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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

God is Good - Abbea Faris

I can’t believe it is the end of the year already! What a great year the Lord has blessed us all with! I transferred to a different college this year and I absolutely love it! For a while God has been telling me to transfer to a different college, Cheyenne. So, a week before classes started, I transferred here and have loved it ever since! One of my favorite parts is The Roundup Bible Study group. It’s mainly rodeo kids, but the Bible study and the leaders have changed my life and so many others! The Lord is a wonderful one, if you allow Him to be in control and listen to Him. He won’t let me give up and keeps pushing me to achieve my goal of making it to the CNFR this year. Through this training, I try to have a positive attitude, live life to the fullest, have a smile on my face, and share how great the Lord is to everyone around.

 There is much of a difference in my practicing during this time of year. I’ll give my horses a couple weeks off, then I usually still practice throughout the winter, weather depending. At Cheyenne, rodeos ended in early October, but we are still practicing. It has been awesome to get the opportunity to work with other horses besides my good ones. I couldn’t be any happier with how all my horses are working; the good ones and green ones, God is so good! Classes are also going well. When you study something you enjoy, it makes school go by a little easier. I am taking a math, accounting, agricultural records, and an agricultural finance class.

I continuously go to jackpots throughout the year, but rodeos are pretty much over around here. Summer and fall rodeos did not go as planned. I was holding myself back through mental games and went through a slump of being 1 for 10 and it was a break out. The week between the last college rodeo and WRA finals, I finally got baptized. It was something that had been on my heart for the last year and a half, but the timing had never worked out. After being baptized, I felt refreshed, cleansed, a new person. I was confident again and felt myself trusting the Lord and His plan. I went out and finally made a solid run. Also, I was blessed to have a great day at a jackpot and won a saddle in the #9 roping!

Today is a good day for a good day- God Bless!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Putting the Pieces Together - Bobbi York

Rodeo is one of the biggest parts of my life. I live, breathe, and think about rodeo. If I could go to college and major in roping, I totally would. At the end of fall high school rodeo season, I’m sitting in a good spot to make it to nationals, and I am finally roping like I want to be. My school work is going great, I am loving all of my classes, and I’m closer to God than ever before. I mean, it's pretty easy to thank Him when everything is going right. 
During my last fall rodeo, my first calf wasn’t the way I wanted it to be. I threw it in the dirt and my horse didn’t work right, despite all of the time I put into scoring and working on her. After that run, I asked God if this is what I should be doing because at that moment, nothing was quite falling into place. But the next day, I chose to not worry about my last run. I focused on the run I was given at the moment, and it ended up being the best I’ve ever roped. I roped in a 2.4 and my horse was spot on. Leaving the arena, I received countless words of praise and encouragement. I thanked God for putting all the pieces together.
But sometimes, the pieces don’t fit together, and that’s just how God wants it. A month ago my uncle, who helped fill in as a dad in place of my absent one, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Being a Vietnam veteran, he was a hero in my eyes. A hand with a rope, a kind man, and tougher than dirt, he was everything I want to be. But on November 21, his pain and suffering came to end. Throughout it all I prayed for God to heal him. I prayed that God would let him get better. But that wasn’t in God’s plan. Four days after the funeral, my grandma was taken to the hospital with chest pain, rushed to a larger hospital, and put into the ICU. I am still praying for God to heal her; I want God to put all the pieces together. Like my rodeo this fall, I am still wondering if I am doing the right thing. I don’t know if I am praying for their healing, not just for them, but selfishly for me. Unlike that rodeo run, it's a lot easier to thank God for everything when it's all working out for you. However, I am trying to thank Him for everything He has blessed me with. As it says in Romans 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Like I said earlier, rodeo is one of the biggest things in my life, but it's not THE biggest. That’s a spot reserved for my Lord and Savior. I try to live for Him, let Him work in and through me, and lean on Him.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Off Season - Hunter Washburn

Well, it's that time of the year again; it is cooling off, and you might be practicing a little less. It's the off season, so what do you do now? Weather permitting, I still practice as much as I can. When I'm practicing at this time of the year, I am working on any prospects I have. This year I have two- a gray mare and a sorrel and white paint gelding. The mare has been roped off of, and she's doing very well so far. I've ran about fifty steers off of her, and she hasn't done much of anything wrong. Her only fault is not running through the hole as hard as she does getting there. 

