Just had a big weekend of learning at the buck out in Laramie, Wyoming that I spoke about last week. I thought it was a rodeo school but it turned out to be a learning experience for me, watching people with knowledge, experience and the skills to transfer that knowledge to the young cowboys and horses involved.
The cowboys were mostly high school and college students, the horses were mostly young horses that had bucked with a dummy but not a rider. The pickup men were a mix of experienced hands riding young horses, and college students learning the trade. I really enjoyed watching the horsemanship and skills of not only keeping the boys safe but how the saddle horses progressed and how they really worked with the bucking horse colts getting them good to approach and pull the flank and get the rider off safely and then to leave the arena safely and quickly. I have always enjoyed watching pickup men as much as anything in the rodeo world, and one winter I picked up at a winter series rodeo in Helena, Montana and it is one thing that I am so glad I got to do it.
The Hamaker family make up the Summit Rodeo Company. They brought the young horses to the university of Wyoming’s arena to buck the young horses. The young cowboys could get on as many as they wanted in the two days. They fed everyone lunch, and everything about the outfit that I could see was positive. They sure helped a lot of young boys and horses with the opportunity to make it in the jump and kick world.
The stockmanship was really enjoyable for me to watch. I helped feed one afternoon and the horses had lots of hay left over from the day before. They were very methodical at getting the young horses to think their way through things. I watched them load a strait deck semi trailer. One person was horseback and one in the trailer. They brought them one at a time, which is very important and unusual for horses, as when one goes they all want to go (like sheep). They created a situation to get the horse to “think” his way on the trailer. By switching sides in the trailer they would “draw” an eye and get them to load head to tail in the trailer. I know the crew had to be tired and hungry but they took the extra time to load them right. From what I saw they helped those young horses so much by taking the time to load them with “feel” rather than just jamming them on the truck. That’s real stockman stuff.
We stayed with Heath and Brittany Ford. Heath is the assistant coach at U of W and really lives to help people. He is a positive guy that tells it like it is. He had me wanting to get on bareback horses again after listening to him! If you know anyone wanting to college rodeo, I would be trying to get to Laramie to check out the program.
We have known Brittany since she was born and it is so great to see such a confident caring young Mom and nurse. They have three young children and it was so fun to spend time with them. They are busy!
I remember several years ago Brittany was in the barrel racing at East Helena. It was a real tough place to get into the arena as you had to go through an alley and make a couple of corners. I felt she was in danger of her horse flipping or hurting her so I stepped in to help her. I could see she was not liking it that I helped and after her Dad told me I shouldn’t have helped as he felt if a barrel racer couldn’t get their horse in on their own they shouldn’t run. I always felt kind of bad because I could see she was nervous about me stepping in. I was worried about her safety, but learned you need to know the situation before you step into help someone. She survived and maybe that’s one of the things that helped her survive working nights and raising three kids!
Sam Petersen is cowboy. He had not been on a bareback horse for six months. He broke his wrist when he bucked of a horse and hung up and drug for a couple of laps around the arena. He had to overcome the fear of that happening again and concentrate on his riding. He did and showed lots of effort and rode real good. He is a sophomore in high school and has lots of athletic ability, thinks himself through pressure and from what I see has lots of try(only he knows how much try he really has). He is polite, has a good work ethic and morals, and listens to some real good music so I enjoy being around him.
There are two words I don’t throw around much. One of those words is “cowboy”. I feel there are lots of cowboys in this world with lots of different styles and personalities. I feel very strongly about keeping cowboy cowboy.
The one common denominator is try. Whether it’s getting on a bucking horse or caring for livestock in tough conditions, if you don’t have try you aren’t much of a cowboy.
I am so glad Sams folks Pete and Tara trusted me enough to attend the school with him. I learned lots and got to be around lots of “cowboys” in the Cowboy State.
The important thing to remember when working with living things is they are either getting better or worse. I think a bunch of horses and cowboys got better in Laramie, Wyoming over the weekend.
The world doesn’t need more cowboys, it needs more good cowboys.
On a flight from Phoenix to Denver to have somewhat of an unexpected opportunity to go with Wife Tammy’s sister Taras boy Sam to a bareback Riding school in Laramie, Wyoming and I’m real exited about it.
