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.

Arizona Interesting

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!