The paint horse has never been in a box or around cattle, so we are taking things a little slower.  He has come a long way in the last six months. I've ran him by about ten steers and tracked a good number of steers around the pasture and arena. I will continue with what I'm doing, and in the spring I'm planning on jumping off of him.

Working on prospects allows me to work on my horsemanship throughout the winter, so when I come to the start of summer, I'm riding my horses very well. I also sit down and watch old videos, mentally preparing myself, tearing my runs down, and rebuilding my foundation. This is also a good time to let your body heal from the stress and strain of the rodeo trail.

The Lord as shown me numerous things this year and has blessed me in many ways. I’ve stayed healthy this year, and I will be competing in the ACRA finals in a few weeks. I also have some really good horses under me with great people helping me. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Straight Paths - Rope Myers

  Lynn McKenzie likes to say “clocks like straight lines,” and as a World Champion barrel racer she would know. This phrase also rings true in the other events.  In the steer wrestling the straightest path past the steer is the fastest. In the calf roping we want to break to the pin in order to get straight behind the calf.  In the calf roping and the goat tying we go straight down the rope. In team roping the time stops when both ropes are straight and taught. “Clocks do like straight lines.” 

  One training tool to work on straight lines is to use a rake.  It is a really simple trick, but it will help you to see the path you are taking to the animal and to see if you have straight lines. 
              1. Leaving the box
a.      Rake the front of the box and about 15’ in front of the chutes between runs. Then look at your horse’s path.
b.     For calves the tracks should be right behind the calf by about 20’ in front of the chutes.
c.      For steer wrestling your horse’s tracks leaving the box should line up parallel to where you caught the steer.
              2.   Down the rope
a.      For goat tying, between runs rake around the area where you get off of the horse to the goat.  This will let you see if you are running straight to the goat and pinning him on the end of the rope.
b.     For calf roping, rake beside the rope when you are tying from the post. This will allow you to see if you are running straight to the calf, and it will also let you see if you are placing your feet in the right place to flank the calf.

In the practice pen, just like in life, sometimes the best way to see where your problems lie is to look back and see where your footprints were landing. 

“Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.”    Hebrews 12:12-13

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bumps and Slumps- Abbea Farris

This summer the Father had a different plan for me. I started the summer off by entering the same rodeos as I always do and planned on entering more as the summer continued. They all started off great until we hit a bump in the road. My good horse injured itself causing me to enter into what most people call “a slump.” I decided to take some time off and get some good practice in, improve my fundamentals, work, and spend time with my family before I left for college again in the fall. During tough times like this, I just have to remember that everyone goes through slumps in life and to keep my head on straight. Hoping I have worked out some of these problems, I will be going to a few rodeos the last month of summer! I am rodeo hungry and ready to go! 

This summer has also been filled with work and family. I am working construction 35 miles north of town. I have a lot of family that live out there, so it has been very convenient being able to see them more this summer. Every Sunday I’m home, I take my grandpa to church. With work being so busy during the week, then going straight to roping at night, a lot of my time is taken. So you could say, Sundays are our grandpa-granddaughter days. After church, we go out to lunch and simply spend time with one another.

This summer has been difficult at times, but I continue to keep my head up and remember the important things in life. Family is very important, so it has been nice to be catching up with them. But I cannot wait to be competing in rodeos again! No matter what, God is great, and I am blessed and thankful for another day.      

