Just finished watching the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) world finals. It was so good. Bull riding is using athletic ability with the mind to overcome the speed and power of a bull that can hurt or kill you intentionally or unintentionally.

To be world class you must be in shape, healthy and overcome the fear of death or injury. To be a world champion you need all of that plus try. Lots of it. Jess Lockwood is the champ, beating two guys with lots of try José Víetor Leme and Chase Outlaw.

The top 35 bull riders are all in shape and very athletic. There are no old out of shape guys. Age starts to factor in around 30 due to injury’s and loss of athletic ability. I am not sure if we will ever see a woman in the top 35 in the PBR.

I think a lot about try. I admire try in humans and animals. It’s hard to respect someone without much try, and for me It’s important to preserve the try or create the right amount of try in the living things I am around.

Looking at the horse world, my style of horsemanship doesn’t fit most riders today. I was raised in an environment where you rode. We rode a lot and a lot of different horses. I never new much about training so I just rode what I had and rode the try.

When I started riding bucking horses and bulls I really learned to respect the try in an animal. To have an animal give it’s all to try to throw you off gives you a real respect for the spirit in a horse or bull.

My Uncle Wilson was a real good rodeo cowboy. He rode all three rough stock events, bull dogged and could fight bulls as good as anyone. He had more try than anyone I have known. He was such a good influence when I was with him when I was learning. He even had “try” stamped on the swells of his bronc saddle.

I was very fortunate to get to try to gather two different bunches of farrow wild horses quite a few years ago. I admired the try and spirit and smarts of those horses. I also learned to appreciate the try in my riding horses to get me where I needed to be when I needed to be there.

I had a guy named Alfred Rice that worked for me when I was doing lots of horse clinics. He saw all the horses I rode and he pointed out to me one day that every horse I owned would try to buck you off if things went wrong. I thought about it and most of the horses I had were something no one else wanted to ride, and I admired that life and try, and I could handle it if they did buck.

Having the ability and the try to ride a horse when it gets athletic allows you to keep your horse athletic. If you don’t have that ability you either better not get on, or you better take the try out of the horse.

If you were upset above about my statement of no women in the PBR, I thought I would let it fester a bit and then explain. Animals don’t discriminate. They don’t care if you are man or woman, black or white, fat or skinny, they are going to do what they do and if you can’t ride it you better stay off. That’s just fact.

The ironic thing is if you can’t ride a horse through some tough stuff you will never learn how to keep him from that spot, so you must take lots of the try out of him to survive. That’s just the way it is.

We breed horses for athletic ability and looks. We feed horses for athletic ability. We sell horses for their athletic ability. Then we try to figure out how to ride all this athletic ability and try that’s under us. We have to control the try.

When I got exposed to the “horse fair” world I was in shock and awe. The things the “experts “ were selling and things the people were buying seemed crazy to me. If you had lots of carisma and salesmanship and you made people feel like you had the answer to their problems, you could tell them and sell them anything. It reminded me of TV preachers.

I tried to stay true to keeping the try in the horse yet keep people safe and having fun. I never sold one piece of equipment and never had a booth to try to sell something to someone.

To be honest I just didn’t fit. The horse clinician today is about taking enough try out of the horse to get inexperienced and/or non athletic people safe and having fun. Some do it very well and are really helping people and horses to get along alright.

When a horse displays the most athletic ability and try they are strait in the spine. They can run the fastest and buck the hardest when they are strait, so if a horse wants to buck or run off and you can’t ride, you better get the spine bent. When you bend the horse you control the try. It’s the only chance you have if you are riding the physical part of the horse.

The trouble is so many people take the life and try out of the horse by overdoing the bending. Then the wonderful animal under them has come down to their level instead of the human rising up to the animals level.

What I have always thought was best is controlling the mind. If I can keep the athletic try in there but control the mind of the horse that would be best. If It doesn’t work I feel like I can ride the horse through it because of my athletic ability to ride a horse, just like the bull riders have the athletic ability to ride a bull. If you don’t have that ability it doesn’t work for you, so you better try something else.

My horse Jaxson has lots of try. I have gotten his mind under control (most of the time) without taking the life out of him. He is a pain to ride with other people as he walks with so much life. I have noticed the horses I ride walk lots faster than most folks horses. I ride them with lots of life so they have lots of life. Having lots of try in a horse makes riding more challenging by keeping the life in and also controlling it. Not everyone wants to ride that way. A horse with lots of try is lots of work, but to me it’s worth it.

When I ride some of the dude horses or horses in a feedlot it takes lots of effort to get them and keep them going. I would much rather hold one back leaving the barn in the morning than kick one all day!

Try comes in lots of different ways. I was mentioning the try of bull riders. Well I have someone in my life that has more try than you can imagine. When wife Tammy was diagnosed with cancer, we were just like those folks at the horse fairs I used to see.

We had no idea what we were supposed to do to get this bronc rode. I’ll guarantee there was no quit or loss of try. When the doctors tried to sell her on the latest gimmick to slow it down a bit, just like the magic halter and stick at the horse fair, she got to the real horsemanship to ride this pony, and took a deep seat and a tight rein and is on one heck of a bronc ride.

I’ve seen her go through about as much as you could and never loosing her try.

She’s had to make decisions and listen to doctors tell her things, and she never loses her try and proves them wrong. She is getting stronger every day because of her try.

Just like Jaxson, sometimes all Tammy’s try has been a challenge, but what a great thing it is when you need it.

Try is so important. Try to keep it in what is important to you.