It is the second day of the 4-Year-Old Open in the National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes. I’m sitting in the top row of Section H, one-third the distance from the judges’ stands to the back fence. “Flynnie” (Sean Flynn) is settling the cattle. Five assorted riders are holding them up, two riders on deck and the cow boxes are full.
“Everything will be perfectly fine if this horse would do what I want.” Do you ever have that thought? Do you get frustrated when you can’t get your horse to do what you want? Does your frustration get telegraphed to your horse? Is it really about not being able to control everything your horse does? What does control mean to you? Think about that a minute, please.
Two really good words: quality and Goldilocks. Quality is a description, a standard and a way. It’s hard to describe and even harder to learn. The successful programs are nothing but quality. They will accept nothing less. It will be in everything about them – from the stall latches to the broodmares, from the arena dirt to the wash rack.
This coming May marks the final performance of one of the most iconic entertainment troupes in history. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performs for the last time in New York City on May 21. And so comes the end of “The Greatest Show on Earth” – one that entertained those from ages 1 to 93 and lasted nearly a century. How sad that we will not have “The Circus” in our lives any longer, and our next generation will never experience the thrills and excitement that we, our children and their children enjoyed during our lifetimes.
Before the boring part starts, if you don’t know Penny Youngblood and Nancy Pearce of Circle Y Ranch, you should. They do a lot for all cutters, the sport and humanity in general. Do your homework. Please.
During the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, I was concierging around, minding everybody’s business, when I noticed a couple of blacked-out vehicles with chauffeurs. Being as they had the road blocked, I decided to mind their business, too.
The John Deere Limited Open finals are tonight. I am predicting the Will Rogers Coliseum to be maybe one-third full. This is nothing short of a shame on us. They are the best two sets of cattle to showcase cutting to the public. It has a high entertainment factor. It is the right length of time. It provides a time period to educate. Actually two time slots, the herd settling. We are wasting this.
I was penning 600 head of steers once. I needed them to go in a gate they had been in and out 2,010 times that winter. The uprights were tied together at the top with drill pipe. It was a bright day, and that drill pipe cast a shadow across the mouth of the alley. It might as well have been the Palo Duro Canyon. They ain’t going. Fortunately, I had a real cowboy, a geezer, heppin’ us.
Cornbread loves people, which is good cuz there are a lot in the world, a very tiny percent of whom have the mutant gene of cutting in them. To the unaware, it appears to be from crossing a country boy farmer/rancher/cowboy with a country girl farmer/rancher/barrel racer. Closer examination will show these traits to be markers, not causes.
As all of you probably know by now, thanks to full-blown media coverage, the United States and our national anthem have been purposely disgraced by several players in the National Football League and other professional athletes who refuse to stand during its singing as a way to protest racism in this country.
On a farm on California’s central coast, a 3-year-old boy sits in the corner of an arena playing in the sand while his father works a horse on the other end. The scene was a familiar one for the Ralls family, as Phillip grew up watching his dad, Ron, train reined cow horses and compete in National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) events.