“All things are possible if you believe.” Mark 9:23

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Time for Everything - Bobbi York

I find myself asking “Why me?” a lot. I will humbly admit, I sometimes find that life has given me the short end of the stick. Just like most people, I want life to go my way 100% of the time. But, life never goes that way. I strongly believe that we all have a time in our lives where our entire outlook on life changes. I have had this moment and now I wish I had a tale of an epic rodeo saga where I bravely looked into the sunset finally realizing that this was my purpose in life. But this is not the case. Frankly, this had nothing to do with rodeo and I was at my weakest.

At the beginning of the summer, I would’ve been fine with never roping another day in my life. I had decided that rodeo was petty and selfish. But God had another plan for me. June 12, 2015. I was sitting at the Wyoming High School State finals and a girl on the rodeo team texted me saying…

                Someone in our team got killed in a car accident.

As one can imagine, I began to panic. I ran through every person on my team while I waited for the text telling me who it was. Eventually, I just called her.

Tyler. The Tyler I had known since freshman year. The Tyler that was always there. My next reaction was to call him. Nothing. Again I found myself asking “Why?”, but instead this time I was asking “Why God?” Months pass and eventually I was asked to write this blog on my summer rodeo season, that I wasn’t really doing, and on a God that I was even sure cared.

Slowly, I began to listen to God. I used to think God had never been there or he was testing me. But actually, God was always there for me, I just needed to listen. My dilemma was continuously questioning God about taking Tyler. To be honest, I’m not sure I will ever understand why such an amazing person had to leave us so soon. But to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

In July, I was able to get to see Lily and Sarah at the High School National Finals. When I was there I felt the rush and intensity of it all. From that point on, I knew this is what I wanted. I was driven. I roped every chance and when I wasn’t roping, I was thinking about roping. I knew that I wanted to be there next year and I was going to do everything in my power to get there. But roping is not my purpose; Rodeo is not my purpose.  As it says in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” My purpose is to spread the word of God, living each day to his Glory. Now by no means do I do this all the time and I have my low points. But through everything I have come to realize that I cannot get through this life without God and I try my best to live like he wants us all to.

Maybe Tyler’s purpose was to show us how to be kind and love one another and his death was to make us all realize we need to be kind and love one another. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Tyler. Think about his smile, his humor, his kindness. But thanks to him I have been able to see a glimpse of the way the Lord wants us all to be. Tyler, like all of us, wasn’t perfect. But he was by far the best person I’ve known on this earth.

As my summer comes to an end, I have won the Wyoming State Fair Breakaway Roping, bought a new rope horse for college, grown closer to the Lord, and am trying to make him proud each day. And each day I think of my friend that has given me so much.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Set Goals and Dream Big - Hunter Washburn

I hope you had a good summer! I had a lot of good runs this year and am looking forward to the last couple months of summer. I went to some pro and amateur rodeos. I'm sitting fifth in the permit standings in the PRCA.  I'm also sitting in the top five in the ACRA rodeos. The goals I've set for myself this year are to make both finals and work on finishing my equine dentistry school. Spending some time setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself. If you fall short, don't give up; try again. Do some things different next time. Learn something every time you nod your head. It's what we have to do to keep moving forward in our goals.

I was told it's okay to dream big if you're willing to put in the work to make the dream come true. I've always wanted to go to the NFR like everyone else, but if I'm going to do that I have to work harder than everyone else. What does it take, you might ask? Well, the truth is I don't know yet, because I haven't been there. What I am doing is working on my finances, I do know that is a big part of it. Along with horse care, vehicle maintenance, my health, and many more things. One day by doing these things I will give myself the best chance to make the NFR, and that's all I can ask for!