The one disappointing thing is that I was invited to “ Throw Pialles” con mi amigo Hector at Corona Ranch, but had to leave before we could do it. Next time.
When we were doing Tammy’s Art of the Cowgirl earlier the “Corona” virus was just making the news and I remember Mr Announcer guy Gord Colliar making some jokes in reference to the name of the place and the virus. It was funny.
We just were visiting with the folks at Corona and they are struggling because of it. They have had lots of big groups cancel because of the Coronavirus and are really worried about it. Kind of ironic that the Corona Ranch is affected by the Coronavirus.
We were checking out places to have the event for next year. Corona ranch is my favorite and if you know how much I enjoy the Mexican culture you know my vote is there. The challenge is that the preliminary events have to be at least an hour away from Corona Ranch so it would be nice to get everything in one place.
We went down to Tucson and looked at Pima County Fairgrounds the went on down to Nogales to see our friend Dean Fish. He has the best and strongest pasture fence I have ever seen on the south side of the ranch. His neighbor to the East has about 1/4 as good of a fence trying to do the same job and that’s a little hard to understand, so I just had to jump the fence and get to the other side! I just had to.
When we were leaving we were on a little back road and all of a sudden a car roars around us just as we were turning and almost hit us then pulled right out thin traffic and almost caused a huge wreck. I was trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with the maniac and here comes about 6 border patrol Riggs in hot pursuit. I think he or she or they escaped em!
Just a few minutes ago I boarded my plane. All of a sudden all hell broke loose behind me. A guy was choking and in trouble. I got ahold of his backpack and a guy behind him went to preforming the hymlic on him and got him saved. He was about done when he got him clear and it made a big mess on the plane.
I was visiting with the guy that choked on the way to baggage claim and he thought he was going to die. He passed out before it came loose. He had never choked before. He said he felt like he had a cracked rib but felt like the guy saved his life.
It’s been very exiting and interesting. Arizona interesting!
The amazing Tammy Pate. She overcame cancer, produced Art of the Cowgirl, took on role as grandmother, and still looked good horseback and made a hand helping rope in the Pate family stockmanship demo and start colts with rial and me.
It was like old times on the clinic trail with the whole family working together. Mesa was a big part of the events success and her horse “Scotty” is wearing the high selling horse Bridle she received for selling the high selling horse. The Apple didn’t fall far from the tree with Tammy and Mesa.
Family, horses, ropes and cows. The only thing missing is our dogs.
Rial Pate doing what he does so good. That’s the new owner of the 63 Ranch watching and wondering if he hired the right generation of Pate.
We pulled in to get fuel to head north after wife Tammys very successful “Art of the Cowgirl” event. I stepped out of the pickup and a 30ish physically fit fellow came up and started to ask me for money. He got about halfway through his speech, and I said no, and he new I meant it.
With the unemployment rate so low and everyone looking for workers he needed to get a job. I went in and got a cup of coffee and beef sticks and walked over to him and gave him my 37 cents change. I figured if he was hungry he would accumulate enough to get something to eat. He said thank you but couldn’t look me in the eye this time either.
The Art of the Cowgirl is a very diverse event. From what I understand the main reason for it is to help women through funding a fellowship to help gain skills that have to do with raising livestock and living the western Ranching lifestyle including making gear and creating art that keeps the tradition pure and real.
The competition side and horse sale get the most attention and are very exiting, and really show the skills of the horseback side of cowgirls, and it helps to fund some of the fellowship. It all works together to preserve and improve everything “Cowgirl”.
The Corona Ranch is a great place to have it. The set up and ambiance of the facility is perfect. They provide food and drink and a great setting.
Thursday night was a reception for donors, vendors, presenters and friends of Art of the Cowgirl. Corona ranch had great food they brought around with a Mexican theme. Someone told Tammy they should have offered a vegetarian options.
What? It’s the art of the COWgirl! I have no problem with vegetarians or vegans. I even admire that they are doing something they believe in and think they have the right to do and say what the want. It’s my job to try to create what I believe in and promote it to preserve and continue the culture and business of livestock production, which I believe through science and common sense is good for the environment and healthy for people if done properly. I feel the same way about vegetables, and if I was at “The Art of the Gardener” I would expect to each vegetables.
