to be willing to get dirty, sweaty and work really hard. Someone looking at a wrangler could be misled and think it's entirely a glamorous job because you get to work with all these beautiful animals, but the main ingredient is hard work and long hours.  Don't get me wrong, there is a pride, an enjoyment and even some glamour in it but if that is your goal - don't be a wrangler.    

The Apache Spirit Ranch is somehow in the middle of nowhere. What are you doing on your days off? Is horseback riding something you still do in your spare time?
Actually, I am a clothing designer. I make both Old West and modern western style clothing in my free time. The black dress I am wearing in the picture is one I designed and made which I call the "Kate" dress after Doc Holliday's girlfriend "Big Nose Kate". I am in the process of launching my clothing company very soon. I am also a singer so I dedicate some of my time towards that. 

Some people said I would eventually get tired of it once I made it my career choice but I have never tired of it and am sure I never will. I do tend to spend time on my other hobbies when I am not wrangling but I certainly have no qualms about riding on my days off. It is always enjoyable to me. 

A lot of young girls dream about working with horses. What do you personally think is the main skill you need for a job like this/like yours? 
If you have a sincere passion for horses you will automatically spend the time needed to gain an understanding of them. Understanding them and the way they think is (in my opinion) the first skill needed to becoming a good horseman/horsewoman. As far as the ranching part of it goes, my job as a wrangler also requires a lot of physical stamina. You have to be the kind of girl who is not afraid of sweating, getting dirty and working hard. There are days when you even get beat up a bit and go home at night feeling pretty sore all over. It's the passion for it all that keeps you happy when you go to sleep at night and makes you ready to gladly face another day of it in the morning.  

Imagine you couldn’t work as a wrangler or with horses in general. What would you do instead of that? 
Well, I actually am not wrangling full time at present because I suffered an injury recently when I was in a corral with some of the horses and one of them rammed me from behind and into a wood fence because another horse had bit him on the rump. I am still recovering so am having to take it easy and gradually get back into riding. In the meantime I am putting some more focus on my western clothing business and am also doing some more acting. If ever I couldn't ride horses again, it would devastate me. Horses have and always will be a part of my life. 

So you are designer, wrangler, singer and actress? Where can you be seen?
I work as an actress in some Old West style stage productions and just did a leading role in my first movie a few months ago called "Draw the Line" which will be released later this year. You can watch for its release via the website As for stage performances, I've done some acting at Gammon's Gulch Old West movie set, the famous OK Corral here in Tombstone and at Apache Spirit Ranch. I currently perform in the stage show at Helldorado town here in Tombstone, and I perform a singing role as Wyatt Earp's wife Josephine in the play "Wyatt: Last Words" at the Allen Street Theater. 

Jenna with her boyfriend Craig Oldfather, who is also an  actor in movies and stage performances. He was the star of the movie "Draw the Line" and the picture of them together is one taken at the private screening of "Deadmen the Series" which he plays the role of "Vance Edison" in.

Which sights would you suggest foreigners to visit in Arizona besides from the ranch?
There are so many beautiful and interesting places in Arizona of which I am fond, but I'll tell you a few in particular: If you are interested in history then I would definitely recommend seeing the town of Tombstone itself and the famous OK Corral (especially if you are a fan of the Wild West like me). If you are anywhere close to the Tucson area I would highly recommend a visit to the Sonoran Desert Wildlife Museum. As for beautiful places, the Grand Canyon is, in my opinion, a MUST see if you are in Arizona. Words just cannot describe it. The more northern part of the state, Sedona, Flagstaff, etc. gives a whole other perspective to those who like higher, forested country. One thing I have always loved about my home state of Arizona is the diversity it offers. 
In Europe people have a saying that means something like “the desert changes you”. Do you think that’s true? Yes, I do think that's true. I believe it has a lot to do with the peaceful serenity and intriguing beauty the desert offers…if one is willing to take it in. 

If you had to make a playlist for a ride through the desert, which five songs would have to be on it? 
Well, personally for me part of the joy I experience when riding in the desert comes from the quiet and serenity, but I am sure there are some good songs out there that would complement it well. Especially some of the old style country music - for example, the Sons of the Pioneers.

Fotocredit: Aeon Digital Arts
(except for the pic of Jenna and Craig)

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Jenna! We wish you all the best and hope to meet you soon again :)

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  1. Very neat Lady hope to meet her one day soon! I will put this on my fb page, "Blazing Cochise County" because she certainly is a bright flame to be seen!