Until next time, God bless and have safe travels reaching your goals.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

We Have Jesus - Bobbi York

For most of my fellow rodeo contestants, the dream is to be the best, like Ty Murray or Cody Ohl. I am not like other rodeo contestants. If anyone would have asked me when I was 8 what I wanted to grow up to be, I would have easily answered that I wished to be a lawyer. From my excellent debating skills that I practiced daily with my mom to my love for government, 8 year old me was sure that I was going to be a lawyer. It was the most logical career that I could choose. As years went by, I was determined that I did not belong in the courtroom, but instead in the lab as I had an interest in human biology and anthropology. This drew to my attention the idea of being a forensic anthropologist. Approaching my freshman year, my interest in rodeo grew and so did the idea of vet school. Logically, it seemed the best option due to my extensive background in agriculture and pre-existing knowledge of basic veterinary skills. Finally, with my junior year starting I decided that my becoming an athletic trainer was the best thing due to my constant use of one thanks to my unstable joints and forever tearing muscles. All of these were logical. It's easy to say rodeo isn't the best choice for me. Like Casey Allen always says, "We spend a fortune to live like a carney." But for us, logic doesn't apply when it comes to rodeo. We will risk our health, financial stability, and sometimes even our sanity. With logic comes security and predictability which makes us feel comfortable. But maybe that's a lot of our problem: logic. Doing things that are logical doesn't always mean that it makes you happy. This is why we rodeo. When we use logic we lose sight of dreaming big and aiming for the impossible.

            In rodeo there is always going to be room for improvement just like anything else. In rodeo we can’t think logically all the time. Granted, there is an element of rational thinking that is needed in order to have success, but sometimes we have to dream big in order to attain the unimaginable. For me that moment came when I went to my first big breakaway roping. I remember looking at everyone else and thinking about their ability and stats. I remember asking my coach “Do you think I belong here?” I knew it would be a long shot for me to even rope alongside some of the best. Now I missed, but I threw and missed but I took my first shot. I wish I could say the same for our walk with Christ. For some people it seems illogical to have a “relationship” with someone we can’t see. But the way I see it, it is the most logical thing we can do. There is only two promises in life: death and eternal life with the Lord. It would be foolish not to claim an eternal life that we are promised.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Grab Life by the Horns - Hunter Washburn

I wanted to talk about the Duvalls' annual steerwrestling jackpot. It didn't go as planed; I came back 4th high call in the 19 & under and missed my steer. That weekend, I learned that you have to run every steer for what he is and not like the last steer you ran. I don't know why I missed the steer, tunnel vision maybe. I backed in the box knowing I had a good steer. If you've ever been there, you would know how they set up the bleachers in the arena in a V shape from the boxes, which makes braking to the pen a death wish to your run. I broke to the pen and my steer was so close; I couldn't get my foot between us. This caused me to go over the top of his horns. After a weekend like this is, I first remind myself there's another one next weekend and I try to learn as much as I can from my mistakes. If you don't do this, you will get in a rut, dry spell, or make every excuse you can and still be at square one. So take a deep breath, learn from it and move on.

I've seen people talk/think their way out of check. It's a bad habit. If you know the steer is good, do what your supposed to do and it will work out. If you worry about it and have thoughts like, "I have to do this and this," and "what if I try this," you're  going to create chaos. I'm not saying just back in and nod your head and go. I'm saying be smart and if he stops and comes in to you, break down the rail and get down; let the steer come to you. If he runs left, break down the rail and ride your horse all the way up to the steers back and get off. If he goes right and tries the hazer, then break toward the left of the flag or middle of the box. It's not hard we just make it hard.

Through Him all things are possible. God has a plan for all of us, but sometimes we don't trust him enough to guide us through it. If his plan for you is to be a world champion steer wrestler, then you have to work at it. It won't be easy, but if I'm going to do it, I want God in my corner. God gives everlasting life and joy.  There's no guarantee that it will always be easy, but the reward at the end is the greatest of all. If you have not asked Jesus into your heart and soul and been saved, I pray that you ask Him to be apart of you and mean those words with all your heart. It won't always be easy, but it will be worth it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Summer of Opportunity - Abbea Faris

Summer is my favorite time of the year. Always busy and always on the road. I just love it! I'm blessed to be able to live this lifestyle. Every weekend there is a rodeo/jackpot going on in Wyoming, Nebraska, or Colorado. I compete in the Wyoming Rodeo Association and Colorado Pro Rodeo Association nearly every weekend. Unfortunately, my college season didn’t go as I had planned as I just missed qualifying for the finals. However, I know everything happens for a reason and I will keep my head held high. I'm looking forward to the opportunities this summer has to offer me. 