I was recently visiting with a young fellow thats wife has a huge social media following in the horse world. They were hired by the Professional Bull Riders Association to promote an event through their following. When they did the following revolted and were very upset that they were promoting bull riding. They quit the deal so as to not lose the following they had built up.
If they didn’t believe in bull riding and the use of animals for that they should not have agreed to promote it. We need to stand up for what we believe and help educate people in why. If you just quit because it doesn’t fit someone else’s agenda to further your following or prosperity, I feel you don’t have a very strong belief in what you do and you should really evaluate your backbone or belief.
This brings me back to the fellow asking me for a hand out at the gas station. My belief is he needed to get a job. He was able bodied and had a good mind.
He should be working and contributing to society, not taking away from it. There was a guy in the gas station in a wheelchair and overweight and needed help. The guy outside was taking away from someone that really needed it. That’s what happens when you try to get something that you don’t earn.
Everything needs a job or a purpose, including cows and horses. Over the years I have been watching the horsemanship and stockmanship “revolution”. When these things become the discipline I don’t see very good results. When the use of stockmanship and horsemanship are used to improve a job I see great results.
Watching these cowgirls preform in the cow horse competitions and at the horse sale these horses were good. They didn’t have the problems that so many people that I watched for years with horsemanship clinics. They had a purpose and a job and created horse that could get her done because of it.
Again, they had a job, and the job created the Cowgirl and the horse.
They could get her done on the stockmanship as well. I see people that get so into the philosophy of stockmanship and so touchy feely about it that they don’t fit in the real world of livestock production, and really can’t get the job done if everything is not perfect.
The way cattle are handled in competition is not what I want or desire, but it is a competition and that’s why we need rules and be strict not to have events that go to far.
Just because you have the intention of doing right doesn’t mean it’s right for the animal. We must be very careful to keep it real in both directions, not to much, but not to little either. Don’t allow people that don’t understand what animals and humans need to get along and have a good quality of life create our future.
Get real, get a job and get a backbone.
In Phoenix this week helping set up for “Art of the Cowgirl “. Woke up, got coffee and went to reading emails, and the first read was a real nice surprise.
I really get a lot of inspiration from reading Marty’s writing, but to be in one of his writings is a real honor, and to have my name in the same paragraph as Jesus doesn’t happen very often.
I hope Marty keeps writing and I hope you will subscribe and start reading. It’s a good way to start your day.
I get to start a colt this week at Art of Cowgirl. I will try to keep it cowboy simple, and thanks to Marty’s inspiration keep my spiritual life simple.
The first time I met Curt Pate, he was putting on a colt starting clinic in Casper, Wyoming. My dad had known him for several years, so he and I had a lot to talk about when we met. I truly enjoyed visiting with him, and watching his colt starting demonstration was great, as well. The thing I like about Curt is that he doesn’t get too showy. It’s not a circus act with him, maybe to a fault. I mean there are some of those clinicians who put on a pretty good show, and they develop quite a following because of it. Not Curt. He just starts a colt or works cattle and talks to the crowd while he’s doing it. It’s pure, and it’s simple. No witch doctoring here.
As he put a start on that colt in Casper, I was impressed. He just did it like I’ve seen a million guys do it, but he seemed to really be paying attention to the horse. It wasn’t like he was going from step A to step B to step C; he was moving with the horse. When the horse was ready to move, he moved. If the horse wasn’t ready to move yet, or he just wasn’t yielding the way Curt thought he should, he stayed right there until the horse was ready. There was no watch involved, but there also wasn’t a real formula involved, just a simple rule to make the right things easy and the wrong things hard and get that horse to feeling which was which.
When he got done, Mandi and I were standing visiting with some friends, and we overheard a few old boys saying, “Well, that wasn’t anything special. That’s just the way my grandpa done it.” No kidding. And that’s really exactly what Curt was saying. He was just sticking to the basics of horsemanship. There was nothing magical about it. No whispering, except what he tried to say under his breath (which is hard to do when you’re wearing a microphone). He simply put a nice little start on a nice little colt and did it as basic as a guy can. These guys were looking for some “Horse Whisperer” who was going to teach them to speak “Equus”. I think they were hoping for some pyro to kick the show off as well as some sort of timed colt breaking event. They went to the wrong show. Curt’s just pure cowboy, pure horseman, and I think he kind of likes it that way. He’s there for the horse.
