Tag Archives: looking at things with a different perspective

Seeing things from the inside out

We started seeing things from the top of a hill, then got down to where we could do some good.  Now let’s look at things from the inside out.

When I was a kid I started riding bulls.  I got lots of advice and instruction about how to ride bulls.  Lift on the rope, stay off your pockets, get a hold with your feet, reach for the outside horn with your free arm, and don’t let your elbow get behind your shoulder.  The problem was that when I nodded my head and the bull jumped into action, I blacked out and did not really remember anything that happened.  It took a lot of experience to get to where I could think for myself and analyze what I needed to do to get better.  It also took me quite a while to admit to myself that riding bulls is really stupid, and the thrill was not worth the risk … in my opinion.

When I first started going to some horse clinics it was like I had gone to another world of working with a horse.  Since I had been riding all my life I could think my way through situations when they got a little fast and furious and being physically able did not hurt anything.  After just a little while I thought I had it all figured out.  I could ride anything and fix most problems that came up and get horses pretty handy … in my opinion.

I used to change sprinklers on colts and would just put my lass rope around their neck and ride without anything on there head.  I really had to get the horse to thinking about me and what I wanted riding this way.  At the time I thought this was the best way to ride these horses, and at the time it was.  One day I come riding into the yard with nothing on my horse’s head and a barrel racer friend of my wife’s was there and said I was just showing off.
My father-in-law was there and said if he was showing off he would have come in at a lope.
Now that’s humor.

With the horsemanship I was doing things I had seen others doing and more.  I could ride my horses with my legs and seat and nothing at all with the bridle.  I impressed myself and thought I was about the best horseman in the world.  When I was starting a colt I could really do a lot in 2 hours.  I would always walk, trot, and lope a colt on the first ride, and most of the time swing my rope and put it under the tail.  I really felt like I was good and people that came to a demo that were good seemed to appreciate what I was doing … in my opinion.

I don’t know what happened but my desires changed.  I started to see things from what I call “from the inside out.”  A fellow I thought a lot of said that many horsemen today were “surface workers.” This is when I thought for me it would be good to work from the inside out.

This is very difficult.  It is so much easier to do the physical part.  It is so much easier to show people how to be surface workers.  To work with animals and to get them to do what you would like, without fear or resentment from the animal is what I am talking about.  You may not impress other people, and some will not get what you are doing.  I am not sure if some will understand what I am talking about.

This is a real personal.  What level you want to get is up to you.  I feel there is a point when this becomes un-teachable, and you must learn it with experience and reflection. For me this is what I must do to become the best stockman possible.  I can’t stand it when animals are in trouble.  I feel we should try to figure out how to get animals we work with to do what we want with them not suffering mentally or physically.

I do things much differently now than I have in the past.  First I saw things from the top of the hill.  I liked what I saw so I got to where the action was and learned and gained experience.  I have decided to really reach the next level I had to see things from the inside out.  I am getting so much satisfaction out of this level.  I think there may be more levels, but I am still searching.

Ego, anger, impatience, competition, and laziness will keep you from achieving your highest level.  Overcome these and work on things from the inside out.  Be the real best you can be, not just a surface worker, and you will reach a new level working with animals.

This is not an opinion, this is a fact.

~ Curt Pate

Seeing things from the top of a hill

I always have this desire to look at things from up on top of a hill to “see the big picture” even if it is only in my mind. It just sets you up to analyze all aspects of the situation.

I was wondering to myself where I picked this habit up. You are probably thinking it is from all the reading I have done or by all the smart people I have been influenced by. That may be a part of it. I grew up in the Helena Valley and when we went somewhere you had to go over a mountain and it sure taught you about getting up high to see everything.

All this is a big part of the habit, but I had an experience when I was in high school that was a real success lesson. The high school kids in my time were mainly four groups. The jocks, the stoners, the cowboys, and the misfits who really did not fit into any group so they were their own group. What I call the cowboys were pretty much ag kids and all my buddies that I did everything with were from this group.

Keg parties were a popular thing at the time, and they were held at places that were thought not to be found by the police. One night there was a huge party up Remini Gulch and we were all having a big time. A big bonfire, lots of beer kegs, and people having big time fun. The jocks, the stoners, the cowboys were all represented and from what I remember getting along.

All of a sudden someone yells “COPS!” Everyone goes into panic mode and started running. Well I started to do the same thing. As I took off, a hand caught my wrist and a voice said “Wait.” It was Kevin Nordahl. He was a couple years older than me and had been really helping me with my rodeo skills. While everyone else was running around in a panic, not thinking at all but just doing what everyone else was doing, we picked up a keg of beer, carried it up the hill to a safe spot. We then sat down, got comfortable, drank beer and watched for a hour or two. We saw everything from up on the hill. Some of the panicers got arrested, some had to wait for their parents to come get them, but Kevin and I just sat up on the hill and watched it all. When all the activity was done, we carried the keg back down, got in our vehicle and drove home.

Now I am not condoning keg parties, drinking and driving, breaking the law or any of the things I was doing as wrong. However I do think a young person learns from these experiences and I am glad I was a little on the wild side when I was younger.

So as I look back on this experience and what we can learn from it is this…

When panic sets in, different groups become a herd and this turns into a stampede. Movement creates movement and if panic is involved, thoughtless movement.
When you loose control of emotions and panic you may be running off a cliff our into real trouble.

Even when panic is not involved following the bunch should be done very carefully. I feel because of a “lack of self discipline epidemic” in our world and the fear of standing out in a crowd we are in the time of everyone doing what everyone else is doing because it is the easy way to do things without embarrassing yourself. Be real careful of this. From what I have observed, it is like using drugs, short term satisfaction and long term negatives.

I see so much financial hardship from people following the bunch and buying things they can’t afford such as homes, cars, clothes and electronics just because everyone else is.

It seems every kid that graduates high school is supposed to go to college. It does not matter if the kid knows what they want to do or not, have the skills it takes to learn in that environment, or even want to go. We are willing to spend money we don’t have to send them because of everyone else doing it. Many of the college graduates I am in contact with are in debt from college loans, changed their mind on what they wanted to do, or would like to change their mind but can’t because of too much time invested as well as money. Following the bunch here is meant to be good but I am not sure it is the best for everyone.

Marketing is a huge part of the movement creating movement in modern society. A good marketing campaign gets the movement started as the bunch moves it draws more to the movement.

If you have lots of extra money it’s ok to spend it on extravagance, if you don’t have the money it will bring lots of problems. Even if you have the money I wonder if stuff just to fit in will be worth it. It never has been for me.

So I am not sure if the night up on the hill above the panicked partiers taught me all that I needed to know in life, but whenever I need to really figure things out, getting to a place in my mind that I can look at the facts and not be drawn by the bunch has become a habit of mine. I hope this may be helpful for you to have the confidence to take some time to sort things out before going with the stampede.

~ Curt Pate