Weekdays are not near as fun as the weekend, that’s for sure! I work during the week to be able to cover all my expenses, giving me the opportunity to compete in the rodeos I desire to compete in. It takes a few different jobs to be able to do the lifestyle I have chosen. I am working for Express Employment, mowing lawns with a friend, working for Diamond Tail Ranch, and will soon work for a construction company full time. After work, I go practice with some great family friends that live down the road. I keep my calves there and we all gather together and practice. I love summer nights practicing with my friends; I'm grateful to get to do what I do.   

As far as school goes this summer, I am not taking summer classes, so I've decided to focus on work, rodeo, and family this summer. Every weekend I am home, I take my 86 year old grandpa to our church and then go to lunch after. My grandpa is my rock and world. I love spending time with him and I especially cherish every Sunday morning we get to spend together.

The power of the Lord is unbelievable. This year has definitely been an eye-opening year for me as I have matured in my faith. Without the Lord, I don't know where I would be right now. He knows that everyone has struggles but He is always welcoming us with love. I know He is always there with me and everything will always work out according to his plan and purpose. Let the summer of fun and madness begin!        Anything is possible if a person believes. Mark 9:23 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Commitment - Rope Myers

To Commit: act, carry out, do, execute, accomplish, achieve, complete, go for broke
Commitment is a decision in the Heart that produces results. In steer wrestling commitment is vital to making a good catch, regaining your feet, or getting a clean fall.  In the catch, if you haven’t decided on the inside then, you will hesitate when it is time to act on the outside, and hesitation in the catch is a miss.  If you are not fully committed to being soft in your legs and a steer gets strong you won’t carry out regaining your feet.  It takes full dedication to hook the nose when the steer is coming fast to accomplish a clean fall. 

So how do we get our heart to fully commit?  The short answer is “love and wisdom”.  Commitment, dedication, devotion, fidelity, fortitude are heart words, but they are heart words that the head will fight against if wisdom isn't applied.  For Instance you may love steer wrestling and you may be willing to jump, but if you don’t know the right technique after a few wrecks your mind will be screaming “don’t do it!”  Conversely, you can study the technique all you want but if something on the inside doesn't hunger to drop onto the back of a running steer all of the reason in the world won’t convince your body to do it.  It has to be both.  Sometimes love comes before wisdom, sometimes the other way around but when they are both together the result is commitment.  You have to love what you are doing to execute a plan that seems scary, but it takes wisdom to complete the task. 

Commitment is important when you go to flank a calf, or when you reach in the team roping, or when you step off a fast horse in the goat tying.  In fact, commitment is necessary to be successful in any rodeo event.  Beyond that commitment is one of the essential keys to life in general. Whether it is getting good grades, having a great marriage, excelling at work, or having great relationships; commitment is critical.  So, find a way to love what you are doing and seek the wisdom to do it well and you will find your commitment level will rise so you can excel at whatever you are doing.  Choose something you love about your job, then learn to do it well.  Remember to love learning, figure out how you learn and you will achieve good grades.  Stir up the love you once had for your spouse, ask the Father how to love her well then go for broke to have a great marriage.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