Lots of times, we try to find some magical formula that will bring us closer to God. We try to find “The Secret,” and we search high and low for that path that will make us better Christians. I’ve listened to c.d.’s on prayer where the speakers talk about “mechanisms” in prayer. I’ve prayed with people who use all kinds of flowery language. I’ve talked to people who just wanted to feel something more during a church service. I’ve known people who were appalled that a church had chairs instead of pews.
The thing is that Jesus doesn’t want things that complicated. Sit on a pew, or sit on a rock; I don’t care. What are you talking about? Mechanisms. He even tells us to bag the fancy language when we pray. When the teacher of the law quizzed him on the greatest commandment, Jesus didn’t get all theological. He didn’t dig into any dogma or doctrine. He simplified it. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12: 30-31). That’s about as simple as it gets. What about the Ten Commandments? They’re covered in these two. I like it. If we are doing something, as long as it is helping us love God with all we are, or it’s helping us love our neighbor as we love ourselves, we’re on the right track. One time, my doctor told me after I blew my knee out, “If it hurts, don’t do it. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re probably okay.” I like simplicity. So does Curt Pate. And so does Jesus.
Marty and Mandi Campbell
P.O. Box 112*Pendleton, OR 97801*541-278-2301
Flying home from Denver where I presented a couple of horse demonstrations at the Western and English Sales Association (WESA) Denver Market. I had presented there many years ago and it was fun to go back and see lots of old friends in the industry and meet some new.
I am wearing the same style Wrangler jeans and white shirt and a vest and a neck scarf that I was 15 years ago. I can’t remember if I was wearing a Greeley hat then, but I sure am now. I would imagine I’ll be wearin the same style 15 years from now Lord willing and if the creeks don’t rise!
I flew in Saturday afternoon and met my good young friend Nate Bowers at the National Western Ranch rodeo. Had a great time visiting with Nate and his friends and the ranch rodeo was ok. It would have been much better if they would have had bronc riding. I’m not sure you should be allowed to call anything a rodeo that doesn’t have bucking horses, it’s kind of like fake meat.
I haven’t been on a work trip for quite a while, but had booked this a year ago. I got an upgrade on my rental car and got a Chevy Camaro, (nobody I new even saw me drive it, but I sure was cool),had a suite motel room and got upgraded to first class on my flight so it was good traveling weather.
Nate brought me a horse in to use for my demos. It was a 30 foot round pen with rubber mats and shavings so there was not a lot to do. The horse was really nice and made for a good demo.
When it was all done Nate couldn’t stand it. He got on his horse and rode through part of the trade show! No one got upset that I saw and I think he got a picture with Dale Brisby When he got back he said if he hadn’t done it he would have regretted it the rest of his life. That’s a good way to “live” life.
I met Nate many years ago in Madison, Wisconsin at the Midwest horse fair. He was driving six bicycles in front of a golf cart at full speed. He was a real character then and hasn’t changed much.
I got to be good friends with his Dad Steve and liked and respected him as much as anyone I have met in the horse world. He passed away unexpectedly and I really miss him and his calm way.
Nate is married now and his wife Amy is a real good horsewoman and has beautiful posture on a horse. Nate is making a go of it and is quite the businessman.
I really have had a horse resurgence this past year. After so many years focusing on the beef side of things it’s been fun having all the horses at the 63 ranch to deal with, and seeing lots of old friends in Denver bought back lots of good horse fair and colt starting demo memories.
I’ll get to share some more coming up in a couple weeks. The second annual Tammy Pates “Art of the Cowgirl” is happening and I get to auction art and horses(without pay of course). There is some great gear and art and some real nice horses so I am looking forward to working with Daughter Mesa and friends Gord Collier and Dean Fish to get em sold to the highest bidder.
I am really looking forward to a colt starting demo that Son Rial and I will be doing with Wife Tammy helping us horseback in the ring. Rial and I have lots of fun starting colts together and don’t really worry bout things getting a little western, so I would be surprised if the crowd won’t see a little Pate family drama and Tammy leaving the pen and commenting from the outside! It should be fun, entertaining and I hope good for the colts and those watching.
Yep, I sure do like horses, horse people and the lifestyle it has created for us. When you add cattle and dogs and good friends, life don’t get no better than that.