God's Blessing in Disguise - Seth Peterson

Last summer I learned an extremely valuable lesson that turned out to benefit me greatly in High School Rodeo. My name is Seth Peterson and am a junior from North Dakota. During last year’s major rodeo run in the summer, we never really had any good weather. It was either raining, cold, or extremely windy. Once in a while we got lucky and it was nice, but then the ground was still muddy from the week prior’s bad weather. At the time it seemed like I was having the worst luck in the world but it turned out that it was another one of God’s blessings in disguise.
That fall we left on a Friday to go to the first High School Rodeo of the year and guess what, more crummy weather. The mud in the arena was already four inches deep, at the least, and it was supposed to rain even more the next day during the rodeo. So the next day I get up, start warming the horses up, and all of my friends are complaining about the weather. They said how bad the arena is, and they all just wanted to draw out and go home. But I was so used to this weather that it was just another day for me, that’s when I realized something. During those bad weather days, when everyone else doesn't even want to be there, those are the days that you need to perform your best. Those days are going to be the easiest times to win points because hardly anyone else is going to have a positive attitude and they’re just going out there cause they have to. And the points you win those days could just be the determining factor in whether or not you win the year end title. It’s not easy going out in pouring rain and four inch deep mud, but I promise you at the end of the year, when you have a cushion to fall back on in the year end race and there’s not as much pressure on you, you’re going to be glad you went out and got the job done on that day. 

The first three rodeos we had were all pretty bad weather, but I still went out and got the job done. I went out and made business man runs and ended up winning the first three high school rodeos in the team roping and tie down roping. Those days helped me lead the tie down roping and be sitting second in the team roping, in the year end, going into this spring. Those days also helped me market myself and get my first two sponsors in Diamond Equine and Willard Rope Co. God’s blessings seem to always come even when you think he has passed you by. Thank God for he gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Never Doubt Yourself - Bobbi York

First of all, hello! My name is Bobbi York and I'm a junior from Douglas, Wyoming. And I am a junior that attends a boarding school in Colorado Springs, Colorado. When I left home my freshman year, I was a scared 14 year old who suddenly was on her own. Luckily, rodeo is a sports team at my school and that's where I found my place. I, unlike so many, only started to rodeo my freshman year and started roping my sophomore year. My very first rodeo was November 14 (yes I can remember the date) in Kiowa, Colorado. I competed in poles and trail and one could say it did not go as planned. 
1. I forgot my clothes for the 3 day rodeo. 
2. I wanted my parents. 
3. I realized that I was the newby and all those kids there were better than me.  

Well my amazing family surprised me, I borrowed clothes from teammates but #3 is something I struggle with daily. When I show up to the rodeo I constantly think that I will be beat by these other girls or that I don't belong here. And that's wrong on so many levels. From waking up at 5 to rope the bale to roping til it's dark after school. I have put the hours of practice in to be able to be the "top 5" as Rope says. As much as I practice, I remember that I have not been doing this as long and I certainly can't afford what these other girls can (horses, trailers, trucks, etc.) But, that's where my biggest downfall is: mentally. My biggest role model and coach, Beth Hiatt, has told me since freshman year that my biggest enemy is in the mirror. My doubt and lack of confidence is not from anyone else but me. Doubt is my biggest downfall and my area of weakness.

Even in my walk with the Lord I have doubted myself. I saw myself as a baby christian who, when faced with adversity, would not be able to handle it as I should. But that's the beautiful thing about Christ. Doubt and comparing ourselves is such a worldly matter. To Christ, we are all the same. It's like going to the rodeo. We all are the same and have the opportunity to be great. I have to constantly remind myself that... 
for every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Excitement from the Beginning - Abbea Faris

Last weekend in Gillete at the first college rodeo of the spring.

There are a few things I do each time before I compete to get myself mentally ready for my run. God helps us handle what we are given. I rope the dummy and picture the run in my head. My horse firing, breaking and tracking the calf/steer, the animal (hopefully) running straight, scoring, having proper horsemanship, taking my shot, and having a smooth catch. 

Being mentally prepared going into my run helps me be confident, excited, blessed, and FOCUSED . I focus on only on scoring well and roping the steer/calf. The people and excitement on the side lines are all kind of a blur. It gets the adrenaline going, but I block it all out. I walk into the box as close to the pin as possible. My little mare was trained to enter the box right where she leaves it, which is obviously, breaking to the pin. I will stop and check to see if the correct calf/steer is loaded that I have drawn, and I will also look at the calf’s head and picture my loop going over his head. I tell myself to breath and stay quiet and calm for my horses’ sake. Being nervous will not help a horse stand quiet in the box, and can greatly effect scoring. We turn around, concentrating on the steer/calf and back a couple steps and hopefully stand in the corner. If not, I will walk her forward, or usually move her front end over. When everything feels and looks right ill nod my head and try to see the start I planned on seeing. Sometimes, the start is just reaction and best judgment. From there on out, it is just muscle memory and reaction for me. Living in Laramie, Wyoming, we have to practice in all sorts of different weather conditions, which I feel is a major advantage for me. If it is hot, windy, cold, raining, or perfect weather, I have practiced in all the above and just stay focused on my run.

During each run I am focused, but it is just such a blur during it. Some of my greatest runs happen so quick that I don’t remember. Good thing there are video recorders. Sometimes I will watch some of my greatest runs to see how I have improved, or not, and just give myself that excitement and joy and confidence again.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Thursday, March 26, 2015

3 Things to Remember - Hunter Washburn

I want to see what you want to know. We've talked about cold reading cattle, how to read the barrier and get out sharper. Now I want to see your comments on what you think is a big part of rodeo. Finance plans, going down the road, animal welfare, do's and don't's of rodeo AKA: RODEO 101. There are so many things out there one can think of and put in their arsenal of good ideas and practices.

One thing I want to talk about this time is, "why make the same mistakes as everyone around you does". One thing my parents have told me is if your going to do something and get ahead in this world you have to have a couple things.

One: God before all things. Without his presence in our lives we are not whole. With that being said I did my own thing for awhile, just put God and my Bible on the shelf. The devil has a way of showing us that you can do anything you want and still be one of the best in anything. So you think, "why can he/she be so successful and so far from the Lord?". Well, the devil wants you to not care and do whatever you want. My point is this:  if you want a life that that has meaning, find God and pursue him.  You will have a life of hardship, but nothing worth doing comes easy. I've always known about God, but never followed him till my sophomore year of high school. The start of my junior year God lead me to Sky Ranch to the elite rodeo clinic. This is where I was saved and began a new life. Now I'm on to bigger and better things in rodeo, and I owe it all to my family and my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.  

Two: Learn from others' mistakes. This one is sometimes hard to do, but I've found to ask, "what happened with that run?". And ask several people. You might agree or disagree but you have to be open to new things.

Three: dedication and practice. Without these two things you won't be successful in life or in the arena. Once I was told luck is where preparation meets opportunity. Sure I might have drawn the best steer but I still have to use what I've learned and worked on for the last couple months or years to make the best of that steer. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Start - Rope Myers

The Start...
This is probably the least practiced but most important part of being successful as you continue on to the next levels in rodeo.

Often in practice, very little thought is given to how much of a head start is given to each animal. While most get the hang of catching up in the right part of the arena, in the practice pen they don’t have a clear enough understanding or enough repetitions to really be proficient at this vital part of rodeo.

First: Practice
At the next rodeo, you go to sit behind the box and with the aid of a friend practice the start. Put the hand you hold the reins 2 inches above either their shoulder or knee, and as each animal leaves the chute, drop your hand when the proper head start has been reached.  Then have your friend judge how well you got the start. After about 10-15 runs switch and let your partner do the same, and you can judge how they did on the start.  You will be surprised how this exercise will sharpen you up on your scoring ability.

Second: DIY
So many people leave this very important element up to someone else. They walk up and ask the guy on the back of the box what the start is. While he may be honest and he may even be good at scoring, that guy is looking to see what “he” needs to see and you may not score the same as he does. If you “throw them for the show and score them for the dough” why would you leave something as important as that to the prevailing opinion?  Figure out the start for yourself!

Third: See the Big Picture

While the goal is to be close to the barrier, you need to realize there are times when six inches late may be a better start that knocking it out of the latch. There are other times when your best chance of placing is to try to see how far you can stretch it.  Also, if I am going hard at the barrier rope it is going to let me catch up quicker than if I am pulling when I get there.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Never Give Up - Hunter Washburn

One of the most important things in rodeo is learning how to win at every level. It is comprised of many things; including horsemanship, reading cattle as soon as you nod your head, how to enter, and what days are the best to be at the rodeo. You have to go, pay your dues and just keep on going until you get it down and begin winning consistently.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Looking Forward - Abbea Faris

Let me start off by saying, isn’t the Lord just great?! He just continues to fill my life with joy each and every day! Words can’t describe the feeling he gives you once you let him into your life and feel him work each and every day. Each and every year he continues to bless me to help me get closer to my dreams.

I don’t come from a ‘wealthy’ family, so I don’t have as many horses as I would like to have.  I have my main girl, London, who has taken me to that next level in just the last couple years. She has taught me so much and gave me confidence in my roping. I team rope and breakaway off of her in competition. She knows her job and I have found she performs better if I don’t run her into the ground in practice. Instead, I practice off my old faithful, George, which I have had for the past eight years. I competed off him until my senior year of high school. Then recently, God has blessed me with a prospect horse that a guy gave to me. I sent her to training this past summer, and I am very happy with her process so far.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cold Reading Cattle - Rope Myers

One of the tools to help any timed event cowboy or cowgirl be successful is the ability to look at the calf or steer they have and make some accurate guesses as to how this animal will behave in the arena.  While these speculations may not be perfect they at least can give some valuable insight which may increase the competitor’s odds. 

I have developed an acronym to help in this process S.E.A.R.C.H. S=Size, E=Ears, A=Age, R=Range, C=Color, and H=Health. These factors, in addition to horn shape in the steer events will help give a picture of what predilections an animal may have.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Growth: by Tee Wofford

Hello everyone! My name is Tee Wofford and I live in Montrose, CO. I am a homeschooled senior  and plan on attending college at CAC in AZ to continue rodeoing. I grew up on a cattle ranch and have been roping for as long as I can remember. I qualified for the high school finals twice my sophomore year and junior year. I also compete in the USTRC, Colorado Pro Rodeo, as well as local rodeos and jackpots. God has blessed me with the opportunity to do what I love everyday. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Steers and Goals from Hunter Washburn!

My goals for this year are to go to as many PRCA rodeos as I can and make the permit finals. Also to go to the amateur rodeos and make the ACRA finals. My plan is to finish my equine dentistry school and pursue it as a job alongside professional rodeo.
One of my favorite quotes: "Champions are not made in the arena they are crowned there. Champions are made in the practice pen."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Guest Blogger: Abbea Faris!

Hello everybody! My name is Abbea Faris and I live in Laramie, Wy. I am in my second year of college at Casper College, where I rodeo for them. I grew up riding horses and rodoeing. To me, there is no better life to live! The atmosphere and people that come along with it, I just love! I have three older sisters and three step sibilings. I'm the only one that still rodeos. My senior year of high school is when you could say my rodeo career really took off. I got a new breakaway horse and qualified to nationals in breakaway. Ever since then, we have not slowed down one bit! 

That same summer I started competing is amateur rodeos all over Wy, Co, and Ne. I ended up second for the year end in breakaway for Wy. It was a close race till the end.Finishing up second the next year in 2014 was not an option, I pulled off the win like I told myself and won the year end in breakaway for Wyoming amateur rodeos. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Welcome to our NEW blog!

The Elite clinic is over and kids from 25 states joined us in Van, Texas to become better in their sport. They learned ways to improve in all aspects of their events and their lives.  These students like many other past students leave here and return to their homes to put the knowledge gained here into practice as they compete in their home states.  Inevitably some of the details get lost over time and bad habits can re-emerge.